Preston Earl (Butch) Hillis

by Lynn McMillen
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Preston Earl (Butch) Hillis, of Florence, passed away at NAMC on April 16, 2024, at the age of 78. The family will receive friends Sunday, April 21 from 1:00 – 2:00 pm at Woodmont Baptist Church – 2001 Darby Drive, Florence, AL. The memorial service will follow at 2:00 pm with Reverend Chad Hess and Dr. Eddy Garner officiating. Williams Funeral Home is assisting the family.

He was preceded in death by his parents, J. V. Hillis and Pauline H. Hillis, and by his granddaughter, Amelia Nell Hillis.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Kaye Bowling Hillis.

Sons Patrick (Mary) of Decatur and Robbie (Misty) of Florence and grandchildren Mary Kate, Mac, Ben, and Lydia.

His sister, Frances Moore (Mike), brother Michael Hillis (deceased wife Ann). His nephews are Jeff Bowling, Dennis Moore, Jason Moore, Jamie Hillis, nieces Melissa Lyles and Brianna Maharrey.

Preston was faithful member of Woodmont Baptist Church for over 50 years. Member of the Woodmont Baptist Building Committee, Security team and went on several Mission Trips to build or remodel Churches.

Preston served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War as a Loadmaster with the rank of Sergeant. He then returned home and worked for Reynolds Metals before working with TVA at Colbert Steam Plant and Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant for 35 years as a Unit Operator.  He was an electrician by trade and a member of IBEW Local 558.

He also gave his time to Safeplace as jack of all trades.

He then went to went work part time for the U.S. Census Bureau.

His love for being a Veteran welcomed him into helping develop the Memorial Grove in Florence. He lowered the flag when needed and took anybody who wanted to go there and learn about our flag. His grandchildren were his favorite to watch each time.

Preston was a member of the Florence Tree Commission serving as Past President & Treasurer for over 20 years.

Preston was a member of Florence Masonic Lodge #14.

He was a Youth and High School Sports Official for over 40 years in Football, Basketball, Baseball, Softball & Soccer as well as an ASA Softball Umpire. He served in many roles within the Tennessee Valley Football Officials Association as President, Board Member and New Member Trainer.  He was also the “Chief” of the Chain Gang for UNA Football Home games for 40+ Years.  He was a member of the Shoals National Championship Committee serving as the Game Officials Hosts for 20 years.

He was the District Director for the Alabama Baptist Association Disaster Relief Teams serving in numerous states with over 40 trips during natural Disasters.

He was a proud member of Shoals Master Gardeners.

Pops always loved watching his Grandchildren in all their activities and sports. He was a loving grandfather to all of them and could not wait to spoil them with whatever they wanted.

The Family would like to thank his caregivers, Dr. Lyman Mitchell and the staff at NAMC.

In lieu of Flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the City of Florence Memorial Grove, c/o Martha Murphy, 102 South Court Street, Suite 200, Florence, AL 35630.

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