Schnider Funeral Home Great Falls Montana


James Hillyard
James Hillyard


James Hillyard

Apr 27, 1936 - Jul 18, 2017

Beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, James “Jim” Hillyard passed away at his home on July 18, 2017 at the age of 81. 

Jim was born in Millwood, Virginia, he was the youngest of nine boys. Shortly after graduating high school, Jim followed the footsteps of his brothers and joined the US military serving in the Air Force. A veteran of the Korean War, his military service ended achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant in Great Falls, Montana. It was during this time that he met and married his loving partner of 60 years, Margie Dailey.

Jim dedicated his life raising his five children, fourteen grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren, while working in the construction industry as a Contractor and Master Carpenter. He served on the Board of Executives of the Carpenter's Local Union 286 for several years. Jim also was one of the organizers that created the men's slow pitch league of Great Falls.

Jim was a hunter and fishermen and could often be found with his wife and children in Lincoln, MT enjoying all the outdoor activities and working on his mountain get-away. However, it was thoroughbred horses and horse racing that was his ultimate passion. As a breeder, owner, and trainer much of his time was spent traveling throughout Montana, Alberta, and the Northwest race tracks with his horses, winning races in Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Alberta, and British Columbia.

Jim is survived by his wife, Margie; children Cheri (Dennis) Alexander of Great Falls, MT, Dale (Kori) Hillyard of Sun River, MT, Daniel (Kimberly) Hillyard of Newman Lake, WA, Pamela (Bert) Stanford of Pincher Creek, AB, Canada, and Kimberly Graff of Billings, MT; as well as 13 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents Otha and Carrie; brothers Joe, Nathaniel, Elmer, John, Benjamin, Ashby, Thomas, and Clarence; and granddaughter Janette Renee.

A celebration of Jims' life will be held on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. at Hillcrest Lawn Memorial Chapel. Burial of ashes will follow at Mount Olivet Cemetery and reception at Schnider Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jim’s name to Wounded Warrior Project or Great Falls Rescue Mission 323 2nd Ave. S. 

Public Guest Book

Jul 23rd
Kim Graff
I love you dad!
Jul 23rd
durwood (sandy)sanderson
I considered Jim a good friend. The world won't be
the same without him.
Jul 23rd
Tammie (Teague) Stockton
My deepest condolences go out to Aunt Margie and the entire Hillyard family. Many fond memories of Uncle Jim over the years especially the time spent at the race track watching in awe his ease around horses. He was truly a horse whisperer. Much love going out to the family during this difficult time. You are in my thoughts and prayers- Tammie
Jul 27th
Suzie Twedt
Margie and Family, I am so very sorry and sadden of your loss of such a loved Man in your life. Please know that you are all in my prayers at this difficult time. Sending hugs and prayers. Suzie Twedt
Jul 30th
Willie, Elliott Teague and Families
Margie and Family. We sent all our sincerest and deepest sympathy on the passing of Jim, a husband, father, grandpa and friend. May you find comfort in all the good memories Jim left with us all. You are in our hearts, thoughts, prayers and love always.


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