October 3, 1933 - November 4, 2021
Joyce Hilliard of Bowersville, GA passed away at home on November 4, 2021 after a brief struggle with lung cancer. She had recently celebrated her 88th birthday. Joyce was born on October 3, 1933 in Carlton, GA to Robert and Louise Collier. She grew up in Bowersville, graduated from Hartwell High School, and attended Piedmont Nursing School in Atlanta where she became a registered nurse. She married her hometown sweetheart, Sam Bowers Hilliard, in 1955. As Sam pursued his academic training, Joyce worked as a public health nurse to support their growing family. She continued her career in public health and nursing while raising their two children. Sam’s career as a Geography professor provided the opportunity to travel, and the family lived in Georgia, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Louisiana. In addition to a variety of residences, Sam and Joyce enjoyed visiting Mexico, the American west, Canada, Hawaii, Europe, and the rain forests of the Amazon. Perhaps her favorite adventure was a semester in South Africa, where she was able to discover new cultures and meet lifelong friends. Upon their retirement Joyce and Sam felt a calling to move back to the hills of north Georgia and build their home in Bowersville on the Hilliard family land. She became an active member of the community as a member of Hartwell First United Methodist Church, the Women’s club, the Garden Club, and she and Sam spent much of their time on historical preservation in Franklin and Hart Counties. She loved to sew, cook, and garden, and their property became a wildlife sanctuary. One could often find her on the porch watching her multitude of bird feeders swarming with songbirds and hummingbirds, or see her feeding the fish in her backyard pond. She loved to photograph the deer, turkeys, and other wildlife she spotted on the property, and at the age of 80 she set up a Facebook account and started sharing her pictures with others. Even in her final days, she enjoyed seeing all the butterflies and bees feeding on her large swath of native wildflowers on the property. Joyce was preceded in death by her parents, Louise and Robert E. Collier, her brother Bob and sister-in-law Glenda Collier of Carrolton, GA and by her beloved husband, Sam Bowers Hilliard. She is survived by her children, Steven G. Hilliard and his wife Amy Edwards of Crawford Georgia, and daughter Anita Joy Hilliard and her husband Timothy Courville, and her grandchildren, Landon and Sydney Courville of Lynchburg Virginia, as well as numerous nieces and nephews and extended family throughout the southeast. Joyce began and ended her nursing career working in public health, dedicated to the health and safety of others, so to honor her passion the family ask that all attendees wear masks and practice social distancing. A graveside service celebrating Joyce’s life will be held on Monday, November 22, 2021 at 2 p.m. at the Bowersville City Cemetery with Dr. R. Allen Stewart officiating. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Hartwell First United Methodist Church, 200 East Howell Street, Hartwell, GA 30643 or a nature/wildlife charity of one’s choice. The Strickland Funeral Home of Hartwell is in charge of all arrangements.
Joyce Hilliard of Bowersville, GA passed away at home on November 4, 2021 after a brief struggle with lung cancer. She had recently celebrated her 88th birthday. Joyce was born on October 3, 1933 in Carlton, GA to Robert and Louise Collier.... View Obituary & Service Information
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