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October 16, 1924 – September 22, 2023 

Donald Ervin Hilliard, 98 of Queen City, Missouri, formerly of Lancaster, Missouri passed away on Friday, September 22, 2023 at the Northeast Regional Medical Center in Kirksville, Missouri. 

The son of Merville Arnold Hilliard and Merle (Watson) Hilliard Oliver, he was born on October 16, 1924 in Granger, Missouri. Don attended Granger School and Black Oak School and graduated from Granger High School in 1941. On December 23, 1946 in Troy, Kansas, he was united in marriage to Donna Jean Drummond and to this union three children were born, Jackie Wayne, Penny Sue and Donald Rex. 

Don is survived by his daughter, Penny Probasco and husband, Rick of Lancaster, Missouri; two grandsons, Cory Alan Probasco and wife, Andrea of Denver, Colorado and Donald Erik Probasco and wife, Shannon of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin; three great grandchildren, Hilliard Probasco of Denver, Colorado, Ryen and Kylie Probasco of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin; one sister-in-law, Nita Cragg of Gallatin, Missouri; nieces and nephews and other family members. 

Don is preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Donna Jean Hilliard on April 27, 2023; two sons, Jackie Wayne and Donald Rex in infancy and one brother, Edwin Arnold Hilliard. 

Don enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1943, serving in World War II and was honorably discharged in 1945. While in the service, he was a Radio Operator on a B17 aircraft. Following his military tour, he primarily farmed. He and Donna lived in LaBelle, Lancaster and Downing, Missouri returning to Lancaster in 1958. With the encouragement of friends attending Kirksville State Teachers College in Kirksville, Missouri, he joined their daily commute. He went to school in the morning and worked for Beeler Motor Company in the afternoon. He earned his BS in Education in 1962 and his MA in 1965. Don began teaching Math at Queen City High School in Queen City, Missouri in August of 1962 and shortly after became the Principal. After the reorganization of the county schools, he served the Schuyler R-I Schools as High School Principal of the Queen City Unit, Junior High Principal, and eventually went back to teach High School math. After 32 years, he retired from teaching in 1994 and went back to farming but continued to support the school by running the timeclock for Schuyler R-I basketball and football games. During these years at Queen City and Schuyler, Don also taught night classes during the school year and workshops in the summer for the College. 

Don and Donna were members of the Lancaster Christian Church in Lancaster, Missouri and attended regularly as long as their health permitted. He was baptized there in 1964 on the same day as his daughter, Penny and served the Church as a deacon and several terms as Chairman of the Board. He was initiated into Phi Delta Kappa at Northeast Missouri State College (formerly Kirksville State Teachers College) on March 21, 1970 and was a member of and supported several professional organizations. He was a member of the Schuyler County American Legion Post 784; VFW in Scotland County Post 4958 and he was a 50- year member of the Glenwood Masonic Lodge 427. 

Don almost always owned a dog and usually had a horse. He was a member of the North Missouri Field Trial Association and served as Treasurer of his local group for many years and helped set up and run many field trials. He judged field trials on horseback and on foot in Missouri and the surrounding states. He raised and trained Pointers and ran them in field trials earning many first and second place trophies. 

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, September 30, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at the Lancaster Christian Church in Lancaster, Missouri with Brad Drummond of Lancaster, Missouri officiating. Music will be special selections of “In The Garden” and “The Lord’s Prayer” performed by Jolene Sublette. Pianist will be Twila Anderson of Lancaster, Missouri. Visitation will be held on Friday, September 29, 2023 between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. at the Norman Funeral Home in Lancaster, Missouri with Masonic services being held at 7:00 p.m. Memorials have been established for the Schuyler County Nutrition Site or Masonic Lodge 427 Scholarship Fund. Online condolences may be expressed to the family by logging on to normanfh. com. Burial will be in the Arni Memorial Cemetery in Lancaster, Missouri. Military Rites will be conducted by the Schuyler County American Legion Post 784. Arrangements are under the direction of the Norman Funeral Home of Lancaster, Missouri.