Gwendolyn Hilliard

Staff Writer
Morton Times-News

Gwendolyn Marie (Baumgartner) Hilliard, 89, of Morton, died at 3:27 p.m. Monday, Feb. 15, 2010, at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria.

Born July 19, 1920, in Cissna Park to Harry H. Baumgartner and Alice Cramotte, she married Majel “Jim” Hilliard April 13, 1945, in Little Creek, Va. He died August 2008.

Surviving are two daughters, Kathleen Ann (Gayle) Sipes of Marquette Heights and Christine Marie Esken of Peoria; one son, Mark Howard (Rebecca) Hilliard of Laura; eight grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and three sisters-in-law, Melba Wilson and E. Joyce Farquharson, both of Iowa, and Dorothy Baumgartner of Florida.

Preceding her in death were two brothers, Donald Baumgartner of Florida and Wendall (Ruth) Baumgartner of Ohio; and one sister, Marjorie (Harold) Kaiser of Indiana.

A member of the Cissna Park High School graduating Class of 1938, she graduated from Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in Urbana in 1941 and was a registered nurse at OSF Saint Francis for 26 years, retiring in 1986.

An avid volunteer in her community, OSF Saint Francis Nurse of the Year, a member of the American Nurses Association, 7th District Nurses and the Catholic Nurses Association, she was also a charter member of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Morton and a member of the Altar & Rosary Society at Blessed Sacrament.

A closed casket visitation was Friday at Knapp-Johnson Funeral Home in Morton. Further visitation was Saturday, followed by services at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Morton. The Rev. Mark DeSutter officiated. Burial was in Hillcrest Memory Gardens in Morton.

Memorials be made to the American Red Cross Haiti Relief and Development Fund, Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church Building Fund, to the OSF Student Nurse Scholarship Fund or to Apostolic Christian Restmor.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at