Irene Fay (Smart) Hilyard (1930 - 2018)

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Irene Fay Hilyard, 87, of Idaho Springs, passed way peacefully on March 18, 2018, surrounded by family.
From her birth on Aug. 30, 1930, to her passing, she spread her joy and love to all those around her.
Born to Elvin J. Smart and Julia (Lynch) Smart in Driggs, Ark., she was the youngest of her five other siblings.
She is survived by her daughter Darla Rugel, son-in-law Chris Rugel, grandson Patrick Rugel, and other close family including her nephew Jerry Hilyard (Cordellia).
Irene Hilyard was preceded in death by her parents, Elvin J. Smart and Julia (Lynch) Smart, as well as her five other siblings Lloyd, Ore, Dorothy (Langford), Ralph and Lowell Smart.
At the age of 4, her family relocated from Arkansas by covered wagon to Bellplains, Kan., later relocating to Jay, Okla. Irene graduated from Jay High School in 1948. Shortly thereafter she was employed as a bank teller, where she would meet her husband, Ernest Hilyard. Irene and Ernest Hilyard married on May 27, 1955, and settled in Claremore, Okla., where Irene was to give birth to their first child Marvin Eugene Hilyard. Unfortunately, the Hilyards lost their first child to a condition known as a stillborn death.
The Hilyards soon moved following this event to Littleton, followed by a relocation to Indian Hills and finally settling in Idaho Springs. In 1957 Irene contracted tuberculosis and was admitted to the Swedish Tuberculosis Sanitarium in Littleton. Irene was discharged from the institution following a three-month stay, in which she recovered but continued a lifelong struggle of lung issues.
In 1962, Irene and Ernest Hilyard opened the Mountain Trailer Park in the 2800 block of Miner Street in Idaho Springs, which they had constructed in prior years. Two years later on April 24, 1964, Irene gave birth to Darla Jo (Hilyard) Rugel, her only daughter, the Hilyards' only child.
In 1982, the Hilyards decided to sell the trailer park and begin new adventures, which included traveling. In the following years, Irene and Ernest relished in researching the genealogy of both sides of the family. Irene often spoke of the fond memories and friends that they made during these years.
Following Ernest's death in 2008, Irene began to immerse herself in her social circle of family and friends. Later on when medical conditions precluded her ability to leave her home, she still enjoyed writing letters and talking with many of her family members and friends.She always enjoyed reading long letters and catching up.
Irene loved seeing her only grandson Patrick viewing wildlife and sports, eating pizza, and researching the families' genealogy. Irene will be remembered for her love and joy that she spread to those around her, and she impacted so many lives and encouraged the best in all.
The family asks in lieu of flowers, that donations be made to Mount Evans Hospice, 3081 Bergen Peak Drive, Evergreen, CO 80439.
Published in Clear Creek Courant on Mar. 28, 2018