NEWBERRY - Longtime Newberry resident, Wilma H. "Billie" McNab, 83, died Thursday afternoon April 15, 2010 at Helen Newberry Joy Hospital.
Born December 12, 1926 in Albion, daughter of the late Charles & Helen (Whituhn) Sherman, Billie was the eldest of three children on the Sherman family farm and graduate of Albion High School.
Billie met Michael J. McNab while buying a pack of chewing gum at a drug store where he was a pharmacist. Mike gave Billie her nickname during their courtship and they were united in marriage on October 4, 1947 in Albion.
Mike and Billie, looking to purchase a Michigan drugstore, arrived in Newberry in December of 1949. A cold, crisp snow had fallen and, at night, the fine, sparkling snow looked magical when the Christmas lights glistened against it. The town was festively decorated and the young couple were warmly greeted by the townspeople. They fell in love with Newberry and made it their home for over 50 years, building two retail businesses, McNab Rexall Drug and Billie's Little Store.
Billie worked side by side with Mike for several years to establish McNab Rexall Drugs with the popular "soda fountain". Billie opened her first gift store, "The Little Store Next Door", in the early 1970's and expanded a couple of years later to Billie's Little Store at its' current location which she managed until she became ill. Billie was a member of the Newberry Business and Professional Women and the First Presbyterian Church.
Billie enjoyed vegetable and flower gardening and was an extremely good cook. Mike and Billie enjoyed entertaining Scottish pipers from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, after they had provided entertainment for the Fourth of July parades. Billie endured Mike's float building for the Fourth, the annual fiber glassing of the non speedy speedboat, the early Sunday morning paper routes throughout the area and the fish spawning dynasty for many years.
In addition to her parents, Billie is preceded in death by her husband and true love, Michael on July 29, 2003 and her sister Esther Jean Haskins.
Survivors include her children Pamela McNab of Lansing, Janette Greenwood of Newberry, Sherman (Vicki) McNab of Salem, Ore. and Kathy (Chris) LaForest of Marinette, Wis.; grandchildren Dennise Burgess-Holmes, Gary Michael and Nicholas Greenwood, Michelle (LaForest) Hoffman, Kristin and Terry LaForest, Andrew and Erin McNab; two great-grandchildren; brother Kenny Sherman of Circleville, Ohio; several nieces and nephews.
Friends may call at the First Presbyterian Church in Newberry on Wednesday April 21, 2010 from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. A memorial service celebrating the life of Billie McNab will follow at 11 a.m. at the church with Pastor Nancy Barkat officiating.
Memorials may be directed to the donor's choice in memory of Wilma H. "Billie" McNab.
Condolences may be expressed at www.beaulieufuneralhome.com.
Beaulieu Funeral Home in Newberry is assisting the family.