Wednesday, March 25, 2015

James Wood Hillyard 1935-2015

Here is a copy of the obituary inserted in the Star Valley Independent newspaper.

James Wood Hillyard, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, died at home on March 17, 2015, of heart failure. He was 79 years old. Leslie and Ada Hillyard greeted their last born, a son, on Nov 23, 1935 in Auburn WY, before the rural electric company had wired their home for electricity.  Jim, as the youngest by over six years was cared, cuddled and implored by his older sisters, LaRue Leavitt and Gayle Thurman.  His horse took him to school and his dog Tippy awaited his return home every week day.

He thrived in Star Valley and was an awesome “Brave,” involved in high school student body government, and with the football and basketball teams.  His best friend was Paul Rich who participated in these activities with him.  He was an excellent marksman which later allowed him to join the US Army rifle team. When asked why he was so good at shooting he would say, “I grew up in Star Valley.”

 He was a sportsman his entire life and taught his kids downhill skiing, water skiing, tennis, fishing, hunting, golf and shooting. He was also spiritual and had a testimony of Jesus Christ which he expressed with tears at times to his family and friends. He gained this testimony through his service as a missionary and his many church callings on high councils, bishoprics, scouting troops and young men’s groups. His sisters encouraged him to serve a mission and it was pivotal in his life.

Jim served this LDS mission in Sydney, Australia, 1957-59, boat travel time making it nearly 3 years long. He especially loved the Ward family whom he baptized.  They kept in touch with him for 60 years. He served in the Outback and on the coast of Australia, dipping sheep, catching kangaroos and killing poisonous snakes while proselyting.  At the conclusion of his mission he forewent a world tour with a group of missionary companions and headed back to Auburn. Had he not gone directly home he would have missed seeing his father alive, for Leslie died under a month after Jim’s return.

Jim also served in the Army as an officer from 1960 until 1962, too late for the Korean War and barely missing the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Jim met Carol in Houston, introduced to her by his brother, Vern.  Carol Ann and Jim married on December 19, 1962, in the LDS Mesa
Temple. LaRue and Gayle packed their children in the car and headed from southern CA to the temple wedding in Arizona.

Jim joined IBM as a typewriter salesman and made his first Hundred Percent club within 18 months. Because of his success he was transferred from the Dallas, TX area to Midland, TX, and then to Helena, MT, and lastly, Cottonwood Heights, UT--each time getting closer to his birthplace in WY.  When IBM wanted to move him back to headquarters in White Plains, NY, he left the company and started his own.  He didn’t only have one company, but multiple companies—he owned, consulted or partnered in Information Now, ROM, Basic Four, Ascom…and several others. During this time he flew his small plane back and forth to Star Valley where he and his family fished, hunted, golfed, camped, biked, played and reunioned. His son, Paul, and his granddaughter, Ayn, were baptized in Stump Creek, WY; and, “yes,” it was hypothermic cold even in August.

He is survived by his wife, Carol, his three children and grandchildren, Karen (Bob) Smith—Ayn, Bradley, Mark, Shannon, Whitney and Daniel;   Paul (Janelle) Hillyard—Brandon, Darin, Ryan, Kevan, Austin, Ethan; and, Renae Hillyard.  Funeral services were Saturday, March 21, 11:00 a.m. at the LDS Chapel on 8100 S. Top of the World Drive (3661 E.) Viewing, Friday, March 20, from 6-8pm at Cannon Mortuary, 2460 E. Bengal Blvd. (7600
S.) and Saturday, March 21, 9:45-10:45am at the LDS chapel prior to service. Interment Mountain View Memorial Estates. Online condolences

Written and Submitted to the Star Valley Independent by Karen L Smith, daughter of Jim.

