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Categorized | Obituary

Nita Billings

Nita Billings

Nita Lynn Billings, 63, of Cedar Springs, passed away peacefully in her sleep at Mission Point on Sunday, September 27, after a long struggle with MSA (Multiple System Atrophy), a rare degenerative neurological disorder affecting the body’s involuntary (autonomic) functions, including blood pressure, breathing, motor control, etc. Nita was born in Grand Rapids in 1956 to Dick (Richard M. Sr.) and Joan Reed, and attended both Northview and Sparta Schools, graduating from Sparta in 1974. She held several different jobs during her lifetime, including being an in-home caregiver and then a pharmacy technician in her later years. She worked at the Family Fare pharmacy in Cedar Springs for several years. Nita had a passion for all things Disney, horses, baking, painting and drawing. She finally made the trip to Disney a few years ago with her son, Rick and partner Karina, which was a highlight of her life. She also made many customized cakes over the years with both her daughter, Brandi, and niece, Rachel. She had a dream to one day open a bakery here in Cedar Springs, but it was not to be. During her final months, she came back to her artistic roots and spent many hours using colored pencils to create beautiful pictures in adult coloring books, though her hands didn’t always work right. Although a perfectionist with her art, she came to accept that it was ok to sometimes stray outside the lines. Nita was funny, loved a good joke, and was not afraid to laugh at herself. She was also a tomboy who could take care of herself, and not afraid to stand up to anyone who she saw as a threat to her or her family.  She was also generous and giving and would think of others before herself. When stimulus checks came out earlier this year, she used a portion of it to buy food for a local outreach here in Cedar Springs because she said she knew what it was like to go without food.

Her kids and grandkids were the most important things in her life, and she told stories over and over about them. She is survived by her children, Rick Reed (Karina Records) of Grand Rapids; Christopher (Kim) Gave of Caledonia; and Brandi (Justin) Palmer of Ohio; and her eight grandchildren, Logan, Willow, Daphne, Bella, Dylan, Bryce, Brylinn, and Reed. She is also survived by her four siblings, Richard (Deborah) Reed of Grand Rapids; Sandy Martin of West Virginia; Steve (Judy) Reed of Cedar Springs; and Scott (Jenny) Reed of Lowell. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, grandnieces, grandnephews, and one aunt, Jeanette Tobey, of Sparta.

An informal memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 3, at Good News Baptist Church `6830 Eastern Avenue, Grand Rapids, MI 49508. There will be an hour of visitation with the family starting at 3 p.m. with the service at 4 p.m. Bring your stories and anecdotes about Nita, as this will be a time to reminisce and share together to celebrate her life. If you’d like to make a donation to an organization in her honor, please consider Hand 2 Hand at csministerial.org or City Impact Cedar Springs at www.cityimpactcs.com/donate. Those are both organizations Nita thought a lot of and donated to. You can also consider Heartland Hospice, who took great care of Nita during her final months.

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