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Perry Lincoln Billington

April 7, 1947 July 2, 2018
Perry Lincoln Billington
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Obituary for Perry Lincoln Billington

Perry Lincoln Billington, 71, passed away Monday July 2nd, 2018 in his home. Perry was born in Jersey City, NJ on April 7th, 1947; son to the late Perry Billington and Cathleen (Ryan) Billington.

He grew up in Hoboken, NJ with a childhood filled with trips to nearby Yankee Stadium and hooky from West Orange High School to photograph trains from scenic look outs. Despite his truancy, Perry graduated from West Orange High School and proceeded to the University of Scranton, where he graduated with his B.A. in History in 1969, while working summers for the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad Company alongside his father.

Following college, Perry enlisted in active duty in the US Navy, enrolling June 3rd, 1969 and serving until June 1972, including a deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as a radio watch supervisor, settling in Norfolk, VA upon his return. He received a letter of commendation in 1972 where it was noted “he displayed exceptional professional competence, imaginative insight, and determination”. During his active duty, he married Eileen Haines (nee Meskey). Shortly thereafter he and Eileen gave birth to their first child, Jennifer.

After his military service, Perry returned to his first, and lifelong passion, the railroad. He continued working for the Erie-Lackawanna and it’s many mid-Atlantic permutations thereafter, including Conrail and NJ Transit. From 1976 to 1996 Perry also served as a member of the Navy Reserves, raising to the rank of Radioman-2, and receiving an honorable discharge. During the 1980s, Perry went to night school, obtaining his Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Scranton in 1983. Throughout that time, he continued pursuing his love of trains professionally and personally, taking on increasingly important administrative roles and becoming a safety operations supervisor. In his free time, he became an accomplished amateur train photographer. In 1985 and 1988, he and Eileen welcomed two additional children into the world, Michael and Kathleen.

Perry retired from the railroad after 47 years of service in 2007. Since his retirement, he has been an active participant in numerous historical and railroad societies, including in the American Legion. He was a devoted member of his high school and university alma maters, contributing generously to the University of Scranton. He traveled widely in the mid-Atlantic region with friends and colleagues, occasionally giving formal talks about his deep knowledge of the Erie-Lackawanna railroad. He also prioritized spending time with his children at every opportunity he could, always taking the train to visit when at all possible.

Throughout his life, everyone who got to know Perry remarked on his incredibly genial disposition, memorable turn-of-phrase, quick-wit, and deeply authentic nature. He pursued what he loved, knew what was mattered, and knew what didn’t.

Perry Billington leaves behind three children: Jennifer Billington of Rockville, MD, Michael Billington of Boston, MA, and Kathleen Simkiss of Plymouth Meeting, PA, as well as numerous close friends in the Northeastern PA and NJ area.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a memorial lunch on July 7th from 1-4pm at Platform 1 Restaurant, located at 41 NJ-12, Flemington, NJ 08822.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the University of Scranton Alumni Association, 800 Linden Street, Scranton, PA 18510.

Cremation arrangements are under the direction of Holcombe-Fisher Funeral Home, 147 Main St., Flemington NJ. For further information or to leave an online condolence, please visit

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1:00 AM 7/7/2018 1:00:00 AM - 4:00 PM 7/7/2018 4:00:00 PM
Platform One

41 Route 12
Flemington, NJ 08822

Platform One
41 Route 12 Flemington 08822 NJ
United States

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