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Sunset Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens

8800 North Alpine Road, Machesney Park, IL

OBITUARY

Mary A Hilton

September 30, 1945January 4, 2020
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Mary A. Hilton, 74, of Rockford, passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 4, 2020. Born September 30, 1945 in Rockford. Daughter of James and Josephine (Lamarca) Reiland.

Survived by her son, James (Cara Hoglund) Hilton; sisters, Linda (Danny) Olivotti, Debi (Ken) Geisler; nieces and nephews. Predeceased by her parents.

Celebration of Life Memorial Services to be determined. Per Mary’s request cremation rites have been accorded. Inurnment in Sunset Memorial Gardens. To share a condolence www.sunsetfhmemgardens.com

Services

No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Mary A Hilton

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Lysa Hannum

January 9, 2020

You were the most wonderful mother any one could ever hope for. I will never forget you. For the rest of my life, I will never forget you and all things you taught me. Showed me.
I cannot believe you are gone. The world is a more dismal and empty place without you, mom.

I love you forever,
I like you for always
As long as I'm living
My mommy you'll be.

I love you.

Cheryle Machie

January 6, 2020

My heartfelt condolences to the family. I have many wonderful memories growing up with her family on Ogilby Road. She will be greatly missed.
Rest in peace forever with your Mom and Dad. Thoughts and prayers to the family.
Love you,
Cheryle Machie

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Biography

To Mary A Hilton, the entire world was a stage. An expressive, optimistic, and uninhibited individual, she was a performer in the theater of life. To everyone around her, she seemed to be eternally happy, and she willingly shared that joy with anyone whose life she touched. For Mary, bringing out the best in any situation was as easy as offering a smile, a witty remark or the twinkle of an eye. And with just those simple gestures, she could evoke the most pleasant of emotions. Mary really mastered the art of living and had great fun in doing so.

      Mary was born on September 30, 1945 at OSF St Anthony's Hospital in Rockford, Illinois. Her parents were James and Josephine (Lamarca) Reiland. Mary was raised in Rockford, Illinois. Even as a child, Mary had the ability to lift the spirits of all those around her. She was raised to be warm, caring and friendly. She couldn’t help but capture everyone’s attention. She was definitely a little bit of a show off, but in doing so, she succeeded in entertaining her entire family.

      Always a good playmate, Mary was easygoing and fun loving. She managed to lighten the mood wherever she was, even during family squabbles. She seemed to have a knack for bringing compromise and erasing tense situations around the house. Due to a generous dose of common sense, Mary managed to find a satisfying solution to basic problems. Mary was raised with two younger sisters, Linda and Debi.

      Ask anyone who knew her from school and they would tell you that Mary was a class “cut-up.” She didn’t do it to be unkind or to garner all the attention. Rather, Mary simply enjoyed others’ laughter and the sounds of her friends and acquaintances having a good time. It could be said that for Mary, grades may not have been the most important thing to her, but she really did enjoy her school experience. Since experience was Mary's best teacher. She enjoyed hands-on learning and applying the “practical” approach to knowledge, rather than getting caught up in “theory.” Mary graduated from West High School in 1963. She enjoyed some courses more than others, having favorite classes and teachers. Her favorite class in high school was Art.

      Mary never actually encountered a stranger in her dealings with people. She was drawn to individuals and crowds, using her gregarious, adaptable and outgoing personality to captivate her audience. This quality allowed Mary to continually develop new relationships, ever widening her circle of friends. Mary delighted in her role among all her acquaintances, because she viewed them all as potential spectators for her performance. Whether it was a story, a joke, a song or just plain fooling around, Mary was always right at home putting on a show among her friends. Mary utilized her interest in others as a great way to connect with them. While growing up, some of her best friends were Paul Bufalo, Linda and Franny Rudolph, Carl Scimay and Schiro (Sammy & Sue). Later in life, she became friends with Diane Kitani. Mary loved sharing life and having her home filled with people she knew.

      The gift of being emotionally expressive and outwardly affectionate made Mary very easy to approach. She tried hard not to impose on her spouse. She was always sensitive to other people’s feelings, and that was especially true in marriage.

      Perhaps the reason Mary related so well to children was the fact that she never really completely grew up herself. The ability to be just a “kid at heart” helped her in raising her own children. Mary was blessed with one son, James Erik. They were also blessed with four grandchildren, Aly, Rhiannon, Nick and Alex. Mary had the ability to focus her attention on the present moment. If she was spending time with the kids, that’s where all of her attention was directed. Mary's compassionate side prevented her from being a strict disciplinarian, and she could turn just about any situation into a playful, learning experience. She could spend hours entertaining them with fun and creative play. In fact, Mary had a knack for turning some of those nasty old chores into games.

      At work, as in life, Mary was a real “people person.” She had a very successful way of dealing effectively with others, and her enthusiasm and energy was often contagious. Mary liked to see herself as something of a virtuoso. When dealing with various projects and problems, Mary was an adaptable realist, using her common sense and trusting her experiences and impulses to uncover the correct answer. Mary's talent for being a down to earth thinker, allowed many around her to see Mary as an excellent problem solver. Her primary occupation was Department Secretary school of nursing. She was employed as a Banker then retired from Rockford Memorial Hospital.

      Mary enjoyed her leisure time by taking part in various hobbies. An “arts and crafts” type, Mary liked creating and making things. Her favorite pursuits were Jewelry collecting. Mary was content to enjoy her hobbies alone but was also willing to share her interests with others.

      Vested with a deep concern for spiritual development, Mary recognized that her faith was important to her throughout her life. During that time, she was Spiritual but not religious.

      Living life in the fast lane suited Mary just fine. It is no surprise that she loved to travel and to visit new and different places. She was naturally curious about other parts of the world and loved the real life adventure that came from visiting them. She was impulsive and willing to try anything once. Favorite vacations included traveling across Europe.

      Mary believed that you had to experience life, and her life in retirement was no different. Her new life involved staying in Rockford to care for her parents. With her boundless energy and a desire to get the most out of life, Mary remained busy with people and projects. In retirement, she found new pleasure in moring breakfast groups. Even in retirement, Mary continued to stay in touch with her old friends and, since she'd never met a stranger, she made plenty of new acquaintances as well.

      Mary passed away on January 4, 2020 at Amberwood Care Center in Rockford, Illinois. She is survived by her son, James (Cara Hoglund) Hilton; adopted daughter, Lysa; grandchildren, Aly, Nick, Rhiannon and Alex; sisters, Linda (Danny) Olivotti, Debi (Ken) Geisler; nieces and nephews. Services were held as a Breakfast Gathering at Sunset Funeral Home in Machesney Park. Mary was laid to rest in Sunset Memorial Gardens in Machesney Park, Illinois.

      Mary brought joy to all of those around her. She never had a mean bone in her body. She loved to have a good time and was an eternal optimist, always looking on the bright side of things. She loved to share her energy, wit, and her zest for all of her activities with her friends and family. Mary A Hilton lived life to its fullest and made everyone around her happier just for knowing her. She will be remembered with a smile.