Billie Osborne-Fears Death – Dead | Obituary – Passed Away
Billie Osborne-Fears Death – Dead: A great loss was made known to InsideEko. As friends and families of the deceased are mourning the passing of their loved and cherished Billie Osborne-Fears.
Having heard about this great loss, the family of this individual is passing through pains, mourning the unexpected passing of their beloved.
This departure was confirmed through social media posts made by Twitter users who pour out tributes, and condolences to the family of the deceased.
The Literacy Cooperative is mourning the loss of a great and impactful community leader, Billie Osborne-Fears, of Starting Point. We had the great privilege of partnering with Billie and Starting Point on numerous endeavors. We will miss her, but know that her legacy lives on in the excellent team she nurtured and in the many ways her work and leadership has benefitted our community’s children and families. Let’s all honor her legacy through continued advocacy on behalf of children and families.
We were shocked to learn this morning that our beloved sister and Warrior Queen Billie Osborne-Fears has made her transition and is now one of the ancestors on whose shoulders we all stand. A fierce warrior for our children and our community, she was greatly loved and will be greatly missed. We send our love and prayers to her family, friends and the Starting-Point family. May the Creator bless her and her family holistically. Ameen.
Billie Osborne-Fears – Child Care Losses a Leader
by Dave Smith
It is with great sadness that I received the news of Billie Osborne-Fears passing. I had just talked with Billie a couple days earlier and as our conversation ended, as it always did. She would say, “take care of my babies.” She referred to all children in general as “her babies,” whether they were infants or teenagers.
As the Executive Director of Horizon Education Center and the President of OACCP, I feel compelled to share a little about the major impact Billie made on early childhood education and youth development in Northeast and all of Ohio. I first met Billie 25 years ago, when I followed my Mother, Mary Smith, as Executive Director of Horizon. Billie and my Mother were already friends and they remain friends for life. Billie was launching one of her initiatives to design the model childcare center. Horizon was planning the first new built center in North Olmsted. I was young and stubborn, and did not use the prototype design for the new North Olmsted Center, but we did for the next five centers. The photo below shows Billie at a ribbon cutting in 2019 at the new Horizon Triskett Station Center, Cleveland with Mary Smith (Horizon Founder), Louise Reuter (Center Director) and me, as Horizon Board Members look on. The center was based on the late 90’s prototype.
Billie was a mentor to me and hundreds of other early childhood education providers and advocates. She could chew you out and make you feel good about it. Out of the blue, she would call to help you see the “right way” or to congratulate on an achievement or a new grant. I will miss this the most about her. She was the best cheer leader, advocate, supporter, leader and influencer early care and education will ever have.
She was visionary as the founding Director of Starting Point, Northeast Ohio’s childcare resource and referral agency. Under her guidance, Starting Point launched the pilot for Step Up To Quality, which developed into today’s tiered quality rating system, known by the same name. She knew by standardizing quality, we could shape our profession and gain public resources. Billie never tired in her many efforts and initiatives to improve and professionalize the licensed childcare system at the county, state and national level.
Billie is appreciated and will be missed.
We are still working on getting more details about the death, as a family statement on the death is yet to be released.