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Leon Hilliard

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BENNINGTON -- Leon E. Hilliard, 81, a resident of White Birches Road, died on Tuesday afternoon, April 25, 2006, at his home surrounded by his family.

He was born in North Bennington at the family home on Jan. 19, 1925. He was the son of the late Harold A. and Zilpha (Hulett) Hilliard Sr. He received his education in North Bennington.

A World War II veteran, Leon served in the Navy.

Leon married the former Alice Davis on July 27, 1946, in North Bennington. They would have celebrated their 60th anniversary this July.

For 35 years, Leon was employed at the Union Carbide Corp. in Bennington, from which he retired in 1986. Over the years, he also worked part-time at Bijur Lubricating Co., Ben Mont Paper Co. and at Bennington College.

In earlier years, Leon enjoyed riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle, bowling in the Union Carbide league and hunting with his son, Leon Jr. For nine years, Mr. and Mrs. Hilliard traveled to Florida in the winter. They enjoyed camping with family and friends and traveling with the Good Sam (Camper’s) Club. Leon was a longtime member of the American Legion Post No. 13 of Bennington. Spending time with his children and grandchildren were most important to him. Miranda, his dog, was very special to him.

Leon is survived by his wife, Alice of Bennington; a daughter, Joanne and son-in-law, Harry Rice Jr., of Bennington; a daughter, Diane Blest and her companion, Al Whitman, of Bennington; his son, Leon Hilliard Jr. of Bennington; seven grandchildren, Brenda Bushee and her husband, Daniel, of Bennington, Greg Blake Jr. of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Erin Blest of Bennington, Erica Blest of Bennington, Michelle Franceaur and her husband, Daniel, of Bennington, Noel Hilliard of Tampa, Fla., and Kelsey Hilliard of Bennington; seven great-grandchildren, Brandon, Lauren, Valerie, Shannon and Becky Bushee, and Amanda and Aaron Franceaur, all of Bennington; one great-great-granddaughter, Trinity Lee Bushee of Bennington; one sister, Betty Armstrong of Bennington; and several nieces, nephews and cousins. He is predeceased by three brothers, Kenneth, Randall and Harold Hillard Jr., and a sister, Lois Hill. Leon is also predeceased by one grandson, Lucas Hilliard.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday afternoon, May 2, at 1 p.m. at the Mahar & Son Funeral Home, 628 Main St., in Bennington, with the Rev. Jerrod Hugenot, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Bennington, officiating.

Interment will take place in the family lot in Hinsdillville Cemetery in North Bennington.

The family will receive friends on Monday from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. at the funeral home.

Contributions in his memory may be made to the American Diabetes Association, Vermont chapter, through the Mahar & Son Funeral Home, 628 Main St., Bennington, VT 05201.
Published in Bennington Banner from Apr. 26 to Apr. 27, 2006
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