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Mass of Christian Burial
Obituary of Dorothy Jean Hillier
Dorothy Jean Gray Hillier (Doss) was born to Lucian A. Gray and Mary Katherine Morrissey Gray on January 25, 1925, in Nespelem, Washington, and passed peacefully from this life on March 31, 2019 in Olympia, Washington.
As the last of nine children, Dorothy was raised and completed her elementary and high school education in Nespelem, graduating from Nespelem High School in 1943. She attended Eastern Washington State College and Gonzaga University before receiving her Nursing degree in 1947 from Sacred Heart School of Nursing in Spokane, Washington. In 1948, she married Thomas William Hillier in Spokane, where they resided until they moved their family to Olympia in 1954. During her 65 years in Olympia, Dorothy was active in numerous professional, social and volunteer events. She worked at St. Peter Hospital in the labor/delivery and nursery units for 14 years, served the North Thurston Public Schools as a school nurse for over 20 years, and was a faithful member of St. Michael Catholic Church.
Dorothy learned early on the importance of family, friends, education, strong faith, hard work and lifting the marginalized. The gift and example from her father to care and serve others, the family stories remembered, retold over and over, and the music her family played, sang and danced to, were permanently imprinted into the heart and soul of our mother and all her siblings. Those blessings are now extend to an incredible family nearing 200 persons. Quite a legacy!
Dorothy never, ever lost her love of the story, the song, or the dance. Nursing was her passion. Her innate care and empathy for the sick, the new born, school students, colleagues, rural families and the elderly, whom she lovingly served for over 35 years, was remarkable. The stories she shared and the many lessons learned over 94 years, spoke to the very foundation of her core. She had an unwavering faith in God. She cherished her husband and children unconditionally. She loved to entertain and had an infectious smile. She was bright and witty. She sang, danced and had fun until the day she died. She had a memory like no other. Whether it was family names or birthdates, sports, political issues or current events, she could discuss them all without hesitation and always with wisdom. Her home was her haven and her heart was open to all who entered. She loved tradition and believed life should be about celebrating its goodness.
Those pillars continue to be reflected in the lives of her eight beautiful children and their families: Maureen and Joe Spacciante of Olympia, Steve and Melinda Hillier of Salem, OR, Bill and Carol Hillier of Chehalis, WA, Paul (RIP) and Joan Hillier of Chehalis, WA, John and Sue Hillier of Spokane, Colleen and Sam Tollefson of Olympia, Jim Hillier of Wayzata, MN, and Mary and Pat Zielinski of Olympia; all followed by 34 grandchildren, 31 great grandchildren, and over 100 nieces, nephews and grand nieces and nephews. Dorothy was the last survivor of her family, and was preceded in death by her husband of 39 years, Thomas William Hillier in 1986; and her son, Paul Lucian Hillier in 2006.
Her life was full and we have been blessed!
Dorothy Hillier’s life will be celebrated with a Mass of Christian Burial on Friday, May 3, 2019, 12:00 noon at St. Michael Catholic Church, 1208 11th Ave. SE, Olympia, WA 98501. Please join the family for a reception immediately following the mass. Graveside services will be in Calvary Catholic Cemetery, 3850 Cleveland Ave. SE, Tumwater, WA 98501.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Vincent de Paul community outreach at St. Michael Parish.