Leon Hillery Sr.
September 1, 1923- January 23, 2012
Born: September 1, 1923
Place of Birth: Helena, Arkansas
Place of Death: Home
Visitation: Friday, February 3, 2012 5:00 - 7:00
Stephens Funeral Home Chapel
Funeral Services: Saturday, February 4, 2012
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Place: Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church
Rev. Leroy Harper Sr.- Officiating
Burial will be at Oak Grove Cemetery
Leon Hillery Sr, was born on September 1, 1923 to the late Mr. St. Clair Hillery and the late Mrs. Magnolia Hillery Claiborne in a small community south of Helena, Arkansas. as an only child of that union, he grew up with a special first cousin as his sister, Elvira Hillery Dyer, who preceded him in death. He was educated in the public schools of Helena and graduated from Eliza Miller High School and loved playing baseball as a child.
Leon accepted Christ as his personal Savior at an early age, and was a long time member of the Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church serving as superintendent of Sunday School for many years. As a young man he moved to Chicago, IL to escape the oppression of the South, but later returned after only a few years.
During his life, he was employed by Chicago Mill Lumber & Co., Doughboy, and H & M Lumber Co. After sustaining an injury on the latter job, he decided to become and entrepreneur and started City Cab company in Helena, operating until retirement.
Leon enjoyed life and was an active member of the Prince Hall Masons for over 50 years. He was a member of Alpha Lodge #233, serving as secretary until his health failed. He also enjoyed many years as a co-host of Sunday School in Review presented on KFFA radio on Sunday mornings with the late Sam Bennett. Other than the Lord and Sunday School, his passion and hobby was cutting hair as a licensed barber.
Later in retirement, he decided to join another Christian family and united with Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church serving as a Deacon, substitute Sunday School teacher and acting Superintendent of Sunday School until recent failing health.
Leon was called home to be with the Lord on Monday, January 23, 2012. He was preceded in death by his parents; a daughter, Diane, two sisters, Iola Watson "Kitten" and Claire Hillery; a step-mother R.B. Hillery "Big Mama"; a step-sister, Nell Kirby "Doll", a step-father Jessie Claiborne; one grandson and one great- grandson.
Left to cherish his memory his wife Annie Hillery; step-mother Algie Mae Hillery (L.R); six sons: Leon Jr. (Katherine) of CA, Steve Perkins (Toni) of MI, Fred (Crystal) of CA, Marvin (Jane) of OH, Kenneth (Patrice) of CA, and Derrick of CA; eight daughters; Rachel Moore (Johnny) of IL, Ann Weakly (Melvin) of WI, Ruthie Johnson (Odis) of CA, Sharon Thames of CA, Carol (Carl) of GA, Felicia, Cassandra, and Roselyn (Bruce) of AR; father -in- law, Willie Williams of Helena; two brothers; John Hillery (Regina) of WI, and Gary Hillery Sr.; of AR.; one sister, Diana Hillery Evans (Robert) of AR; a step-sister, Georgia Banks of IL; five brother -in- laws, Aruthur Kirby, Willie Jr, (Kollia), Billie (Janice), James (Mary) of OK, and Johnny of LR; four sister-in-laws JoAnn Matthews (Jeff), Irene both of LR; and Carrie of Helena. Joyce Robinson (Charles) of IL; a step-daughter, Rena Minor of West Helena; three generations of grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great- great grandchildren, a play sister, Katherine Cleveland. A host of nephews, nieces, cousins, and family friends who will miss him dearly,