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Camille Joy Hillman

November 4, 1930 - October 5, 2015
Grand Rapids, MI

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Visitations


Monday, October 12, 2015
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM EDT
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Alt & Shawmut Chapel
2120 Lake Michigan Dr., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 453-8263
Driving Directions

Monday, October 12, 2015
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM EDT
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Alt & Shawmut Chapel
2120 Lake Michigan Dr., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 453-8263

The Scripture Service will be held at the funeral home on Monday Oct. 12, 7:00 PM.

Driving Directions

Tuesday, October 13, 2015
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT
Holy Spirit Catholic Church
2230 Lake Michigan Dr. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Services


Tuesday, October 13, 2015
11:00 AM EDT
Holy Spirit Catholic Church
2230 Lake Michigan Dr. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 40504

Contributions


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Alzheimer's Association - Kalamazoo
350 East Michigan Ave. #20
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
(269) 342-1482
Driving Directions
Web Site

Faith Hospice
2100 Raybrook Drive SE, Suite 300
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
(616) 235-5113
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


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Through her loving example, Camille Hillman was a nurturing and honorable woman of sound moral character. Intelligent and hardworking, she was dedicated to those entrusted to her care, and her abiding faith carried her through each day for which she was blessed. For these things and so much more, Camille will be dearly missed by those who knew and loved her best.

The crash of the stock market in late 1929 created financial turmoil from coast to coast. By 1930, 1,350 banks had failed in the U.S. while the entertainment world was a welcome deviation from everyday worries. During these changing times in the riverfront city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, the birth of Camille Joy on November 4, 1930 found her parents, Leon and Lottie (Jedrzejczak) Masalkowski with much to be thankful for.

Camille was the oldest of six children who were a very close family. She later welcomed younger siblings, Roger, Connie, Ruthie, Nancy, and Marty. They made their home on Maynard Road NW where her mother remained at home as a homemaker while her father supported their bustling household at Hayes Manufacturing. Although the Great Depression created financial blight and struggle, Camille lived a childhood typical of her generation. The winter months found her enjoying skiing and the beaches offered much for Camille and her friends, as well as bowling. As a family they were devout members of St. Adalbert Catholic Church where as a young girl Camille attended elementary school. She was a reserved girl yet loved to sing. Camille was in the Glee Club and along with being a very good student, she especially excelled in math before graduating from Catholic Central High School with the Class of 1948.

Following high school, Camille put her math skills to good use when she took a job with Kishkorn Accounting. She later worked as a supervisor in the accounting department at Michigan Bell Telephone where she remained for ten years. This was also a fun time in her life to enjoy travel with friends touring the U.S. and Mexico. Before long, Camille met Bernard “Bob” Hillman. He was captivated by her stunning beauty and warm heart. They began dating and after falling deeply in love, they eloped in 1958 with hopes of a bright future.

The newlyweds made their first home together in an apartment on Third Street NW for the next five years where they welcomed the births of three wonderful boys. Kyle was born in 1959, followed by Randy in 1960, and James completed their family in 1963. Faith was an integral part of Camille’s life and as a family they became members of Holy Spirit Church where Camille faithfully attended through the rest of her days. There she was actively involved and for many years she was on the funeral luncheon committee.

Camille and Bob later built a family home on Parkside NW in the city of Walker where together they enjoyed family get-togethers and holidays. Camille made a good home for Bob and their boys, and she loved nothing more than having her family together. The boys attended Cummings Elementary School before graduating from Kenowa Hills High School.

Life as Camille knew it forever changed in 1964 when her husband traveled with a friend to Canada to go moose hunting. While tracking a moose, the two became separated, and sadly, Bob was never to be seen again. This tragedy was no less a devastating time for Camille and her young boys. Close family ties, the love and support of family and friends as well as Camille’s unending faith sustained her through these trying days.

Camille soon began working as a bookkeeper with Dykstra Excavating Company. During the time she worked there, the company was developing ground for a new housing subdivision, the Imperial Forest Estates off of Kinney NW. Camille had the privilege of naming all the streets in the new subdivision and even had a new home built there on Imperial Drive.

With love and devotion, Camille went on to raise her sons with heartfelt dedication. They absolutely loved her cooking, and family favorites included her potato salad, turkey dinners, banana bread, and her scrumptious raspberry pies. Camille loved working in her yard and lovingly tended to her flowers. She especially treasured her irises and day lilies. Quite an intelligent woman, she enjoyed working on crossword puzzles, in ink, daily. When it came to TV, Camille loved the shows Dallas and Jeopardy! She also liked watching ballroom dancing, all the beauty pageants, including following her niece Alecia, who became Miss Michigan 1985. She also enjoyed visiting Atlantic City for the Miss America Pageant. Camille and her sister, Ruthie attended the Nagano Olympic Trials of figure skating at the Van Andel Arena which she loved. With her appreciation and love for musicals and show tunes, Camille was particularly fond of the Broadway musical, Cats.

Camille was a woman of grace and beauty. A striking woman, she was meticulous in all ways and loved shopping for clothing and jewelry. Just as kind and caring, when her mother died in 1993, Camille helped care for her father at his home until his death in 1999. After 30 years of service, Camille retired from Dykstra Excavating which gave her more time to devote to her beloved grandchildren. She loved being with them, and in them she found the greatest joy. Through the years, Camille never missed their school events, birthdays or other special days. She gladly babysat them, picked them up from school, and simply enjoyed taking them where they needed to go.

Through the years, Camille began developing dementia, and was later diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. As her condition worsened, she went on to live at the Van Andel Pavilion where her family was always there to visit and attended to her needs.

When reflecting on the life of Camille, faithful, loving, inspiring and determined are what comes to mind. She was dedicated in all she did, and her devotion was without end. A wonderful and loving wife, mother, sister, grandmother and friend, Camille will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered with joy.

Camille J. Hillman (Masalkowski) aged 84 of Grand Rapids, peacefully passed away on Monday afternoon, October 5, 2015 with her loving family at her side. She was preceded in death by her husband, Bernard “Bob” Hillman; her parents, Leon and Lottie Masalkowski; and by her brother-in-law, Larry Levanduski. She is survived by her children, Kyle and Michele Hillman, Randy and Donna Hillman, James and Virginia Hillman; her grandchildren, Andrew, Jessica, Evan, Alex (Amber), Matthew, Ainsley and Keenan; her brothers and sisters, Roger and Sonya Massel, Conrad and Corrine Masalkowski, Martin and Bobbie Masalkowski, Ruth Levanduski, Nancy and Richard Brennan; many nieces, nephews and friends. Camille was a member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 2230 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, where the Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, October 13, 2105 at 11:00 AM. Burial in Holy Cross Cemetery. Relatives and friends may meet her family at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW on Monday, October 12 from 2-4 and 7-9 PM with a scripture service at 7:00 PM. Visitation also at the church on Tuesday from 10:00 AM until the Mass begins. Contributions in her memory may be made to Faith Hospice or the Alzheimer’s Association. To read more about Camille’s life, to sign her guest book and to leave your own memory of her, please visit her web page at www.lifestorynet.com.

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