Cover photo for Dr. Robert D. Hilliard's Obituary
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Dr. Robert D. Hilliard

June 1, 1940 — January 29, 2024

Dr. Robert D. Hilliard


It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Dr. Robert D. Hilliard, Ph.D. on January 29, 2024. Born on June 1, 1940, in Liberal, KS, Dr. Hilliard dedicated his life to the pursuit of knowledge and the advancement of education, earning his Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas. He took pride in helping create the Secondary and Middle Grades Curriculum at Augusta University and retired as Director, Secondary and Middle School Education at University of West Georgia, Carrollton, GA.

On June 9, 1969, he married, Dena Gray, and together they built a life rooted in love and shared purpose. Dena, a source of unwavering support, sadly passed away on July 17, 2020. Dr. Hilliard will be interred with the love of his life in Grove, OK.

Dr. Hilliard's parents, Gene and Dorothy (Markel) Hilliard and sister, Patricia, predeceased him. He is survived by his siblings Mike and Steve Hilliard.

He was a proud and devoted father and Papa survived by his twin children Anne Gray Gagnon (Jeff) with grandson Owen and James Hilliard (Elizabeth) with grandchildren Abby and Charlie.  The family pets, Harry (the faithful companion who accompanied “Mr. Bob” on countless walks), and Buddy (the cherished cat), were a source of comfort and joy in his life.

Dr. Hilliard had a deep love for storytelling, evident in his role as a speech and debate teacher, participation as a storyteller for the Sons of the American Revolution Organization, and earning the Historian of the Year award with American Legion Post 143. His passion for storytelling was not confined to professional pursuits but permeated his personal life, enriching the lives of those around him.

In addition to his academic and storytelling pursuits, Dr. Hilliard was a proud veteran who served in the United States Air Force. We express our gratitude for his dedicated service to our country.

Dr. Hilliard found solace and joy in his uncounted visits to Edisto, SC, his favorite vacation destination, spanning over 40 years. The memories created during these trips will forever be etched in the hearts of those who shared those special moments with him.

An avid family genealogist, traveler and photographer, Dr. Hilliard devoted his time to capturing and preserving the rich tapestry of his family's history.

In 2023, Dr. Hilliard established the "Bob Hilliard" Scholarship Award in collaboration with the American Legion Post 143. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the "Bob Hilliard" Scholarship Award (, ensuring that his legacy of empowering future generations continues.

As we mourn the loss of a remarkable individual, we also celebrate the legacy that Dr. Robert D. Hilliard leaves behind. His contributions to academia, his love for family and animals, his service to his country, and his passion for storytelling will continue to inspire and shape the future. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family, friends, colleagues, and the countless students whose lives were enriched by his wisdom and guidance.

Plans are pending for a family service to honor Dr. Robert D. Hilliard's life and contributions.

May Dr. Robert D. Hilliard rest in peace, and may his legacy continue to illuminate the paths of those he has influenced.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Robert D. Hilliard, please visit our flower store.


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