Life Story / Obituary
A friend of many and a stranger to none, Billy Roselip was beloved by everyone who came to know him. Upon meeting this special man, one couldn’t help but love his outgoing and fun-loving nature, and once a friend of Billy’s you were a friend for life. From his very beginnings it was clear to see his zest for life in everything he did. It didn’t take much to make Billy happy, either. Never one for the extravagant things in life, he was just as content being surrounded by those he loved, doing the things he loved doing best. Although he will be deeply missed, Billy will be forever cherished.
The decade of the 1960s was an eventful time in the nation, yet in 1964, great strides were being made, especially in space travel. The Beatles took America by storm while race riots and anti-war demonstrations filtered throughout the country. The Vietnam War was news of the day, and the first Ford Mustang rolled off the assembly line to the delight of many. It was during this time on September 13, 1964 when the only thing on the minds of Dixie and Edwin Roselip was the birth of their precious son, Billy and to their surprise, his twin sister, Katherine.
Billy’s parents were a young couple who met in Fort Smith, Arkansas while Edwin was a strapping young soldier serving in the U.S. Army. Deeply in love, they married and were soon expecting their first child. Without the technology of today, his mother never realized she was carrying twins until when an hour after she gave birth to Billy, Kathy came along. Albeit a surprise, their twin babies were a most welcome blessing in their lives. The oldest of the Roselip children, Billy and his sister were later joined by the birth of their younger brother, Kevin. Their sister, Sherry was raised as a part of their family and loved as their own.
In time, Billy’s family made the Otsego area of Michigan their home where numerous memories were created and shared. A bustling household filled with laughter, shenanigans and surprises, the Roselip home was the place where all the neighborhood kids and friends gathered, and always with open arms. In fact, other parents often called looking for their kids, knowing they most likely ended up at Billy’s house. Billy enjoyed a happy childhood typical of the times where kids stayed out until the street lights came on playing tag, chase, and doing dares. From his earliest beginings, Billy loved life and everything in it. He loved exploring the world around him and he possessed a natural curiousity about everything. However, he was a very mischievious boy, and he naturally found his share of mischief, too.
Billy and his friend, Randy came up with the most inconceivable pranks. As children they “borrowed” the bulldozer used while Nickols Bakery was being built and proceeded to plow the work that had been done down over and over again. As well, the workers had to begin rebuilding the bakery, time and time again! Kevin Keyzer, Billy’s best friend since childhood, was truly his partner in crime, and “if it’s been done, those two have done it!” Doing anything and everything dangerous was their idea of a good time, especially storm chasing.
Having attended the local schools, Billy loved the fun and social aspect of his education. His mother was so worried about his grades and not being able to graduate she even threatened to go to school with him. By his senior year, Billy was not on the right track, and true to her promise, his mother sat in on his classes with him to straighten him up. Needless to say, he shaped up after a day or two, and thought it had been an empty threat until she actually did it! Thanks to his mother, Billy went on to graduate from Otsego High School with the Class of 1982.
Even though he never married, Billy came to be the proud father of six wonderful children. Three boys and three girls, he loved Jesseca, Christina, Tami and Adam, Josh, and CJ more than anything. Billy couldn’t help himself, but even when he tried being stern with his kids, he always broke into laughter. Always the jokester, Billy was more like a best friend to them than a dad. Yet Billy was unwavering in his love for them and was consistently there for his children. He’d do anything for them, or anyone for that matter, never expecting anything in return. Some of their most treasured memories come from sharing early morning breakfasts with their dad. Billy loved breakfast and it wasn’t unlike him to wake-up his daughter in the wee hours of the mornings to make breakfast together. With an unrelenting love of bacon, he refused to share his bacon with anyone . . . except his granddaughter, Lileigh “Bug.”
For the last two years or so, Billy worked as a farmhand for the Stan Leep farm. A second family to Billy, and he loved working for them. Prior to working there, Billy built houses and helped others with odd jobs. A hands-on kind of guy, Billy could fix anything, especially when it came to cars. And never far from Billy’s side was his favorite dog of all time, Charlie, a cocker spaniel he stole from his sister. He didn’t talk about taking him, or even wanting him; Billy just up and took him!
With his glass half full, Billy looked on the positive side of things. He often said, “Put it in the past and leave it. It’s over and done with, and you can’t change it, so go forward.” With his distinctive laugh, even in the most crowed of places, Billy was well known for a laugh that was all his own. He loved cheering people up and encouraging them in ways only Billy could. He never saw the bad in anyone, and gave others the benefit of the doubt.
Billy lived fully and completely at every opportunity. He lived well, on his own terms, and in ways that made him happy. The last days of Billy’s life truly exemplified just how much he loved life. He was earnest in his desire to encourage those that meant the most to him to “live life to the fullest, because forever is never guaranteed, and tomorrow’s not promised.” May Billy’s love and his love of life be what are remembered most.
Billy passed away at his home on Sunday, June 12th, 2016 after a short battle with lung cancer. He was preceded in death by his father, Edwin and in 2010, his brother, Kevin. He is survived by his three daughters, Jesseca Ulferts, Christina Regaldo, and Tamara Goodacre; three sons, Adam (Ashley) Sweet, Josh (Tiffany) Sutherland, and CJ Sutherland; many grandchildren; his mother, Dixie Roselip; twin sister, Katherine (Walter) Marble, and sister, Sherry (Aaron) Shannon; many nieces, nephews, aunts, and uncles. Also surviving are his special friend, Myrtha Connors and lifelong friend, Kevin Keyzer. Cremation has taken place and a memorial will be held at 1p.m. Saturday, June 18th at the Moose Lodge in Otsego. Rest in peace Billy, we love you!
Billy’s family is being served by Life Story Funeral Home-RDMG. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com where you can share a favorite memory and photo of Billy and sign his online guestbook.