Ruth Priest Hillman died at Spring Arbor, Williamsburg, on Tuesday, July 2, where she spent the last six years of her life. Born Dec. 11, 1911, in Butlerville, Ark., she was raised in a devout Christian home by Jim and Keron Short, among seven siblings.
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As a youth, she was an ardent and accomplished basketball player. As an adult, she enjoyed dancing and bowling, and became a successful Realtor in Memphis, Tenn., where she lived for most of her life. After her husband, Emmett Priest, died, she married Earl Hillman, who was a graduate of the College of William & Mary and a captain of the William & Mary football team in the 1930s. They traveled the world together, as he was a retired Navy officer. Some of their travels were in support of W&M's athletic teams. Upon his death, Ruth moved to Williamsburg to be near her daughter, Emily McCardle.
She was preceded in death by two husbands, baby daughter, Norma Jean, and three stepsons. She leaves her son, Nelson Priest and wife, Nancy, of Denver, Colo.; daughter, Emily McCardle and husband, Larry; and stepson, John Hillman and wife, Susan, of Asheville, N.C. Also cherishing her sweet and humorous spirit are grandsons, Lance and Hunter McCardle and their wives and children, of Charlottesville.
Her ashes will be interred beside Emmett Priest's in Forest Hill Cemetery, Memphis, at a later date. She adored babies and little children; therefore, memorial contributions may be made to
, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, or online at www.stjude.org. Online condolences may be expressed at www.nelsencares.com
Published in Virginia Gazette from July 6 to Aug. 5, 2013