Floral 30

Lillian Hillen

July 13, 1918 ~ January 18, 2022 (age 103)


With profound sadness we announce that Lillian Isobel Hillen (nee Rutledge) of Lethbridge, AB, beloved wife of the late William Stuart Hillen, passed away peacefully after a short illness on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, at the impressive age of 103.5 years.

Born on July 13, 1918 in Toronto, Ontario, Lillian was raised in Thunder Bay and returned to Toronto in her 20’s to enjoy life in the big city, working at the T. Eaton Company as a switchboard operator. While living in High Park she met a dashing hockey player on the ice of Grenadier Pond. This led to a life-long love story as they married on August 29, 1944 and created the legacy that she was most proud of, her four children Bill (Marian), Heather (Brian), Rod (Paula) and Carolyn (Roy); her grandchildren, Craig, Paul, Adam, Christopher, Jonathan, Katherine, and Shawn Hillen; Jacob and Caitlin Zinner; and her great-grandchildren, Aiden, Scarlet, Norah, Owen, Olivia, Kyra, Grace, Carter, Marlo and Misha Hillen. Sadly, Lillian was predeceased by her beloved grandson Christopher in 2007.

Lillian is also lovingly remembered by a large extended family, her nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews; and friends and neighbours she met along the way.

Over the years Lillian supported many causes, most notably, the Newtonbrook United Church, Willowdale, ON; Oxtrail Scout Camp, Hockley Valley, ON; and the Great Canadian Railway Society, Lethbridge, AB.

One of Lillian’s greatest pleasures was to enjoy a meal prepared by someone else, particularly Marian and Paula. She loved to bake and made legendary rice pudding, but when cooking dinner she was the master of all things well-done and crispy. Lillian never met a donut she didn’t like and passed her sweet-tooth along to many in the family.

Lillian was an avid speed skater, baker, painter, walker, gardener, bowler, knitter, seamstress, traveler, and card player. She loved to shop and was always beautifully dressed. She was also quite the dancer back in the day, and lamented her lack of mobility over the past few years. She had a kind and loving heart, combined with a quick wit and a feisty no-nonsense attitude. She charmed everyone she met and would light up the room with her smile and beautiful blue-gray eyes.

Lillian endured many losses in her long life. She is predeceased by her parents, John and Ethel Rutledge, her beloved siblings, Alberta, Ethel, Marion, and the twins, June and Jack; her Hillen family; Samuel and Margaret, Victor, Ernie, Isobel, Kaye, and Pat, and especially her husband Bill who passed away in January 2000.

After living an active and healthy life, Mom has been reunited with Dad at last. No doubt Lill and Bill are dancing with joy to Harbour Lights surrounded by their loving heavenly family once again. Although we deeply mourn her passing, we are grateful for the many years we were able to share with this strong, resilient and remarkable woman, the irreplaceable Queen of our little family.

We wish to thank the staff at Extendicare Fairmont Park for their kind compassion during this difficult time, and for the excellent care given to Lillian as she made this her home for the past few years. You always made her feel safe, secure and special and we thank you from the bottom of our grateful hearts.

A Celebration of Lillian’s Life and internment at Highland Memory Gardens in Toronto will take place in the summer of 2022.

“Behind all your stories is always your mother's story. Because hers is where yours begins.”

—Mitch Albom

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