George E. Hillery, age 96 of Darlington, found peace on Aug. 30, 2017. He was born May 24, 1921 in Seymour Township in Lafayette County, the son of John and Mary (Riter) Hillery II. George graduated from Belmont High School in 1938 and completed the Farm Short Course Degree in Madison in 1942. He was united in marriage to Marybelle L. McNett on Dec. 31, 1943 at Pleasant View Primitive Methodist Church in rural Belmont. George lived in Seymour Township his entire life where he pursued his passion for hogs and dairy farming until 1986 when he and his wife moved into the city of Belmont.
George is survived by his children: Kay (Dave) Daley of Reedsburg, Kent (Sharon) Hillery of Peosta, Iowa, Clark (Ann) Hillery of Greenfield, Craig (Melva) Hillery of rural Darlington, Connie (Randy) Lenz of De Pere, and Kathy (Al Kretschmer) Hillery of Oconomowoc; 13 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; one brother: Merville Hillery of Darlington; one sister-in-law: Joy (John) Newman of Madison; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife Marybelle on Oct. 17, 2005; one brother: Dr. Glenn (Maxine) Hillery; one sister: Lavonne (Ross) Copeland; one sister-in-law: Ruth Hillery; and one brother and sister-in-law: Douglas (Berniece) McNett.
George was a lifelong member of Pleasant View Church and a trustee for 40 years. He was a member of Wisconsin Pork Producers, Farm Bureau, and the Swiss and Limburger Cheese Association. He was a 4-H member at age 11 and a club leader for 43 years. George was an active member of the Belmont Lions Club for 20 years after his 4-H service. He was distinguished as a Master Farmer of Wisconsin Inductee and a Wisconsin School of Agriculture Life and Science Honoree. George was President of the Seymour Cheese Factory Association for 27 years, DHIA Board for 20 years, Lafayette Creamery Association Board and 6 other co-op boards. He was a Mason, Shriner, and 32nd Degree Mason. George will be remembered as a kind, witty, temperate and patient man. A life-long resident of Lafayette County, proud farmer, community leader, youth educator, world traveler, sports fan, photography enthusiast and master problem solver. Always quick with a smile and willingness to help, he leaves behind a legacy of service to his family, friends and community. George’s well lived life mirrors the ideals of the 4-H pledge and motto: “I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, and my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country and my world.”
A funeral service was held Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. at Pleasant View Primitive Methodist Church (12987 Pleasant View Road, Belmont) where Rev. Ronald Fladseth officiated. Burial will be in Pleasant View Cemetery. A visitation was held Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017 at Pleasant View Primitive Methodist Church from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. where Masonic Services were held at 12:30 p.m. The Erickson Funeral Home in Darlington is serving the family. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.ericksonfuneralhome.com.
For those who prefer, a memorial fund has been established in George’s name.