Shelby - Mr.. Robert Lee Hillman was born March 1, 1947 to the Late Roy Patterson and the Late Hattie Hillman Barnes in Gaston County, North Carolina. He departed this life on Monday, August 13, 2018 at his home in Shelby, North Carolina. Robert is preceded in death by his parents, his grandmother, Hattie English Hillman, and sister Gladys Hillman. Robert retired as Sergeant First Class with the United States Army after 32 years of dedicated service. He was highly decorated and completed multiple tours in Vietnam. He was a proud veteran and he highly respected the military profession. Robert was a faithful member of Faith Harvest Church for many years where he served as head of security. He loved his church family and was instrumental in leading the Adopt-A-Block ministry that mentored many children in the community. Robert was a gifted chess player, and enjoyed teaching chess to students within the Cleveland County School System. He was a diehard Pittsburg Steelers fanatic, and would argue you down to convince you that there was no better team in the world. Knowing Robert, he probably has a skybox seat in heaven, and is bragging about the Steelers’ sure-win over the Titans next Saturday! Robert believed in protecting his family, no matter the cost. He displayed a strong, hard shell, but he was really a gentle giant. Even though it was hard for Robert to verbally tell you that he loved you, he expressed his love in his own special way. It was shown through his time with you, his sharing of resources, the wisdom that he imparted, his off the wall humor, and his willingness to listen and be there for a family member or friend. Robert was right there, whenever and wherever he was needed. He will be remembered as a loving husband, a proud father, an affectionate grandfather, a caring friend, a mentor, coach, and role model to many.
Robert leaves to treasure in our hearts his wife of 9 years, Mrs. Nancy Massey Hillman of the home, a brother, Benny Dale Thomas of Charlotte, NC, eight daughters Barbara (Jeff) Robinson of Gastonia, NC, Avis (Robert) Baxter, Tanya Houser, and Angela Thomas of Kings Mountain, NC, Shania (Robert) Meriwether of Charlotte, NC, Brianna Hillman, of Lincolnton, NC, KiKi Lynch, of Stanley, NC and Alexandria Massey of the home. Four sons, Daron Hillman, Rodney (Shell) Jefferies, of Gastonia, NC, Robert (Carol) Hillman of Bessemer City, NC, and Brian (Elise) Hillman of Kings Mountain, NC. 26 grandchildren, 36 great-grands, 2 great-great grands, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and other relatives. Robert had many special friends, including Mr. Ben Hush, Mr. Robert Strong and “The Spades Crew” that met at Holly Oak Park. Funeral: Saturday, August 18, 2018 at 2pm at Faith Harvest Church, Shelby. The family will receive friends 30 mins prior to the service.
Burial: Monday, August 20, 2018 at 11am at Salisbury National Cemetery, Salisbury, NC