Flower-Purple
Official Obituary of

Billie Lee (Aldrich) Serba

July 30, 1937 ~ March 9, 2024 (age 86) 86 Years Old

Billie Serba Obituary

Billie Lee Serba resided at Bay Bluffs, Emmet County Care Facility in Harbor Springs.  Her last moments of life were spent thoroughly enjoying a live music performance when she passed away on March 9th, 2024.  Billie was born on July 30,1937 in Petoskey to William and Theresa (LaFleur) Aldrich.  She grew up part of her childhood in Petoskey, Detroit, and also in Helena, Arkansas.  Billie graduated from the Dominican Catholic High School in Detroit in 1955. 

Following high school, Billie worked a full time job at a bank.  She also worked part-time at J.L. Hudson's store in Detroit.  There she met Ronn who was working in a floral design section.  Their whirlwind romance unfolded.  They met in November, got engaged at Christmas, and were married on April 7th,1956.  They celebrated a lifetime marriage of 54 years.  They opened a flower shop in 1957 on the Detroit East side, and in 1960 moved the shop to Grosse Pointe where they also operated an Interior Design Business.  The couple welcomed three children into their lives: Kim Marie in 1956, Kevin Lee in 1958, and Kelly Jerome in 1964.  The flower shop was named after Kim since both arrived about the same time for them.  The flower shop blossomed later on into a development project when they decided to build a new business called Kimberly Korner of shops on Mack Avenue.

Later moving away from Grosse Pointe, Billie and Ronn worked as a team for Nordlies' Floral Design Center in Tampa, Florida.  Ronn was their floral designer, and Billie assisted with the commentating during the demonstrations of utilizing floral products. 

Billie and Ronn then decided to move to Harbor Springs while walking on a beach in Goodhart which was a favorite summer get-a-way for the couple.  They moved to Harbor Springs in 1983.  The first business they opened was a quaint silk flower & gift shop in downtown Harbor Springs called, "Kimberly Nest". 

They later opened the Kimberly Country Estate Bed and Breakfast in Harbor Springs in 1988.  The Inn was in full operation for 22 years.  Over the years, the inn was utilized for many fundraisers and "Great Gatsby" parties to raise money for Holy Childhood School.  Throughout all their business ventures, Billie was an active business partner and confidant.  When the inn closed abruptly due to Ronn passing, the former guests continued to be loving, kind friends to Billie for the remaining thirteen and a half years.  Letters of gratitude, cards, annual visits, and flowers were received by her as her health declined.  A recent letter said, "The Kimberly Inn with Billie and Ronn at the helm, so loving and caring to their guests, immediately brings back cherished memories.  You both created a Heaven on Earth for your guests."  Their secret was they treated guests like family. 

Family was also an integral part of Billie's life as the grandchildren were born.  She found great joy in annual tomato canning events involving four generations.  She was known for her fabulous homemade chicken soup that would comfort all.  Letters written to Billie by her granddaughters warmly described her as their role model and superhero.  Even in her moments of overcoming life threatening illness, she would simply state "I just don't have time for this," and "Keep moving!"  She faithfully kept her entire family in her daily prayers. 

Billie was an active member of Holy Childhood of Jesus Church, where she was passionate about serving the parish with her talents of arranging flowers and decorating the church.  She shared her gift of public speaking by being a Mass Lector, and she loved being involved with the Saint Anne's Society events also.  In her earlier parish involvement, Billie taught (CCD) a religious education program for children. 

As for other talents, Billie love to play piano and could be heard playing very late into the night after the children went to bed.

In the past eleven years of Billie's life she lived at Perry Farm, Mallard Cove, and finally Bay Bluffs.  There, she touched the hearts of so many staff, caregivers and nurses with her special gift to show gratitude and loving kindness.  I have heard the comment repeatedly in each facility, "We love your Mom so much & miss her now that she is gone." 

Billie is survived by her daughter Kimberly Lentz (Ric) of Wolverine, sons Kevin Serba (Tim) of Saugatuck and Kelly Serba (Darcy) of Plainwell, Mi.  Grandchildren Shanna, Carin (Hank),  Nanette (Matt), Brandon, Jason (Nikki), Cameron, Michael, Jordan, Christina and Jack.  She also has eight great-grandchildren Liam, Wyatt, Hunter, Maddox, Hazel, Zoe, Thea, and Asher.  Also surviving, her beloved sister-in-law, Carol Wotring (Sam) of Grosse Pointe Farms, nephew Kirk (Michelle), nieces Candace (Robert), and Kristin.  She also has seven great nieces and nephews.  

It seems so appropriate, that she would pass during her favorite Lenten, Easter Season with touches of spring offering hope for new life to unfold.  God Bless You, Billie. 

In lieu of flowers, the family gratefully requests that donations be made to Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Michigan, the nonprofit organization to whom they are profoundly thankful for the tremendous financial assistance that enabled Billie to get the best care possible in her final years.  They can be reached at 1609 Park Drive, Traverse City, MI 49696, (231-947-8920).

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Services

Visitation
Friday
March 22, 2024

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Holy Childhood (Harbor Springs)

Funeral Mass
Friday
March 22, 2024

11:00 AM
Holy Childhood (Harbor Springs)

Donations

The Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Michigan
1609 Park Drive, Traverse City MI 49696
Web: https://www.aaanm.org/donate/

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