Gary Don "Poppa Bear" Hillis, age 72 a native of Van Buren County and a resident of McMinnville, Tennessee passed from this life on Sunday, July 7, 2019, from an extended illness at his home with his sons and daughter-in-laws at his bedside.
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Don was born Friday, May 23, 1947 in Spencer, Tennessee, he was the son of the late James Hillis and the late Seawillow Johnson Hillis.
Don was retired from Carrier were he worked for 27 years. He was an owner of Kathy's Market with his father and brother. Don was a veteran of the Vietnam War serving his country in the U.S. Army from 1967 to 1969.
Gary is survived by his:
3 sons - Jerry Don Hillis
Michael Brad Hillis and wife Claudia
Tobie Christopher Hillis and wife Shelia
grandchildren - Dexter Hillis and wife Ariel, Natoshia Wells and husband Dorrid, Jesse Hillis and wife Melissa, Dylan Hillis and wife Christian and Jordan Hillis.
great grandchildren - Skyler HIllis, Crimson Wells, Kimber Wells, Azelea Hillis and Zoey Hillis.
brothers - Leonard Hillis and Troy Hillis
special brother-in-law - Paul Johnson
special sister-in-law - Carol Jean Holt Hillis
special nieces - Mitzi Johnson, Angie Johnson and Peebles Jones
very special adopted granddaughter Kristin Blackburn Griffith
special brother and sister-in-law - Hubert and Leona Tate
Many other nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends also survive
In addition to his parents, Gary was preceded in death by his loving wife Rose Marie Tate Hillis with whom he married January 3, 1969. His brothers Tommy "TBird" Hillis. Edward "Jabo" Hillis and sister Geraldine Hillis Johnson and a sister-in-law Sandra Hillis.
Memorial service will be held at 11 AM Saturday, July 13, 2019 at the Gardens of Memory Memorial Cemetery. Veteran Honors by the American Legion Post 173 and VFW Post 5064.
Online condolences may be made to the family at gardensofmemoryfuneralhome.com