PONTIAC - William J. "Joe" Hilt, 89, of 614 W. Grove St., Pontiac, died at 3:20 p.m. on Friday (April 7, 2006) at his home.
He was born Nov. 30, 1916, in Janesville, Wis. He married Marion J. Hinish on Oct. 19, 1940. She preceded him in death on April 13, 1998. Two sons, Jeffrey and Keith Hilt, also preceded his death, both in the past year.He is survived by sons, David W. (Ruth), Elkhorn, Wis., and Dan (Susan) Hilt, rural Chenoa; and one daughter, Wendy (Douglas) Arthur, Morris. "Papa Joe" is also survived by 16 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.A visitation with the family will be from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday at Pontiac Bible Church. A memorial service will follow at 3 p.m., with Pastor Brian Bill officiating. Burial will be in Pike Township Cemetery. Martin-Burke Funeral Home, Pontiac, is in charge of arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to OSF Hospice, Pontiac; the Caring Pregnancy Center or Futures Unlimited, both of Pontiac.
Joe and Marion raised their family in Chicago, and later Crestwood, where he as actively involved in civic and community organizations. He served as the village planning commissioner for many years. Retiring as a millwright superintendent in 1986, Joe and Marion relocated to Pontiac. He continued to be involved in community service. He was a member of Pontiac Elks Club, an active Kiwanian, and generously supported many local service organizations with his time and talents. He loved music, and he rarely missed a community concert. He enjoyed rose gardening and woodworking. He leaves behind a legacy of children's furniture, swing sets and many other wood crafts.
Having been a professional golfer in the 1930s, Joe was determined to get back to the game he loved so much, and he spent much of the 20 years in Pontiac improving his swing.
"Joe" is also survived by his family at the Pontiac Bible Church, whose love and care over the years impacted his life, and led to our assurance that "God took him home on the 18th hole."