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Billy F. Hillgartner
Jan. 23, 1949-May 15, 2013
Billy F. Hillgartner, 64, of Shiprock, passed from this life to join our Heavenly Father on Wednesday, May 15, 2013, SJRMC in Farmington. He was born in Rosebud, Texas, Jan. 23, 1949.
He is preceded in death by his father, Robert Samuel Hillgartner, and his mother, Flora Irene Hillgartner of Mesquite, Texas.
Billy is survived by his wife of more than 32 years, Priscilla M. Hillgartner, of Shiprock; his daughters, Flora Camaria Hillgartner, of Shiprock, Senior Airman Jerilea D. Hillgartner of Langley Air Force Base, Virginia; son, Billy Cameron (Heidi) Hillgartner; two grandsons by Cameron, CASH and Dylan of Houston, Texas, Three Brothers, Milton (Sharon) Hillgartner, Bobby (Linda) Hillgartner both of Rockwall, Texas and Terry (Buffie) Hillgartner of Garland, Texas.
Billy came to San Juan County New Mexico in 1978. He worked in the oil fields, only for a few weeks, until he was hired as a Deputy Sheriff by Sheriff Dan Sullivan and Undersheriff Doug Brown. Then he went on to work with the Navajo Department of Law Enforcement, where he headed the Criminal Investigation Section. In November of 1978, he was elected San Juan County Sheriff and served a two year term after which he returned to NDLE, and retired as a Captain. He also served two terms as San Juan County Commissioner for District 1.
Billy met his wife while they both worked for San Juan County Sheriff's Department. They married Aug. 9, 1980, in Dallas, Texas. They had their New Mexico wedding Nov. 8, 1980.
He has inspired and touched the lives of many youth in our community with encouragement and compliments. He was one to listen and shared his ideas with the young people. Flora and Jerilea would always receive comments such as "Your dad is so cool," "Your dad is so kind and understanding."
Here are two comments that our family would love to share.
Randy W. John, Jr (nephew)-My uncle Bill's strong and powerful voice and the one of a kind laugh will be missed. My uncle helped raise me and showed me what farm living was all about. He even gave me pointers on my golf game. Then when I started cycling he would Facebook message me and congratulate me. He told me "No hill too big if you really want it."
Captain Jukari Davis, USAF, Afganistan (nephew)-He was a stellar human being, a loving father and wonderful uncle. He treated me like I was his own nephew. I will never forget him working hard with the farm, I remember his voice would ring through the halls, which was his own conversational tone. And he had the most infectious laugh. He will be missed his memory will be cherished.
Pallbearers are Lt. Phillip Joe, Ofc. Melvin Joe, Bobby Hillgartner, Milton Hillgartner, Terry Hillgartner and Jerrasen Adakai.
Honorary Pallbearers; Billy Cameron Hillgartner, Wayne John Sr., Flora Hillgartner, Airman Jerilea Hillgartner, Herman W. John Sr., Randy W. John Sr., Wayne John Jr., Vernon Willie, Dan James and Ben Montano.
Visitation will be 3 to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 17, at Desert View Funeral Home Chapel in Shiprock.
A funeral service will be 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 18, 2013 at First Baptist Church, 121 N. Auburn Ave. in Farmington.
Interment will follow in Memory Gardens, 6917 E. Main Ave. in Farmington. Military Honors will be performed by VFW Post #2182 of Farmington.
Billy is in the care of Desert View Funeral Home of Shiprock, N. U.S. Highway 491, 505-368-4607.
Desert View Funeral Home of Shiprock
North U.S. Highway 491
Shiprock, NM 87420
Published in Farmington Daily Times from May 18 to May 25, 2013