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David M. Hillenbrand

1947 - 2019
David M. Hillenbrand Obituary
David Martin Hillenbrand, 72, died Tuesday, Sept. 17, after a brief illness. He was born in 1947 in Bremen, Federal Republic of Germany, to Martin and Faith Hillenbrand. His father, Martin, was one of America's most distinguished diplomats, and as a result of the peripatetic nature of his father's profession, David grew up in several European locales (Bremen, Paris, Berlin, Bonn) as well as Washington, D.C. David attended Duke University (1965-69), from which he received his B.A. He spent the school year of 1967-68 at the Free University of Berlin. In 1969, he moved to Seattle to attend graduate school at the University of Washington and received a Ph.D. in Germanics in 1975. David met Georgianna Lyon (1953-2013) in 1974, and they married in 1976. In 1976, David was offered (and accepted) a position with Bayer AG, the German industrial giant based in Leverkusen. He would remain with this company until his retirement in 2003. In 1976, he took the position of executive director of the Carl Duisberg Society (New York), a foundation that was named after the founder of Bayer AG. In 1980, David was assigned to Pittsburgh. During the Pittsburgh period, Georgianna gave birth to two sons, Stuart David (1982) and Joseph Stephen (1984). In 1988, David was reassigned to Leverkusen, and in 1991, he assumed the office of CEO of Miles Labs (Elkhart, Ind.), a pharmaceutical company that had recently been acquired by Bayer. In 1994, David was given the position of CEO of Bayer's entire Canada holdings, where he would remain until 2002. In 2003, after a brief period back in Leverkusen, David retired to Toronto and Savannah, Ga., where he and Georgianna had bought a house. In 2005, however, David was offered the position of president and CEO of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, which comprise the Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural History and the Carnegie Music Hall, in the magnificent building that Andrew Carnegie had built in 1895, as well as the Carnegie Science Center and the Andy Warhol Museum at separate venues. David resigned from the Carnegie in 2011, due both to Georgianna's poor health and the need for him to be near her to assist in her care, and the fact that he had health problems of his own. Unfortunately, David's successor at the Carnegie had an unsuccessful (and brief) tenure there, and in 2013, David was persuaded to return to the Carnegie until a new president could be found. Georgianna died in 2013, and David remained at the Carnegie until 2015, whereupon he retired definitively from the museum and returned to Savannah. In the time since his retirement, he was the author/editor of three books: "Faith and Marty," a recounting of the early years of his parents' marriage, which took place in Burma, India and Mozambique during World War II; "The Adventures of Hans and Peter," which consists of stories written by his mother to accompany a marvelous set of watercolors that were painted by German illustrator Charlotte Schenk (these paintings hung in his bedroom when he was a child); and "The Past is Still Present," David's autobiography. In addition to his time with Bayer and the Carnegie, David was the chairman of the board of the Koppers Corp. for 10 years and a member of the board since 2004, as well as serving on the board of the Hillman Foundation for many years. He served on the board of the Telfair Museum in Savannah since his retirement from the Carnegie. He was a member of the Oglethorpe Club (Savannah) and the Duquesne Club (Pittsburgh). He was preceded in death by his parents, as well as his beloved Georgianna. He is survived by his sons, Stuart (Jessica), of Washington, D.C., and Joseph, of Breckenridge, Colo.; two grandsons, Chase and Easton, his sister, Ruth Quinet, of Seattle; and his brother, John Hillenbrand, of Savannah, all of whom will remember him as a kind, generous gentleman who was very well-read and could converse intelligently on a seemingly endless variety of subjects.
The family has entrusted services to BAKER McCULLOUGH FUNERAL HOME HUBERT C. BAKER CHAPEL, 7415 Hodgson Memorial Drive, Savannah, GA 31406, 912-927-1999.
Published in Trib Total Media, online only on Oct. 2, 2019
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