March 25, 2015

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Memories of Dad – Paul Hillyard

March 18, 2015
This has been a whirlwind week.  Our family lost our beloved husband, dad and grandpa early Tuesday morning.  My dad returned to his Heavenly Father less than a month after his last sibling, his next older sister and my Aunt Larue, passed away.  My aunt was more than 6 years older than my dad.  I expected to have more time with him.  But I am happy that my Dad was able to see his dad again for the first time in 56 years, and his mom again for the first time in 33 years.  Oh how they loved their boy Jim.  What a happy reunion they must be having as he joins his family in the Spirit World.  And likewise, what great loss we feel on this side of the veil. I almost cannot bear the fact that my dad has already moved on.  As I awake early each morning, the weight of his loss returns to me.  Many times each day, I seek solace from my Heavenly Father in prayer and have felt His peace knowing of His plan of salvation. Our family has felt the love and prayers of many family and friends.  But I’ve never had something hurt so much. 
Brothers and sisters, I am so grateful for the gospel.  For the Savior’s atonement, for our opportunity to eternally progress, and to return to our Heavenly Father and our loved ones.  So many sweet friends and neighbors have come by to visit my mom and my sisters and me, to express condolences, to bring too much food and to provide loving support.  We are so grateful for our dear friends and relatives.  Although I knew I would be a wreck, I felt I needed to stand before you and share some memories of my wonderful father.
My dad wasn’t always a perfect little boy.  He shared with us some tales of his childhood in Star Valley, Wyoming.  Since my dad was the youngest (by several years), he was pretty spoiled by his two older sisters Gayle and LaRue.  He was king of the farm.  His parents granted him access to a 22 rifle when he was just a young kid, maybe 8 or 9 years old.  We know today that this is probably too young of an age for kids to run around unsupervised with guns.  Well, he ended up using that gun to shoot a hole in the family piano.
As far as I know, he stayed mostly out of trouble with that gun until he was a teenager and wanted to improve his skills at hitting moving targets by shooting at mailboxes while riding in a car.  Dad had already become a very good shot, so he definitely did some mailbox damage.  Shortly after his practice session, Star Valley’s postmaster showed up at the house and told my dad that he knew it was him shooting mail boxes and that defacing mailboxes is a federal offense.  He told him that it better not happen again.  And it didn’t.
My dad loved fishing.  For someone who always has to be doing something, it’s hard to believe how much he would enjoy just sitting there and casting.  He took us fishing several times in our tri-haul red boat on Canyon Ferry reservoir in Montana.  But I found it boring to just sit there with a pole, so I asked if I could drive the boat.  He thought that was a great idea so he told me the zig zag pattern to follow and I would drive as we trolled back and forth.  I would practice making minute course corrections while my dad and the others caught fish.  Then he would show me how to clean the fish.  Believe it or not, there was a time when I was pretty good at cleaning fish! 
Back when my dad was 18 years old, he thought that the poor efficiency of catching only one fish at a time could be improved upon.  Since he worked at the rock quarry, he knew where the dynamite was stored.  He borrowed half a stick one day and took it fishing.   I don’t know how he got it lit and in the water, but the dynamite went off, causing a nice shock wave in the water and killing several fish, which floated to the surface.  He was able to collect a nice haul very quickly.  Somehow, the Fish and Game learned about this incident and also knew it was my dad.  He got reprimanded and he lost his job at the quarry.
Missionary work
My dad was definitely outgoing and assertive.  He would share his knowledge of the gospel with anyone who would listen just in passing conversation, because it was so much of his life.  This happened often when he was walking his “Pooh” dog because she attracts lots of attention.  He had conversations with everyone in the neighborhood.  He was so well known by that “Pooh dog” that his nick name was “The mayor of Top of the World.”  Dad even shared the gospel with the delivery guy from Staples who was later baptized.  I hope you had a chance to see his picture in the photo slide show.
My dad especially loved sharing his experience of teaching the gospel to a young recently married couple while serving on his mission in Australia.  They were the Ward family.  Kevin Ward happened to be standing outside their house when my dad and his companion walked up, and he agreed to have them come back and talk with himself and his wife about religion even though he claimed he was atheist at the time.  Somehow, Kevin had come across a picture of the Salt Lake Temple in a magazine he was reading before he met the missionaries.  He kept that picture and told himself that someday he wanted to go into that beautiful building even before he knew what it was.  While being taught by the missionaries, he learned the meaning of temples and that the building pictured in his magazine was the Salt Lake Temple.  Kevin and his wife knew the gospel was true and were baptized and remained faithful latter-day saints their entire lives.  Kevin would write my dad a letter each year on the anniversary of his baptism, thanking him for sharing the gospel with them.  And although it would take 60 years to come to fruition, Kevin Ward, his children and their spouses, and some of his grandchildren all came to Salt Lake City and went through the Salt Lake Temple with my Dad.  Kevin’s wife had already passed away by then.  I got to meet this wonderful family at my parents’ house when they visited just a few short years ago.  Kevin Ward passed away shortly after that visit to Salt Lake.  I am sure that he was one of the first people to greet my dad on the other side!
D&C 18:15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
My dad was SO proud of his grandson missionaries.  He would read their emails almost weekly to his church buddies and always tell me how proud he was of my boys.  Here is a snippet of a letter he wrote to one of my sons on his mission:

