Dr. Billy Wray Hillman, 91, of Thibodaux, died on February 18, after a brief illness. He passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his family. He was born at home on January 30, 1930 in the small town of Epps in North Louisiana to David Wray Hillman and Ola Laird Hillman. He had fond memories of his childhood despite the Great Depression surrounding his early years. He is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, the former Connie Scanlan of New Orleans, Louisiana. He is also survived by their four children, Dr. Billy Hillman, Jr., Kathleen Liebert Koontz (James, the late Michael), Dr. Cynthia Rome (Steven), and Susan Fruge' (Andre'); his seven grandchildren: Christopher Liebert (Chelsey), Leslie Liebert, Matthew Rome (Emy), Emily, Reece, Elizabeth, and William Fruge'; his seven great-grandchildren: Savannah, Travis, and Drew Liebert, Violet Liebert, Lenox and Avery Bacerra, and Skyler Rome; and his sister, June Hillman Kost (Fred), his sister-in-law, Bertha Hillman Collins, and his nieces, Marie Hillman O'Rouke (Justin) and Joni Kost . He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Ralph David Hillman, and his son-in-law, Michael Liebert. He attended and graduated from Epps High School in 1947. He began his studies at Louisiana Tech University before entering and graduating from Louisiana State University Medical School where he was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha honor society. Upon graduating, he interned at Confederate Memorial Hospital before beginning his residency in family practice at Lallie Kemp Hospital. He was then called for military service where he reported to Brooke Army Medical Center and volunteered as an Army Flight Surgeon. He completed Flight Surgeon training at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas and was assigned to Fort Rucker, Alabama. Dr. Hillman served in the United States Army with the rank of Captain from 1957-1959 as Post Surgeon at Fort Greely in what was then the Territory of Alaska. After his time in the Army, he began a surgical residency at Confederate Memorial Hospital. On July 1, 1960, he accepted a position in Thibodaux to do General Practice medicine. In 1963, he co-founded the student health service at Nicholls State University and continued there until 1996. He was the first physician to serve at the Juvenile Detention Center where he provided medical care for many years. Dr. Hillman was Chief of Staff at St. Joseph Hospital in 1971. Along with other local doctors, he built the Thibodaux Medical Plaza in 1975. He also served as the Medical Director for Thibodaux Regional Medical Center from 1989 until 1993. In 1974 he became a charter member of Acadian Bank and remained a member of the board for many years. He enjoyed real estate and developed two subdivisions in Bayou Blue and Twelve Cedars subdivision in Thibodaux. Dr. Hillman was the Medical Director of two nursing homes, Thibodaux Healthcare Center and Lafourche Home for the Aged. He retired from private practice in 2008 after 48 years. He greatly enjoyed his medical practice and many of his patients became his best friends. He continued to serve as Medical Director for Lafourche Home for the Aged until this past September. Dr. Hillman greatly enjoyed an annual Manresa retreat. He loved his family, he loved practicing medicine, he loved his patients, and he loved Thibodaux. Visitation will be held Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at Landry's Funeral Home in Thibodaux from 12:00 pm until 1:45 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 2:00 pm at St. Joseph Co-Cathedral, burial will be in the St. Joseph cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in his name to the Thibodaux Food Bank.
Published in The Times-Picayune from Feb. 20 to Feb. 24, 2021.