Johnie R. Hillis

Johnie R. Hillis

Johnie Rutherford Hillis passed from this life on Jan. 21, 2018, at the age of 93 years and 11 months, after living a full life in Uvalde with good friends and great memories.

She was born on Feb. 22, 1924, in Van Buren County, Arkansas. At about four years of age, the family decided to leave Arkansas for Texas.

She traveled by train to Abilene, then on to Bronte to join her grandparents who were farming in and around there. After a few years  in Bronte the family moved to Leakey, where her father became one of the first civilian employees of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) building Garner State Park. After the park was built he bought land on the Frio River south of Leakey, named it Happy Hollow, and built a convenience store and cabins. Johnie spent her days in the most idyllic place unspoiled by human hands on the banks of the Frio River.

In the 1940s she met Homer “Hudson” Hillis Sr., a recent U.S. Navy sailor returning from World War II. They married and had three children.

She worked for the State Highway Materials Test Division for several years at Whites Mines. She enjoyed all the days she worked there with great colleagues and friends.

Johnie was preceded in death by her husband Hudson; parents A. V. and  Pearl Rutherford; as well as siblings Buster Rutherford, Ray Rutherford and Bernice Shelton.

She is survived by her children, Homer (Ronda) Hillis of Abilene, Helen Hillis of San Antonio, and Linda (Carroll) Gloor of Universal City, Texas. Also surviving are grandchildren Katy, Danny, and Johnny Engle and Hannah Hillis and great-grandchildren Christian Brand and Jessie Engle. Additional survivors include numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

A visitation was held on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Rushing-Estes-Knowles Mortuary.

Graveside services were held yesterday at 10 a.m. at Sabinal Cemetery, conducted by Homer.

The family would like to thank the caregivers at Uvalde Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center on North Park Street and good friend Mindy, and all her life long friends who stopped by to visit. Johnie loved to visit.

In lieu of flowers, the family would request donations to the Uvalde Memorial Hospital Auxiliary c/o Charla Carter, Volunteer Director, 1025 Garner Field Road, Uvalde, TX 78801; or Arms of Hope, 21300 State Highway 16 North Medina, TX 78055; or the charity of your choice.

The preceding is a paid obituary.



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