I can tell you your Grandpa Hillyard (Me) just has to be very proud of all of you.  Elder you will always remember your days in Poland.  Mostly good times and a few you would like to forget.

A few weeks ago I received an email from a woman in Australia (Jennie Ward) thanking me for the extra time I put in to baptize her Mother and Father when I was there over fifty years ago on my Mission.  She said she has five sons, one who was a returned missionary, one on a mission and one with Heavely Father on his mission and two who were looking forward to their missions. 
I cried most of the day with the joy that brought to me. And you too are having that opportunity to make a wonderful difference in people’s lives. 
Thank you Darin for being the fine young man (Elder) you are! 
Polish wife?  Remember it would be a long trip to see your in-laws. And who would tend the children?  Can you think how mad and upset the girls at BYU would be with you?
I’m still trying to recover enough golf balls to make up for those we lost at Cedar Hills Golf course.  I should have just enough when you return to try it again.
I am still the Ward Clerk and do enjoy working with our Bishopric.  I have been forwarding your letters to our Bishop
I’ve seen miracles happen when one asks with a sincere heart for the truthfulness of the Gospel.
Love You, Darin.  If there is anything I can be of service to my fine Grandson please let me know.
Grandpa (Jim) Hillyard.
My dad took ROTC in college so he was able to join the army as a Lieutenant.  He was such a good shot with his gun and such a great baseball player, that his commanding officers would allow him to skip typical drills such as calisthenics and marching so that he could practice with his teams more.  This nearly got him into trouble one time when he was supposed to march a group of soldiers on display for a visiting officer and he had no idea how to do it!  He didn’t even know the names for the different types of commands.  The visitor was almost ready to boot Jim right out of the army until Dad’s commanding officer explained that Dad’s skill set helped their team win baseball games.
The salesman
My dad taught me the term “8 x 10 glossy”.  Don’t be an “8 x 10 glossy”, he would say.  A person that is an 8x10 glossy is all talk and show without the substance and doing to back it up.  In other words, just like an actual 8x10 picture.  Even so, my dad was a very good salesman, which he started doing when he joined IBM.
My dad was hired at IBM as a salesman in 1963, the same year he married my mom.  He was quickly transferred to Sherman Texas, which was a very small town with few businesses in need of automation products of the day.  So dad got creative and developed a proposal to sell the new IBM selectric typewriters to school districts, but not for use in the back office where only a few typewriters would be needed – instead to be used in the classrooms where typing was currently taught on the old manual typewriters.  My dad demonstrated that kids who learn to type on electric typewriters develop better technique for faster typing than those who have to learn by pounding away on the old manual-style typewriter.  He closed some large school district sales, immediately qualifying for IBM’s elite 100% club.  His success was so unexpected in that sleepy little area, that he was asked to train other sales groups on his techniques and he rose through the ranks of IBM until he ventured off on his own.
He helped start the Salt Lake office of Rolm corporation in the 80s.  Rolm was a telecommunications company, which, ironically, was later acquired by IBM.  At the time, the LDS Church was looking at replacing the phone systems in its Church office building as well as in temples and at BYU.  My dad presented the options Rolm had to offer to members of the presiding bishopric including their staff, and got to meet with then Elder Gordon B. Hinckley.  There were some heated discussions about the claims that Dad made about what the phone system could do. When Elder Hinckley was leaving the office building one afternoon, he turned to a friend of my dad’s and said “I like that Hillyard.  I think we can trust him.  Let’s get the Rolm system.”
Deer Hunting
