American Veteran 04

Robert A. Billstein

June 12, 1922 ~ May 8, 2021 (age 98)


Robert Alan Billstein, Sr., of Toledo and Perrysburg, Ohio, passed away on May 8, 2021 just one month shy of his 99th birthday. He maintained his humor, intelligence, and his loving and generous nature until the end.

Robert lived such an incredibly full life! He married the girl next door, had 4 kids, 8 grandkids, and 2 great-grandkids. He had a brilliant mind, a quick and quirky wit, a generous and giving spirit, and a wonderful mix of practicality and pure fun.

Born in Toledo to Alfred and Anne (Pelzweig) Billstein, he attended The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He was in the Army, stationed in Hawaii during WW2, and returned home to work as an accountant before partnering to form a steel corporation. In the late 60s, he opened Swayne Hall, a roller rink that served as a gathering place for minority youth, which also became the setting for Swayne Time, Toledo's local-broadcast counterpart to the legendary Soul Train. He was also a very active investor in the stock market, his entire life.

Robert loved to sail, travel to faraway places, snow ski and play tennis, all of which he did well into his 80s. He always looked forward to getting together with his Poker and Bridge groups, a ritual which sadly ceased this past year, due to the pandemic.

The desire to improve life for others was central to Robert's nature. He served on the boards of Camp Courageous and Planned Parenthood for many years, and was engaged in civil rights movements, support for the disabled, and Earth conservation. In recent years, his philanthropy and solicitude focused primarily on battling climate change, and rooting out its causes and effects.

Robert was predeceased by his wife, Marian (Speirs) Billstein. He is survived by children, Janet (Tsuneo) Akaha, Suzanne Billstein, Barbara Billstein, and Bob (Luanne) Billstein, Jr; his grandchildren, Yoshi, Mitzi, Nicole, Kristin, Drew, Devin, Courtney, and Morgan; and great-grandchildren, Georgia and Reese.

Per Robert's request, no services will be held, but we do appreciate your love and support during this difficult time. We ask that, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Robert to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC.) Robert H. Wick/Wisniewski Funeral Home in charge of arrangements. (419)535-5840.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert A., please visit our floral store.


Private Services

Historic Woodlawn Cemetery
1502 w. Central Avenue
Toledo, OH 43606

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