Giles (Sonny) Hillis III departed this earthly life at the age of 77 due to illness on January 19, 2023. He fought a valiant battle but in the end his body weakened and could no longer continue. Bedside anointing performed by cleric. He arrived into this world on a blustery winter day, December 13, 1945 to the late Giles and Helen (Maxam) Hillis. Graduated from East High School, Rockford, IL. Studied metallurgy. He was an Army Veteran and his occupation was Quality Control with The Department of Defense.
Shared 30 years of marriage with Kay Dell (Pippel) Hillis and together they shared a blended family.
He is survived by his wife Kay, sons Giles IV, Brian (Tamera), Scott and Patrick. Stepsons Adam Strommer (Trina), Tim Strommer (Corrie), numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren and extended family who loved him and will miss him. His only brother Michael Hillis (Kathleen), sister Sarah Spivey and sister Vivian Durham (Les).
Predeceased by his parents, Kays' parents (Rennie and Mary Lucille Pippel), his sister Loretta Gettings and husband Glen Gettings, sister Geraldine Sullivan and husband James Sullivan, nieces and nephews, Matthew Spivey, Valerie Spivey, Bobby Jo Sullivan, Jimmy Sullivan, Danny Gettings, brother/sister-in-laws Richard Brunson (Sharon), Thomas Pippel and wife Margaret Pippel, Susan Pippel (Raymond) and former wife Judith (Phillips) Hillis, mother of his children.
Sonny traveled extensively during his time in the military and his career. An avid reader, "trekkie", loved astronomy, bingo, painting, family get-togethers, vegetable gardening and canning, helping Kay with her endless flower gardening, wood working, old time rocknroll and his "fur babies". He would bring his telescope out and watch the stars. Dabbled in painting in his last few years. Was always up for political conversations. An avid Chicago Bears Fan.
When tomorrow starts without me
And I’m not here to see
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
Are filled with tears for me
I wish so much you wouldn’t cry
The way you did today
While thinking of the many things
We didn’t get to say
I know how much you love me
As much as I love you
And each time you think of me
I know you’ll miss me too
But when tomorrow starts without me
Please try to understand
That an angel came and called my name
And took me by the hand
And said my place was ready
In Heaven far above
And that I’d have to leave behind
All those I dearly love
But when I walked through Heaven’s gate
I felt so much at home
When God looked down and smiled at me
From His great golden throne
He said this is eternity
And all I promised you
Today your life on earth is past
But here it starts anew
I promise no tomorrow
For today will always last
And since each day’s the same way
There’s no longing for the past
So when tomorrow starts without me
Don’t think we’re far apart
For every time you think of me
I’m right here in your heart
Keep your memories of him in your hearts and bring them out from time to time.
To honor Sonnys' wishes there will be no viewing/service.
A heartfelt thank you to the caring staff at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center.
Donations to the ASPCA
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