For many consecutive years, my Dad, my Uncle Vern, Mel Dearden, Gary Cahoon, their sons, and other friends would go deer hunting up East Canyon on the beautiful property owned by the Deardens.  Oh, how I loved these hunting trips in that beautiful country.  We always stayed at the same camp site by a pond fed by fresh water. Then we’d get up really early so we could drive the old Blazer way up on top of a ridge.  Some years the weather was wet and cold.  That Blazer almost slid off the side of a mountain one muddy year.  Other years it would snow.  Other years (my favorite ones) the Aspen tree leaves would be golden yellow and rustling in the breeze.  The smell of the spruce, aspen, sage was wonderful to a pre-allergies kid.  Dad would always bring cans of Vienna sausage which we would heat up while sitting at some lookout.  Did you know that Vienna sausages that are boiled in their own can over a tiny campfire while hunting with your dad actually taste wonderful!  I bought some a few years ago to reminisce.  Either they stopped making them taste as good, or the proper environment really makes a difference.  As we’d sit on a high ridge waiting for the sun to come up, my dad would point out deer moving in the brush a mile away.  I never could see anything.
Dad let me drive the Blazer when we were tooling around off road even though I wasn’t 16 yet.  One time we had the tailgate down and were going over some bumps on the road.  We had a few Humphreys, Dearens, and Cahoon boys standing on the tailgate looking out over the top of the Blazer.  As we crested a pretty big bump, the tailgate bounced up and down a little bit, shattering the glass that was rolled down inside.  My dad didn’t even bat an eye.  He knew I learned not to go over bumps that fast again with the tailgate down, and that was that.  I don’t think he ever got mad at me for anything.  It’s actually a good thing that I have my Mom around to provide some semblance of discipline!
Another year my sister Karen came with us on the hunt.  We were asleep in our tents when it started snowing pretty hard.  It snowed and snowed until it partially caved in our tent.  I stayed in my bag while Karen and my Dad went out in the storm and fixed the tent.  I just recently admitted to Karen that I wasn’t really asleep.  I just didn’t want to go out in the cold.
Each deer hunt seemed to become a little grander than the last one.  My Uncle Vern bought horses and started bringing them every year.  Then he got a 30 man army tent with a barrel stove and stove pipe that went all the way up out the top of the ten.  Somehow, we set that monstrosity up!  Then early each morning, my sweet uncle would get up at 4am, start the fire in that stove, and by 5am the entire tent (which only had about 5 of us in there) would be 72 degrees.  Talk about the lap of luxury! 
The horses weren’t all good news, though.  My dad used to think they weren’t quite as smart as Wyoming horses.  One year as he was riding through some thick trees, he had mounted his gun scabbard so that the stock of the gun was facing forward on the left side of the horse.  He figured that would allow him to have a quicker draw if he saw something get startled.  Unfortunately, as the horse was passing between two narrow trees, the gun scabbard went on one side of the tree while my dad and his horse went on the other side.  The sudden resistance to forward progress startled the horse, and it jumped forward, snapping the stock right off his rifle – to make matters worse, he had brought his most prized Weatherby 7mm magnum.  My dad wasn’t even angry, though.  He used his backup gun, a 30-06 (he had plenty of backups).  When we got home, he ordered another stock and repaired the rifle himself.
My dad had his private pilot’s license and he used to fly his plane all over the place.  I’ll bet he has owned 8 or 9 different planes in his lifetime.  My dad especially loved flying us to and from Star Valley when I was a kid.  Flying would shrink the 4 hour drive down to just a 1 hour of flight.   My dad would let me sit in the co-pilot seat and try to maintain direction and altitude.  Since he knew the route so well, he’d just tell me what landmark to shoot for next.  My Uncle Ronny would pick us up from the tiny Afton airport in his olive green suburban (which he would then loan us for the duration of our stay), then we’d have fun shooting, fishing, riding my uncles’ horses, riding his four wheeler, and just enjoying beautiful Star Valley.
