|#1-Published in the Enterprise April 16, 2021|
Richard “Rick” D. Hillman, 63, Blair, passed away on April 12, surrounded by loved ones after battling cancer for several months. A celebration of life will be held Saturday, April 17, at 10:30 a.m. at Campbell Aman Funeral Home in Blair. Visitation will be held one hour prior to services.
Rick was born on July 9, 1957, in Blair, He is the son of Larry and Guin Doeden. He was a lifelong resident of Blair attending Blair schools and graduating from Blair High School in 1975. Rick was a police officer for 40 years with service to the Blair Police Department, Washington County Sherriff’s Department, and the Omaha Airport Authority. He also serviced on the volunteer fire department for many years. Rick owned numerous businesses in Blair including the Outskerts of Town. Rick enjoyed spending time with family and friends, weekends at the lake in his camper and shooting the bull out in his garage, and of course enjoying a good ribeye.
Rick is survived by his wife of 30 years, Rhonda; daughter Jaci Heitman (Chad); step-son Chad Kumm (Sarah); parents Guin and Larry Doeden; grandchildren Owen Colter, Peyton and Logan Heitman, Oliver, Marshall and Macklin Kumm; sister Sheri Johnson (Mick); along with many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his sister Diane (Hillman) Reed, and his grandparents and his mother and father-in-law.
#2-Published in the Pilot-Tribune April 20, 2021
By Elizabeth A. Elliott - email@example.com
Known for his storytelling and bringing joy to others, Richard Hillman's own joy came from his four grandsons, said his sister, Sheri Johnson.
"They were his pride and joy," she said.
At 6 foot 5 inches, with more than a few extra pounds, Hillman towered over many.
"That big guy was big in many ways. He had a big heart, big dreams, big ideas, was a big talker (so many stories), his humor was big, he was a big friend and a big help to so many," Johnson said. "For Rick, bigger was better, the bigger rib eye, the bigger party for family and friends, the bigger plans. He lived big. But the best big he did was as my big brother. For that I am bigger."
Friends and coworkers remember his willingness to help anyone with anything. Hillman died April 12 following a battle with cancer. He was 63.
Shawn Thallas, a deputy with the Washington County Sheriff's Office, said he's known Hillman for more than 35 years.
"I've worked with him and for him, but his personality was unique," he said. "He was always like a gentle giant. He was a large man but easy going, a dedicated worker to those he served in the different capacities, with a great sense of humor and as a storyteller."
Washington County Sheriff Mike Robinson said Hillman was always in a good mood.
"He was fun to work with, treated people well and was just a great guy," he said. "He was a devoted husband to his wife, fun to be around, great to work with and if you ever needed anything, all you had to do is call him and he'd help."
Family members shared that everyone was welcome at his home. They said he was a jack-of-all-trades. Always with a story, he was dedicated to the community he loved as he served as a police officer for 40 years with service to the Blair Police Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Omaha Airport Authority. He also serviced on the volunteer fire department for many years.
"He touched a lot of lives in a lot of different ways," his family said.
Fred Carritt, a former deputy and Blair officer, worked and fished with Hillman.
"He always had a joke and was out to have a good time and he never really talked bad about anyone," he said. "We'd go fishing. He'd hold a fishnet full of beer and say, 'You caught the fish I caught the beer.'"
Carritt said Hillman would do anything for a person and was someone you could count on.
"He's one of those guys you don't find very often and when you do you appreciate the heck out of him," he said.
Blair firefighter Loren Jones described Hillman as one of his best friends.
"We spent a lot of time together," he said. "He'll be dearly missed. We've been to a lot of places and done a lot of things. We went fishing and hunting together."
Ed Kuhl was assistant chief in Blair and on the Blair Police Department for 27 years.
"I got to watch him grow up," he said. "He was a reserve police officer for me. He had a good sense of humor and he was well-liked by everyone."
Kuhl said Hillman was good at diffusing situations.
"He really cared about other people, so he tried to be that way in the way he had to do his job and I think it worked out well for him," Kuhl said.
Former Blair police officer Nick Thallas said Hillman was a standup guy.
"He was one of those types of guys that was always smiling and telling jokes," he said. "We had so many good times. I loved him like a brother and he was a brother in blue just like I was. He was a friend’s friend."
~~~Obituaries courtesy of the Nebraska Washington County Genealogical Society. Newspaper clippings on file in the Blair, Nebraska Public Library~~~
Find a Grave Memorial #225670198