August 15, 1941 – November 17, 2021
Hillard, Tom - Of Jackson, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, at the age of 80. He is survived by fiancée, Kristen E. White; his children, Jody (Guy) Brown, Khristina Hillard, Thaya (Pat) Rowe, Tonya Lawrence, Jill (Brandon) Marling, Judy (Dave) Cunningham, Jeff (Gloria) Smeya, and Shelly (Paul) Dullock; several grandchildren and great grandchildren as well as nieces, nephews and many loving family members and friends. In addition to his parents, Tom was preceded in death by daughter, Terri St. Amour; his twin siblings, Carol Engle and Michael Hillard. Tom was born in Jackson, Michigan to George and Josephine (Hamment) Hillard on August 15, 1941. Tom was raised in Jackson and attended Jackson Public Schools. Tom was a man of strong principles. Being a “Hillard” and the strength that stood behind the name was a great source of pride for the son of George and Josephine. Some would say that Tom didn’t mince words. He loved his family deeply and could always be counted on for his honesty. He was a cheerleader and a motivator for his loved ones. Never letting you forget who you were and where you came from. As a young man, Tom served in the Navy before welcoming his first-born daughter, Terri, who Tom lovingly referred to as “Clyde.” The loss of Terri in 2002 to cancer was one of the most difficult challenges Tom would face. Thankfully, he was able to move forward with the support of his family and loved ones. Tom spent his early career as a truck driver where he drove coast to coast exploring the roadways of the lower 48 states. After thirty years, and substantial mileage, Tom left the transportation business and transitioned into a rental property owner. Tom took his responsibility as a rental property owner to heart. He was active in the Landlord Association where he advocated for landlord rights. During his tenure as a landlord, Tom developed close relationships with his tenants, many of whom became friends. Tom built a life for he and his family in the city of Jackson, and ultimately, in Pleasant Lake, MI. Tom lived in Jackson when he met his beloved finance, Kris White. Together for 20 years, Tom and Kris were partners in life and in business. With a number of dogs in tow, they were inseparable, always looking out for the other. Each entered into the relationship with children, and over their life together they supported one another through loss, welcomed in-laws and grandchildren, and made a family. A Celebration of his life will be held at the Burden, and Patience-Montgomery Funeral Home on Monday, November 29, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. The family will receive friends for visitation on Sunday evening from 3:00 until 7:00 pm as well as on Monday for one-hour prior to the service. According to his wishes he will be cremated and laid to rest with his family at Hillcrest Memorial Park.
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