My senior year in high school I decided to take flying lessons as well.  I had no idea how expensive of a hobby flying actually was!  I remember going out to runway “16 Left” with my instructor and telling clearance we were ready to take off (it was a south wind that day).  As we were waiting for clearance, this hot shot airplane (a Piper Arrow III – turbocharged) pulled up onto the ramp left of us (potentially giving him the opportunity to pull out onto the runway ahead of us and take off with slightly less runway).  I was thinking, “that guy better not try to butt in front of us,” and then when the pilot got on the radio to request clearance, I realized it was my dad just going out for a little flight!  He of course let us go first.  He just felt he didn’t need as much runway to take off since he had the turbo.  My practice flights were in a piper tomahawk and I thought I was pretty good at landing and taking off, so my dad let me have a shot landing the Arrow one day.  I swear that plane lands at least 20 MPH faster than the little Tomahawk.  My dad took over just before we touched down.  Perhaps he was remembering the deer hunting experience with the smashed tailgate window in the Blazer.
I’d like to share one fun “close call” flying experience my dad had with my brother-in-law Bob.  They were doing touch-and-goes in Rexburg where Bob and Karen lived at the time, in one of dad’s many airplanes.  The plane was the V-tail Beech Bonanza.  Right after touching down, my dad grabbed the flaps lever and retracted the flaps, but then immediately realized that he had grabbed the landing gear lever and retracted the landing gear instead (an unfortunate design decision on that plane is that both levers are right there together).  Since the plane was already coasting down the runway, there was weight on the gear which kept them from actually retracting and collapsing the plane onto the concrete.  Since the gear didn’t immediately collapse, my dad decided to punch the throttle and take back off again.  Then they could properly extend the gear before attempting another landing.  Unfortunately, after taking back off, they found that they could not get a green “gear down” light.  Even with manual override the lights did not indicate.  Rexburg didn’t have an active emergency staff at the airport, so Bob and dad had to fly to Twin Falls I think, notifying the tower of their predicament with the landing gear.  The airport prepped the emergency response team with the fire trucks and foam trucks and then gave Dad and Bob the clearance to land on the runway and hope that the gear would stay extended.  The landing was perfect and the gear held. A local mechanic even wired the gear so it would stay down for the flight home.
Going to Star Valley
Our family would love going to Star Valley for a few days each summer with grandpa and grandma.  This has been the highlight of my boys’ summer vacations.  Grandpa would always have a new toy to try out, such as a new BB gun, a sling shot, a new bow and arrow, new targets, a new pitching practice target, new inflatable rafts for floating the salt river, or new specially made golf clubs that were just the right size for little boys. 
My parents cabin is right on hole #6 on one of the Star Valley Ranch golf courses and the boys would constantly ask grandpa to take them out to go golfing.  He would fire up the two golf carts (which always needed some sort of maintenance to get working) and take them and Pooh dog out to play hole number 6, then number 7, then 8 in the morning.  Since these weren’t exactly official rounds of golf, the Marshall would sometimes come along and shoo them off the course.  But they’d just go right back later that day.  Grandpa also had a game that we would play on the practice green.  It was called “pitch and putt” contest. We’d create two-man teams to try to level the playing field against grandpa, giving him the weakest player.  Then we’d have to modify the rules further, saying that a shot must be accepted from each player on the team (in other words, grandpa can’t just make all the shots).  Somehow, grandpa’s team still always managed to win.  Grandpa would always say about golf, “you drive for show, but you putt for dough.”
