John died peacefully at home on March 3, 2019 with his family around him. He was 88. He was was born in Wilmington, DE, son of Leroy and Essyl Hilyard. After graduating from P. S. DuPont High School in 1949, he served in the Navy for two years on the USS Tripoli delivering jet planes all over the world. He then was employed by Delmarva Power for 42 years. During that time, he was requested and enjoyed being a Master of Ceremonies for many retirement parties. He was a member of the Elks Lodge #307 for 58 years and was the oldest living member. John was an avid golfer at Rock Manor Golf Course starting as a caddy in 1942 at 12 years old caddying for many prestigious golfers.
John was preceded in death by the love of his life, Catherine (Kitty) Hall Hilyard and they were married for 57 years.
John is survived by his three daughters Tara H. Weik (Joseph) of Greenville, DE, Kimberly H. West of Greenville, DE and Beth L. Hilyard of Wilmington, DE. He is also survived by two grandsons, Dr. Matthew Weik and Jonathan Weik and a sister Patricia (James) Chapman of Pennsylvania.
The family wishes to extend a heartfelt and special thank you to Jennifer Crossan for her many years service and friendship as an invaluable aide to John and before him, his wife Kitty, Jeannie Germano for her invaluable friendship with our Dad and Barbara Mahoney for her special friendship with our Dad.
John was an extremely funny, gregarious man and interesting story teller who was very well liked. He had many aliases; The Rock, Rocky, Shaky, Bull Halsey and Jack. He will be extremely missed.
Visitation will be held at the Chandler Funeral Home, Hockessin, 7230 Lancaster Pike, Hockessin, DE on Wednesday March 13 from 10-11 am. Interment private, Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to any animal charity of your choice.