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Joyce Hillin, a lifelong pianist, performer, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother passed peacefully on Sunday evening, July 16, 2023.
She was born Billie Joyce Edmonds, in Galveston, Texas on November 22, 1934, to William Conrad Edmonds and Cecelia Biskup Edmonds. She grew up in Oyster Creek, Texas and graduated Salutatorian of Brazosport High School, class of 1953. She lived and worked in Houston, Texas before her marriage to Joel Maurice Hillin on August 25, 1957. He preceded her in death on May 18, 2001.
They resided in Carthage and Bryan/College Station, Texas before settling in Stephenville, Texas in 1967. Forty-nine delightful years were cherished in Stephenville. She considered it her favorite place on earth. In 2016, she moved to Baton Rouge, LA until her passing.
Joyce had the gift of music. At the tender age of 4, she took 1 year of proper piano lessons. The indelible talent was natural from her mother’s musical Czechoslovakian family, and God-given. She read compositions well, but most of her music was played by ear. As a teen, she honed her craft by playing at revivals in Brazoria County, TX. Throughout the 49 years in Stephenville, she shared her unique style of piano at countless events. These included, Girl scout meetings, Stephenville High School & Rec Hall talent shows, Tarleton State University pageants, Chamberlin Elementary PTA meetings, Stephenville Music club, Tarleton Campus club, Rotary Club, Nursing homes, Senior Citizen Center, First Baptist prayer services and other local churches comprising all denominations. For 20+ years, she held an annual talent showcase at the Stephenville Historical Museum. She scouted for performers of all types and organized an afternoon of community entertainment. Her motivation never wavered for her next show and the chance to entertain.
While residing in Baton Rouge, she shared her music at a weekly religious service at Sunrise Assisted Living, led by Melanie & David Melville. Additionally, she accompanied the Melville’s’ to a monthly sing along at Seaside Health System. While living at The Claiborne, she entertained her friends and enjoyed the grand piano.
Joyce worked for attorneys in Erath County and at the First United Methodist Church of Stephenville, TX for 20 years; her husband Joel was a professor at Tarleton State University, a dairyman, and city councilman. They were members of First Baptist Church for 49 years, where Joel served as a deacon.
Joyce was also preceded in death by her parents, her daughter Teresa Hillin Horner and her brother Dean Edmonds.
Joyce is survived by her daughter Terri Hillin Simpson, son in law, Cal Simpson of Baton Rouge, LA and son-in-law Dr. Jimmy Horner of Decatur, TX; grandchildren Cade Simpson, Trevor Simpson (Nika), Molly Frances Simpson, Abby Horner Wood (Matthew), Will Horner (Maisie); great grandchildren Jack Simpson, James Simpson, Luke Wood, Beau Wood, Molly Kay Wood, Hank Wood, Kovax Horner, Rezi Hillin Horner, Makai Horner; cousins, nieces and nephews.
Terri would like to express her gratitude and love to her family and close friends for their support. Additional thanks to Hospice of Baton Rouge, The team at The Claiborne, and care giver Maria Chidester, and other helpers. Lastly, Terri is grateful to Bill Monroe & Craig Corie of Monroe & Corie, Inc. for their attentive understanding during her mother’s lengthy illness.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to the Joel M. Hillin Memorial Scholarship, Tarleton State University, Box T-0260, Stephenville, TX 76402
Funeral Arrangements for Joyce will be at 10:30 AM Saturday, July 29th, at the Stephenville Funeral Home Chapel. Visitation with the Hillin family will be 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM Friday, July 28th, and also visitation Saturday morning beginning at 9:00 AM until the funeral begins at 10:30 AM. Burial will follow at West End Cemetery in Stephenville. Services are under direction of Stephenville Funeral Home in Stephenville, Texas.