Merlyn Gene HILLER
July 11, 1928 – March 22, 2020
Merlyn (Murray) Gene Hiller, 91, passed at home in Tucson on March 22, 2020. Murray was preceded in death by his parents Hjalmer and Lottie (Jeffries) Hiller; sisters Evelyn Hiller Long and LaVonne (Bonnie) Hiller Jablinske; brothers Robert Hiller and Vernon Hiller; brother-in-law Richard Long (Evelyn); and step-son Mark Newman. Survived by dearly loved wife Joan C. (Tynan) Hiller; sister Judy Hiller Christensen; step-daughter Jacquelyn Newman (Michael German); daughter Victoria L. Hiller Adams; grandchildren Clare German (USN LT AJ Dobransky); Grace Newman, Caitlin Newman, Tynan Newman, Ayla Hiller, and Alyssa Hiller; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and great-grandchildren. Born on July 11, 1928 in Fairmont, MN, Murray grew up on a farm in a family of six children, and from a young age learned and lived the values of hard work and responsibility. Murray served in the United States Air Force from 1948 to 1968, retiring as a Master Sergeant and then in the USAF Reserves until 1978. He was known and respected for his dedication and leadership. After retirement from active duty, Murray worked for the Arizona State Department of Transportation, then for Bell Helicopter in Isfahan, Iran in 1978, and for Electricidad Minas in Toquepala, Peru from 1982-1984, and then for Hughes Electronics Corporation in Tucson. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Disabled American Veterans, and the American Legion, as well as the Tucson Lapidary Club. Murray loved to ride his motorcycle with the VFW Riders, and especially to cruise up to Mount Lemmon with a granddaughter in tow. Murray was open-minded and adventurous, and had many great stories to tell. He gave great hugs, was always quick with the corny joke or pun, loved a good game of Mexican train, and could fix almost anything. He never met a person he didn’t make his friend, and he leaves behind many, many friends saddened by his passing. Murray you are deeply loved, and you will never be forgotten. Rest in Peace.
Services to be held at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Cemetery at Marana – arrangements pending the current Corona Virus limitations and restrictions. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Veterans of Foreign Wars or the Wounded Warrior Project in Murray’s memory.
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Merlyn Gene HILLER
Rachel Devereux Toher
March 31, 2020
We love you Murray. So many lovely memories : I loved our trips to see you all in the U.S. I had my 16 th Birthday in Tucson with Joan and Murray , they spoiled us rotten when we were there .
Murray surprised me with a guy in a Bumblebee suit and a Birthday cake when we were out for dinner... Coconut Cream pie yum . We had such a laugh . He got such a kick out of making you feel like a VIP and making you laugh.
I remember he taught me how to drive in Ireland when I was 18 ,just in time for nursing college . We were doing figure of 8s in the empty school car park and I was heading for the wall of the school at high speed ... he was cool as a cucumber ... he jammed on the hand brake and said “ Don’t worry Rach ... its a Rental .... now let’s go again “ 😎 Needless to say, I got my license first time around after having such a great instructor and when I rang him in the US to tell him... he was so pleased 😀
Aidan and I did a trip with him to Tombstone last time we were there and we danced for hours in Big Nose Kate’s . I was spoiled for choice with my dance partners . Wow how he could jive and he taught me the two step . He was so young at heart, actually I think he was ageless .
We loved going out to the base with him and Joan shopping and for a beer in the VFW. All his pals in the VFW made us feel very welcome .
We loved hearing about his Airforce days and when he and Joan lived in Iran. He was such a great story teller and had the best corny jokes .
He taught Aidan how to facet gems when we were in Tucson and they made me a pendant and earrings.
Murray knew how to enjoy life . He loves people .
He was one of a kind, just like the gems he cut meticulously and gifted to us with a giant bear hug and a “ Love ya” . He was a gem ♥️
Thinking of Joan and all of you at this very sad time. Love you all , wish we could be there to give you big hugs , love Rachel , Aidan , Chloe and Lucy xoxo
March 31, 2020
Murray, you were one of a kind. So much fun to be around. So interested in befriending everyone you met, young and old. So thoughtful. Some favourite memories: the many times you and Joan visited us all in Ireland, staying with you and Joan in your home in Tucson, you both made us feel so welcome and at home, always thinking of ways to entertain us, getting a ride on the back of your motorbike up to Mount Lemmon, those beautiful earrings you made from a champagne bottle you saved from my wedding and a crazy hot air balloon ride organised by Mark RIP. Sending love, hugs and prayers to Joan, Jackie, Mike, Clare, Grace, Caitlyn and Tynan and all your family and friends, lots of love from Carla, Bren, Laura Kate and Darragh in Ireland xxxx
Kara Del Valle
March 30, 2020
Murray was the embodiment of the “Hiller Clan” (the 6 siblings, of which my father was one). He was a storyteller and a jokester, I remember him always with a smile on his face and with a corny joke to relate. One summer when I was in high school we visited him and Joan in Arizona, I remember a motorcycle ride through the hills of Arizona and a trip to Nogales Mexico where I had my first experience with haggling and unfortunately a run in with Montezuma.....
After my father passed in 1995 I was always comforted to know Murray was still there in Arizona, it was like having a piece of my dad still around. I love you and will miss you Murray. Rest your soul in peace. ❤️
March 30, 2020
Uncle Murry was one of the best men ever he was always full of wit and gave the biggest hugs I will miss him greatly RIP UNCLE MURRY
March 30, 2020
A true legend , we love you Murray for all the laughs , hugs and giggles and memories you’ve given us over the years, we know you’ll be watching over everyone now ❤️🌈.... Joan , Jackie , Mike, Clare , Grace , Caitlin , Tynan and all the family , your all in our thoughts , sending you love from Ireland ... Leah , Brian , Robyn , Farah & Carys Xxxx