John Hillman


John Hillman, 99, of Grover, Colo., passed away Aug. 8, 2013 in the Hospice of Northern Colorado at North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley, Colo.

He was born July 13, 1914, at the farm house of his parents, Henry and Dora (Schneider) Hillman east of Grover, Colo. He attended school at Highland through the eighth grade, and then went to work for his dad herding sheep and farming.

In July 1937, he met the love of his life, Eleanor Wiechman, at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo. They married on Nov. 25 1937. They bought a ranch south of Kimball, Neb., where they had sheep for a very short time, sold them and raised Hereford cattle. They had five children: Johnnie, Jimmie, Janet, Jackie, and Jay. In October 1999, they sold their ranch and moved close to their daughter near Grover where he continued to work on the ranch, helping with gathering cattle, branding and helping his grandson feed cattle until nearly age 94 when his horse, Star, died. He then said it was time to hang up his spurs and saddle. Because of Eleanor’s declining health, in July of 2011 they moved to Bee Hive Homes in Evans, Colo., where she could be better taken care of.

He was baptized, confirmed, and a member of the Zion Lutheran Church; served as a board member at the Vim School; an avid rodeo fan who never missed the Grover Rodeo — he even had his own “Reserved for John Hillman” parking place. He was a flagger at all the Grover Gymkhana’s, and flagger at the New Raymer Fair (known to him as The World’s Fair) until he was 90 years young, watched every rodeo, bull riding and Wheel of Fortune on TV.

He is survived by sons, Johnnie (Judy) of Kersey, Colo .; Jim of Winnemucca, Nev .; Jack of Greeley. Colo .; Jay (Maralyn) of Midland, Texas; daughter, Janet of Grover, Colo .; 20 grandchildren; 43 great-grandchildren; seven great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends. He was a good husband, father, and friend of many. He was truly a legend of his time and will be greatly miss by all who were blessed to know him.

He was preceded in death by Eleanor, his wife of 75 years; his parents, Henry and Dora Hillman; brothers, Victor, Edwin, and Henry; sister, Louise Hillman Whitney; and grandson, Steve Hillman.

Services were held at the Zion Lutheran Church east of Grover, Colo., on Monday, Aug. 12, 2013.

Memorials may be made to The Community Club in Grover, Colo., or the New Raymer Fair in New Raymer, Colo., in care of Adamson Funeral & Cremation, 2000 47th Avenue, Greeley, CO 80634.

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