Norval Jay Hillmer
1918 - 2009
Norval Jay Hillmer, 91, a loving husband and father, entered the gates of heaven Dec. 17, 2009, just 43 days short of his 92nd birthday. He was born Jan. 29, 1918 in Blunt, S.D. He was the eighth of 11 children born to James William “Jay” and Hattie Ella (Davies-Jane) Hillmer.
His grandfather, Heinrich Wilhelm Hillmer moved from Iowa to South Dakota in 1883, purchasing land in Valley Township, Huron County.
Mr. Hillmer worked on the Hillmer Ranch in Valley Township and on the Herman Gephart Ranch in Hyde County until about 1946.
On Feb. 28, 1942 he married his childhood friend and neighbor, Ruth Marie Payne, daughter of Oscar Edwin and Georgietta (Hales) Payne, who had just relocated from Valley Township to Laramie, Wyo.
In 1946 they sold all their livestock and permanently moved to Laramie from South Dakota where they began their career of renovating old businesses and houses — although Mr. Hillmer continued to consider himself a rancher.
Mr. Hillmer, who was a “Jack of All Trades” — and a “Master of All” — would work during the weekdays for others and do renovations evenings and weekends. The couple also owned a variety of business over the years and was a member of Progressive Builders who developed many areas in Laramie.
Upon retirement, the couple traveled the country in an Airstream RV; taking several trips with the Wally Byram Caravan. Their travels included the continental USA but also Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
During the 1990s they became snowbirds, living in Laramie in the summer and spending the winter in the East Valley area of Phoenix. In 2000 they moved to their current residence in Payson.
Mr. Hillmer was preceded in death by his parents (losing his mother at age 11); his brothers, James W. Jr. (Ethel McIlravy), John Leo (Marguarite Hanscom), Ivan Russell (Virginia Kitchens and Hazel Rambo); his sisters, Mary Luverne, Cecile (Walt Frager and William Vesser), Leona (Arnold Nelson and Jack Bojorgues), Grace (Earl Crain), Doris (Marvin Voss) and Rosemary (George Ogan).
Surviving Mr. Hillmer is his wife, Ruth, of Payson; a sister, Hazel (Carl Stuart) of Beatrice, Neb.; a son, Jay (Susan Everett) of Burke, Va.; and two daughters, Bonnie (Ken Foreman and Bob Morris) of Phoenix and Ramona (David Wiegand) of San Francisco. Also surviving are grandchildren, Scott Hillmer (Michele), Michelle Hillmer-Pool (John), Danielle Hillmer, all of northern Virginia, and Terri Foreman Morelock (Ron) of Oakwood, Texas, Randy Foreman (Cheryl Lichon) of Las Vegas, Nev., Juliet Morris of Seattle, Wash., Ty Wiegand (Silvia) of Denver, Colo. and Wes Wiegand (Mindy) of Portland, Ore.; great-grandchildren, James, Luke, Matthew and Daegan Hillmer of northern Virginia, Justin Marshall (Katie) of Nacogdoches, Texas, Michael Morelock of Oakwood, Texas, Austin Foreman of Seattle, Wash., Ryan Foreman of Las Vegas, Nev., Katelyn Wiegand of Denver, Colo., Courtney and Madison Wiegand of Portland, Ore.; great-great-grandchildren, Adyan Foreman of Las Vegas, Nev. and London Foreman of Seattle, Wash.
“Norval was a great role model on how to live your life and was loved by everyone in his family and many friends. He was an excellent husband for almost 68 years and a wonderful father. He will be terribly missed by all who knew him,” his family writes.