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Billie A. Osborne-Fears

June 13, 1953 ~ September 4, 2020 (age 67)

Obituary Image


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Life's Journey

Billie Ann Osborne Fears was born June 13, 1953 in Cleveland, Ohio. She was the only child of Willie Belle Osborne and Lucious Hempstead.

Billie Osborne Fears was a dedicated member of the Cleveland Church of Christ Citadel of Hope Ministries, where she became the director of the church nursery which she designed and helped to develop.      

Billie graduated from Glenville High School in 1971 and went on to attend Bowling Green State University. She graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Child, Family and Community Services.

Billie later attended Case Western Reserve University-Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and received a Masters of Social Science Degree in Administration.  She was invited later to teach two masters level courses as an adjunct faculty member.    

During her illustrious career Billie worked as the Education Coordinator for the W.S.O.S. Community Action Agency Head Start Program.  She was also the Youth Director of the Glenville YMCA, Child Care Director of the Kathryn R. Tyler Neighborhood Center and Associate Director of Early Childhood and Youth Services with the Greater Cleveland Neighborhood Centers Association.

Billie was instrumental in the “Child Care Planning Project” that led to the formation of Starting Point for Child Care and Early Education.  In 1990, she became the Founding Executive Director of Starting Point that provide services in Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga and Lake Counties. With her vision, love and dedication for children, she became a champion for quality initiatives that supported the availability, accessibility and affordability of child care.


In addition to her professional accomplishments, she serves on numerous boards and committees such as *Cuyahoga County’s Family and Children First Council as Co-Chair, *My-Com Lead Agencies Committee, *Early Childhood Committee, *Ohio Child Care Resource and Referral Association’s Board of Directors, *Cuyahoga County’s Invest in Children’s Systems Committee, *Cleveland Early Childhood Compact, *Cuyahoga County Early Childhood Education Partnership Council, *Black Child Development Institute-Cleveland Chapter Advisory Board, *ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County–Early Childhood Mental Health Systems Committee, *Lake County United Way Services, *Cleveland Central Promise Advisory Committee, *Voices for Ohio’s Children and *United Way of Greater Cleveland Council of Agency’s Executives.            

Billie leaves to cherish her memory a host of loving family members, godchildren, friends, her extended professional community connections and her dedicated and loving Starting Point family.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Billie A. Osborne-Fears, please visit our floral store.

 Service Program


Public Viewing
September 18, 2020

3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Gaines Funeral Home
5386 Lee Road
Maple Heights, OH 44137

Graveside Service
September 19, 2020

10:00 AM
Lakeview Cemetery
12316 Euclid Ave
Cleveland, OH 44106

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