Robert Elvas HILLER
September 25, 1925 – March 26, 2019
Robert E. Hiller was born September 25, 1925, in Johnston City, IL to Harry Robert and Della Clayton Hiller. He was the third of four children, and the eldest son. Harry Hiller was a hoisting engineer at a local coal mine. When the Depression hit, the coal mine shut down and Harry was left with no means of supporting his family. The family left Southern Illinois to settle in Colorado, where Harry found work in a coal mine near Frederick. Bob and his younger brother Len had no memories of the prosperous years in Johnston City. Life for them was the rough and tumble of the coal town. Bob knew from childhood that he wanted to be an engineer. When he visited his father at the mine, he would pick up wire and other interesting things. Bob’s family attended church regularly and, while still a youth, Bob accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior, beginning a lifelong commitment to and walk with Christ. Bob was a junior at Frederick High School when Pearl Harbor was attacked. During his senior year, an officer from the mine visited the Hiller house, hoping to convince Bob to become an accountant at the mine following graduation. This would have allowed Bob to avoid military service. Harry was adamant that Bob should get a college education, a desire Bob also cherished. Bob refused the offer and instead signed up for an officer training program. After a semester of college, the program was disbanded and members were dropped into the infantry. In late September 1944, following basic training, Bob spent three months at Camp San Luis Obispo in California, where he and his regiment were given amphibious training for the projected assault on Japan. The time in California instilled in Bob a love for the ocean. In February 1945, Bob’s regiment was sent to Europe. On Easter Sunday, Bob was wounded in a firefight on the Rhine. He spent a month in the hospital in France, recovering use of his left hand. The war ended in Europe while Bob was in the hospital. He was transferred to the Signal Corps and shipped out for the Pacific. The war in the Pacific ended before Bob reached the Philippines. Bob was discharged in April of 1946 and returned to college that fall. He majored in Electrical Engineering at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Two years later, he met Ona Chenoweth, a music teacher who had come to teach band at Frederick High School. The two dated through Bob’s junior year of college and were married August 29, 1949. Bob graduated from UC Boulder in June 1950 and, after 18 months with Denver Power Company, was hired by Schlumberger Well Services in December 1951. For the next 32 years, Bob was a faithful, dedicated employee, moving from field engineer to division engineer, heading up Schlumberger’s training of young engineers, and finally serving as a safety engineer. In the meantime, Bob and Ona raised their four children, Don, Janet, Sandi, and Ray through a succession of moves around the West. Beginning in New Mexico, the Hillers lived in Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, California, and Texas. Their longest assignments were Billings, Montana and Ventura, California. In each place where the family lived, Bob and Ona enjoyed local activities. In New Mexico, Wyoming, and Montana, the family hiked, fished, and camped. After settling in California, Bob learned to sail, and the family enjoyed day trips and overnight sailing trips. Bob and Ona sailed to the six of the eight Channel Islands, and various ports along the California coast. Following their transfer to Midland, Texas, Bob traded the boat for an airplane, learning to fly a Cessna 150 and 172. He and Ona were active in the West Texas Flyers. Retirement in 1983 did not stop Bob from learning and enjoying new things. He and Ona taught computer and word processing skills through Life Design for Women. He helped set up computer and telephone networks at Bible Fellowship Church in Ventura and at Camarillo Evangelical Free Church after he and Ona moved to Camarillo. Bob and Ona also enjoyed bicycling, taking their bikes along on many road trips. Bob even took his bike to Europe in the summer of 1989, when he and Ona visited their daughter Sandi, who was serving with OCSC (now Cadence International). While in his late seventies, he completely remodeled his home’s kitchen, designing it especially for Ona. Bob’s health began to deteriorate in the summer of 2011. The days of travel were over, but he and Ona continued to enjoy each day with which the Lord blessed them. In 2017, they relocated to assisted living in Arlington, Washington. Although Bob’s declining health did not allow them to enjoy the area as they had in their younger years, he loved seeing deer and other wildlife in the garden outside the dining room. He and Ona were an example of a godly, loving, faithful couple. In the early hours of March 26, 2019, Bob was ushered into eternity and restored health. For this we rejoice, even as we mourn our loss. Bob was a godly, modest man who loved his family. Most of all, he loved his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is survived by his loving wife of nearly seventy years, his four children and their spouses, fourteen grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. We are all grateful for the example of faith that he has left behind for the generations that follow. Donations in Bob’s name may be sent to Cadence International (Cadence.org), PO Box 1268, Englewood, CO 80150.