Mr. William Nathaniel Hilliard of Raleigh passed away on December 26, 2014.
Mr. Hilliard was born April 20, 1920 in Warren County, NC, the son of the late John Fleming Hilliard and Helen Elizabeth Weldon Hilliard. He was a direct lineal descendant of John Hilliard, who emigrated to the Jamestown Colony in Virginia from England in the year 1635. His family moved to Cary, NC in 1928, where he attended public schools, graduating from Cary High School in 1937. He then attended Elon College for three years before enlisting in the U.S. Navy. Following his naval service, he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1948 with a BA in Journalism.
Mr. Hilliard spent six years as a news editor at radio station WPTF in Raleigh before joining the North Carolina Medical Society, where he spent 33 years on staff, retiring as Executive Director in 1984. In 1985 he founded Hilliard Association Management, Inc., where he remained active until his final retirement in 2005 at the age of 85, serving clients including the NC Society of Anesthesiologists and the NC Society of Internal Medicine.
Mr. Hilliard spent five years on active duty as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy during and after World War II, mostly in the South Pacific, and 32 years in the active U.S. Naval Reserve. He served tours as Commanding Officer of the Naval Reserve Surface Division 6-28, and as Commanding Officer of the Naval Reserve Officers School 6-2, both based in Raleigh, retiring with the rank of Captain.
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Mr. Hilliard was the first recipient of the North Carolina Medical Society’s John H. Anderson Award, presented to a layman whose “contribution has had a positive impact on the medical profession and the public health”. He was a charter member of the Advisory Board to the Kate B. Reynolds Health Care Trust. He was active in the American Society of Medical Society Executives, serving on its Board of Directors, and in the national Professional Convention Management Association, serving on its Board of Directors and as Secretary.
Mr. Hilliard was a Past Master of Cary Masonic Lodge Number 198, first chartered in 1858, a position also held many years previously by his father. He was a former member of the Lion’s Club, a Past President of the Raleigh Public Relations Society, and a long time member of the North Carolina Society of Association Executives. He was a Past Commander of the Raleigh Sail and Power Squadron and served as Assistant to the Treasurer of the U.S. Sail and Power Squadrons. He was a past member of both the Carolina Country Club and the Raleigh Country Club, as well as the long time Secretary-Treasurer of Club XVII.
Mr. Hilliard was preceded in death by his wife of 45 years, Margaret Lane Matthews Hilliard, and a daughter, Kylane Hilliard Thornhill. Survivors include his son, William N. (Wink) Hilliard, Jr.; a step-granddaughter, Merriweather Raidle Mule’ (Michael); numerous cousins, and a special friend of many years, Mary Alice Black.
Following a private family interment, a memorial service will be held at Hayes Barton Baptist Church at 1:00 pm Tuesday, December 30, 2014. The family will receive friends in the church parlor from 12:00 to 12:45 pm before the service. A reception will be held following the service at the home of William N. Hilliard, Jr., 908 Westwood Drive, Raleigh.
The family would like to thank the caregivers of the Skilled Nursing Unit at Glenaire Retirement Community for their wonderful and thoughtful care of Mr. Hilliard during the last few months of his life.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Glenaire Foundation, 5000 Glenaire Circle, Cary, NC 27511; to Hayes Barton Baptist Church, 1800 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27608; or to the charity of your choice.
Arrangements by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, Saint Mary's St., Raleigh.