Jay W. Hilliard, 70, of Avilla, passed away on Wednesday, January 15, 2020, at Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne.
Born in Kendallville, on July 9, 1949, to the late William and Audrey (Addis) Hilliard. He spent his formative years in Noble County, graduating from Churubusco High School in 1967. While in high school he was known to play the drums in the band and was a Churubusco football player.
After high school Jay served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. He was stationed for the majority of the time in Germany. He was honorably discharged from the Army on August 6, 1971.
Jay married Donna Liggett in Gatlinburg, TN, on April 10, 1999.
He retired from Silgan Plastics in Ligonier and had previously worked for Wicks Lumber.
Jay was a member of Faith Lutheran Church in Churubusco. He was a life-time member of both the American Legion and the V.F.W. He served as a past commander of the Churubusco American Legion Post #157 and was the current commander of the Columbia City American Legion Post #98. He was a past 4th district commander of the American Legion in Indiana. Jay was also a member of the Ideal Fish & Game Club, the American Legion Riders, Post #98 and a ride captain of the Patriot Riders. He was affectionately known as "Curly" by his Legion friends.
Jay was always honored to serve at the Military Honors of fallen comrades; serving on the Honor Guards.
When his kids were younger he enjoyed taking them camping. He also enjoyed being a western style square dance caller.
Jay is survived by his wife of 20 years, Donna Hilliard; two daughters, Nikki (Ivan) King and Tammi (Shaun) Klopfenstein; a step-daughter, Tiffany (Torey) Smith; a brother, Dale (Becky) Hilliard; eight grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Gene and Mark Hilliard.
Services will take place at Sheets & Childs Funeral Home on Monday, January 20, 2020, at 11:00 AM, with Pastor Lane Burgland officiating, followed by Military Honors. Calling one hour prior to the service.
Family will also receive friends on Sunday, January 19, 2020, from 2:00 PM, to 5:00 PM. At the end of calling there will be an American Legion memorial service.
In Lieu of flowers, please direct memorials to the American Legion Post #98 building fund.
Online note to the family at www.sheetsandchilds.com.
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