Joe Frederick Bilberry

February 20, 2024 ~ February 20, 2024

Joe Bilberry Obituary

Joe F. Bilberry, age 79, of Dayton, OH passed away February 20, 2024 after a brief illness. Joe was born in Farmerville, LA in 1944, the seventh of ten children born to Jesse B. and Joe B. (Dixson) Bilberry. He lived in the Dayton area for more than 55 years.

A printer and lithographer by education and trade, Joe graduated from Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA. He was always so glad he went to Southern U, and remained a proud lifelong Jag. He attended graduate courses at Wright State University. He became an Industrial and Graphic Arts teacher at Grace A. Green School, Roth and Dunbar high schools in the 1960s. Joe went on to be an entrepreneur for most of his career. An artisan, he was known for his expertise in producing quality printed materials and for his knowledge of all things related to printing presses and bindery equipment. A friend and colleague to many area printers and business owners, he was also a master craftsman to more than a few apprentices. Joe was known for his patience, generosity and kindness. He was also not at all reticent about the evolution of the printing industry and readily embraced digital printing technologies and related processes.

An incredible and devoted father, brother, uncle, husband, cousin and friend, Joe was known among his loved ones as a habitual meddler and teaser who loved to make sly and subtle humorous observations. He was a master impressionist and likely imitated you when telling a story about you, but never with malice and always with the intention of demonstrating what he'd observed in his most sincere, and off-handedly performative way.

Joe is survived by his siblings: Frankie (Lewis), Ralph (Barbara), Barbra (Hall) and Charles Bilberry; as well as his children: Stephon Bilberry and Stephanie (Demetrius) Bilberry-Hamilton. He was affectionately known as "Papa Joe" to his beloved grandchildren: Jahsyra, Shelby, Elise, Neema, Selassie and Amara, as well as step-grandchildren, Paige and Rahkia Nobles. Joe was preceded in death by his wife, Arlene (Bush) Bilberry, his stepson, R. DeVaugn Nobles; his parents; brothers, Jesse (Verta Lee), Johnny (Bernadette), and Edward (Lee); and sisters, Lelia (Mack) and Elaine Bilberry. Joe also leaves behind some very special nieces and nephews with whom he had close relationships. He was also preceded in death by the mother of his children and first wife, Valerie (Christian) Bilberry. Joe was additionally instrumental in helping a host of family and like-family members through mentorship and assistance in the pursuit of educational and career opportunities. 

Funeral service 11 am Thursday, February 29, 2024 at House of Wheat Funeral Home, 2107 North Gettysburg Avenue, Dayton, Ohio. Visitation 9 am- 11 am. Family will receive friends 10 am- 11 am.  We know Joe will be sorely missed by many. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Ohio Hospice of Dayton (

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February 29, 2024

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
House of Wheat Funeral Home, Inc.
2107 N. Gettysburg Ave.
Dayton, OH 45406

Funeral Service
February 29, 2024

11:00 AM
House of Wheat Funeral Home, Inc.
2107 N. Gettysburg Ave.
Dayton, OH 45406


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