Another favorite Wyoming activity was to drive up into the mountains and take all the guns for target practice.  We’d have shotguns, clay pigeons, rifles, and hand guns.  Grandpa always amazed us with his pinpoint accuracy (which was somewhat frustrating to me during head-to-head competitions).  One 22 semi-auto handgun of my dad’s has a really light hair trigger.  Grandpa would remind us of how light the trigger was and to put the safety on until you’re ready to shoot.  When one of my kids shot the dirt right in front of us inadvertently, grandpa gave a surprised look, and that was it.  It kind of reminded me of when I was a kid and I shot the dirt right in front of my own foot with the same gun!  At least we remembered the rule not to aim at anything we didn’t want to shoot.
(Remember fat back)
The mechanic
Many people in my parents’ ward probably knew my dad as the small engine mechanic.  He loved fixing things, weed eaters, lawn mowers, snow blowers, leaf blowers, etc.  He has so much patience that he’ll spend hours and hours fixing a $100 weed eater rather than just buying a new one.  If he discovered that a neighbor needed a small motorized tool, he would go to D.I. with my mom to the “yard” where non-functional power tools were located.  He’d find something that he thought would be just right then go home and make it work.  He loved doing things for people in this way.  Although I did not inherit his near-infinite patience (with people or power tools), I cherish my dad teaching me how to get my hands dirty fixing something – of not being afraid to figure out how something works.  He showed me how to change my own oil, my brake pads, or the window glass in the tailgate of a blazer.  The two of us even replaced the motor in the old Sea Ray boat when it failed.  Up until last Tuesday, whenever I fixed something that I thought required some degree of cleverness, I would call my dad to tell him of my accomplishment, and he’d give me a verbal pat on the back. 
However, I must admit that when my weed eater stops working, I throw it away and buy another.
Closing summary
In closing, I want to come back to our annual deer hunt.  Each year as the deer hunt was over and we’d packed up and were getting ready to drive home, I would be so sad that the wonderful camping trip had come to a close, especially when I was younger, perhaps 10 years old.  I remember sitting in the Blazer and telling myself, “wait a second. . . we’ll be right back at this camp site next year.  It’ll be OK.”  That feeling of sorrow and longing would abate just a little.  Well, the feeling I had then doesn’t light a candle to the feeling of sorrow and longing that I feel now.  I keep reminding myself that just as when I was 10 years old, I know that we’ll be back together again.  The reunion will be joyous.  But the difference is I didn’t get a chance to say good bye.  Every day I have felt: If only I could have a little more time with my dad to tell him I love him just once more and have him know that I really mean it. 
In October 2008 General Conference, President Monson shared this advice:
Send that note to the friend you’ve been neglecting; give your child a hug; give your parents a hug; say “I love you” more; always express your thanks. Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved. Friends move away, children grow up, loved ones pass on. It’s so easy to take others for granted, until that day when they’re gone from our lives and we are left with feelings of “what if” and “if only.” The author Harriet Beecher Stowe said, “The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.”
I’m so thankful that my wife Janelle encouraged each of my boys and me to write letters of gratitude to my parents and her parents this last Christmas.  I would like to share some of those cute notes with you:
Notes from boys
If there was one scripture I would pick to describe my dad, I would use Alma 53:20.  Please indulge my slight wording change to this scripture as it describes my dad so well:
Alma 53:20 And Jim always acted like a young man, and he was exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all—he was a man who was true at all times in whatsoever thing he was entrusted.

