William "Kent" Hilliard, D.C., 65|
William Kent Hilliard, D.C. passed away in Austin, TX on the morning of Sunday February 17, 2013 at the age of 65. A graveside service conducted by Pastor Kelly Hughes is scheduled for Friday, February 22 at 2:00 at the Hilliard family plot located at the main entrance of the Portales cemetery. The family would be honored to see Kent's friends and patients at this service. A reception will follow the graveside service and will be hosted by the family in the private room at Mark's Grill & Restaurant, 1126 West First Street. Honorary pallbearers will be Phillip Wayne George, Mac McKnight Jr., Dr. Bill Cunico, Quentin Carnes, Jimmy Moore, Eugene Lee, Scott Parker, and Ray Kobernick.
William Kent Hilliard was a native New Mexican and lived in Portales almost all of his life, save for the period during which he completed his doctorate degree in chiropractic. He was born in Clovis on August 20, 1947 and was the beloved son of the late Jane Elizabeth Mauk and John Kent Hilliard, both descendants of pioneer Roosevelt County families. He grew up in the historic "Mauk Home" on South Avenue B.
Kent met the love of his life, Donna Kay Wilkins, (formerly of Raton) while they were students at PHS. They were married in Portales at the home of his in-laws Dr. and Mrs. R.G. Baird on June 5, 1968, and thus commenced a powerful and loving union of 44 years. They were blessed by the births of two fine sons, both of whom eventually followed their father as physicians in the chiropractic profession. Charles Collin was born to their union in 1970 and William Lee in 1976.
Kent was a 1966 graduate of Portales High School and excelled in youth activities during his teenage years. He was very proud to be a member of the Class A New Mexico State Basketball Championship Team in both the 1965 and 1966 seasons. He was designated "Mr. Music" in 1966 through his involvement in the Portales High School A Cappella Choir. He earned the rank of Life Scout through Portales Troop 18, B.S.A. He was active in Methodist Youth Fellowship, served as Master Counselor of the Portales Chapter of DeMolay in 1965 and was named Outstanding DeMolay in 1966 by the International Supreme Council. He attained the rank of Chevalier in DeMolay. Kent won the DAR Good Citizenship award in 1965.
Kent earned a Bachelor of Science degree at ENMU in 1970. He then attended Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, IA, where he graduated as Doctor of Chiropractic in 1973. In his choice of this healing profession Kent was profoundly influenced by his father-in-law, Dr. R. G. Baird. In 1976, Kent fully assumed Dr. Baird's practice. Kent served on the New Mexico State Board of Chiropractic and was selected as a member of the American Chiropractic Association in 1993. For over 40 years Dr. William Kent Hilliard was known and trusted as a skilled and gifted healer who ministered to the health needs of thousands of patients from all over Eastern New Mexico and West Texas.
Kent was a proud member of several traditional fraternal and heritage institutions including the Portales Masonic Lodge #26, [member of 43 years]; Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, NM Alpha Chapter [ENMU]; The Sons of the American Revolution, the Sons of The Revolution [life member], and a lifetime member of the NRA.
As were his father and grandfather before him, Kent was an avid sportsman. He excelled in fly fishing, skeet & sporting clays shooting, and cowboy action shooting. Kent shared his passion for fishing and hunting alongside his two sons during countless trips in the outdoors. He also enjoyed riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle and often rode on long trips throughout the southwest with friends such as Quentin Carnes, Jimmy Moore and other local friends. Kent was a collector of antique automobiles which he meticulously restored and enjoyed showing.
William Kent Hilliard was a generous spirit suffused with amiability and a strong sense of honor. He was a great man of character with confident faith in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Kent was a man who knew how to make and keep friends! He was a loving husband, devoted father, faithful son and brother, and steadfast friend. He is survived by his wonderful wife Donna Kay, his son Collin, his son Lee and wife Jennifer, his brothers John Mauk and James Letton and his wife Mary Francis. A number of cousins also survive him.
Kent was preceded in death by his beloved father, John Kent Hilliard and mother, Jane Mauk Hilliard, (who died scarcely a week before Kent's death) and by his in-laws, R. G. Baird and Peggy Wilkins Baird. May cherished memories bring comfort until we meet again!
Arrangements are under the direction of Wheeler Mortuary of Portales. 575-356-4455, wheelermortuary.net.
Published in the Clovis News Journal and Portales News-Tribune on Feb. 21, 2013