Dad, words do not express the pain and loss I feel right now.  I will miss you, my dear old Dad!  I love you with all my heart and look forward to the day we will be reunited.  I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Eulogy of James Wood Hillyard by Karen L Smith

Funeral Services Saturday, March 21, 2015 11 A.M.

He climbed the leg of his horse as fast as a five year old could and headed to the little Auburn primary school. Uphill both ways (of course), but that doesn't really matter on your own horse.  In the middle of a Star Valley winter that matters, but he lived. (1940)

"Bang" The discharging shotgun took a splintery chunk out of the family piano in the Auburn WY front room where young Jim was cleaning it. Hum, guess it was loaded. He lived. (1942)

He gagged, turned green and started walking home after sucking in the smoke of his first and only cigarette. "Maybe I shouldn't trust my cousin quite some much. Usually Grant was a barrel of fun."  Jim was sick, but he lived.

That Fijian was only bluffing with the arrow and hatchet. Jim was returning to Star Valley via Fiji. He forewent the world tour with some of his mission companions and headed home. If he had not, he would have missed seeing his father alive. Leslie, his dad, died four weeks after Jim returned home to Auburn WY. Ada, his mom, moved to SLC with Jim while he attended U of U. He took care of her
and she him. They lived.

"How did you learn to shoot so well?" the officer in charge of the Army rifle team asked. "I don't know. Maybe growing up in Star Valley" Jim said. "I used to take dudes elk hunting."  He was good, real good.  He was as good at shooting as he was at pitching a baseball. That's not a bad way to serve in the US Army--on the baseball team. That ended and he was sent to Ft. Hood where as an officer he was in charge of a platoon of tanks. Training exercises were sometimes deadly.

Jim was too late for the Korean war and too early for the Cuban missile crisis, just barely. He married his sweetheart whom he met in Houston through his brother, Vern, and he lived.

Flying a small plane is just as "sporting" as target shooting, putting, fishing Grey's River, or aceing your tennis serve, and Jim is a sportsman. He, Carol and baby Karen (ME) were joy riding over the plains near Dallas TX. These were the days of cloth diapers and plastic pants.  An infant doesn't realize that the cockpit of a small Cessna can become a nasal prison, an olfactory hell, if she relieves herself mid-air.  Pop that dirty diaper out the small, hinged opening in the pilot's window. Diaper bomb Dallas, and live. (Fall 1965)

Texas is flat and the cumulonimbus tower towards heaven. A private pilot of a small plane need not worry about obstacles unless he's low flying among wires or windmills and cattle tanks--and that's flying really low altitude. Flying VFR (visual flight rules) is no problem, usually. In Montana it is a whole 'nother ballgame. Weather patterns interacting with mountain peaks can create an IFR  situation (instrument flight rules)in moments. Jim was a new IBM branch manager in Helena MT flying between offices in Missoula, Butte, Billings, and Great Falls. He hadn't quite had time to attend the "Mountain Flying" courses offered by the FAA.  While flying in a valley he was familiar with opaque clouds obscured his view of the mountain ridges to the west--and, to the east,  and everywhere. The mountain peaks broke his radio signal. The valley ends in more mountain peaks--this is west MT. It's beautiful, unless you're in a white out. "How do I get out of this one?" Jim thought, adrenaline cooling his veins. Abruptly the needle on the navigational radio pegged. He had a signal. He knew that the mountain range to the west opened up to let him pass.  He lived. (1970)

Six beautiful pine trees headed to SLC for Christmas celebrations of our close family members jolted forward and stopped on the fractured glass of the Chevy windshield. The freezer-wrapped half of beef from Uncle DeMar became a sledge hammer in my mother's back. A twenty five year old Lincoln Continental rested in the engine compartment of our van after catching air, hurtling over the center barrow pit on I-80 and pentrating our vehicle at 70 miles per hour. His sternum was broken. His orbital bone beneath his eye was cracked. His forehead lacerated. The plastic surgeon could do nothing for his nose. A Hillyard nose can not be fixed:) The emergency room physician declared he had never seen a patient with this type of sternum alive. He lived.   (November 1985)

Fifty year old Jim had a deep persistent pain in his back all night. Tylenol didn't help. One quintuple bypass later, he lived..... for 30 more years.

Racquetball, tennis, downhill skiing, water skiing, bb gun shooting with grandkids, real gun shooting, clipping my fingernails, Saturday at Sears with popcorn and Carol, fishing, floating Salt Creek, camping Lake Powell, boating, IBM, selling typewriters, Manager of the SLC office, selling computers, Basic Four, Ascom, working with Blau, selling wireless, integrity, business guru, gregariousness, wavey dark hair, High Councilman talks, executive secretary, crying because of the Spirit, reliable, fix it genius, hates sheep, hates gardening, loves snitching raspberries, Mormon gravy and hamburgers, broken bread in a glass with jam and milk, quarters and golf, Swift Creek and the cold water geyser, Star Valley High and the Braves, Paul Rich, the hog hole by DeMar's, caring for his mom, cared for by his sisters Gayle, LaRue, and his wife, Carol.

He has cruised, rode, flew, golfed, walked (especially with the Pooh dogs), played, cried, hugged, loved, blessed, worked, smiled and lived, until Uncle DeMar and Grandma Hillyard came to get him. They had already picked up Aunt LaRue three weeks earlier.  (November 23, 1935--March 17, 2015)

He lives.