Roderick Hillis


Roderick “Rod” Hillis, 83, of Hobart, passed away suddenly Friday, April. 12, 2024 at his home.

Born on June 25, 1940, in Harpersfield, Rod was the son of the late Harry O. and Ruth (Jackson) Hillis.

Rod had several careers over the years, he was a farmer, truck driver and owned and operated Hobart Farm Service and Hardware. In 1986 he went to work for the South Kortright School District, as a mechanic and driving buses and finally retiring several years later as transportation supervisor. He was a 35-year member of the Hobart Fire Department and fire chief from 2001-2003. Rod is currently a town of Stamford Councilman, serving several terms.

He had a passion for farming and the tractors and equipment used to farm. His recent farming included growing fresh vegetables, raising chickens, his donkeys, Fred and Ginger, their dog. He also loved yard sales and antiquing. Rod enjoyed rebuilding old tractors and making them useful again, however his greatest enjoyment came from his love for his family: he was a loving husband, dedicated father and proud grandfather and great-grandfather.

Besides his parents, Rod was predeceased by his first wife Margaret (Murphy) Hillis in 2002; two daughters, Rosemarie Gutliph in 2023 and Lisa Alleyne in 2024; grandson Shannon Ramp in 2002, and brother Larry Hillis in 2017.

Rod is survived by his wife Phyllis; children: Debra (Otis) Peterson of North Carolina, Laurie Wehmeyer of Jefferson, Stephanie Hillis (Mary Irving) of Harpersfield, Amy (Charles) Reinshagen of Hobart, Julie (William) Sechrist of Stamford, Gregory (Diane) Thorpe of Haines Falls, Patrick Thorpe of North Carolina, Trevor (Michael) Thorpe of Elka Park and Corey (Caitlin) Thorpe of Palenville; grandchildren Jessica Essadi, Kevin, David and Devon Alleyne, Lyndsey Peterson, Adam Wehmeyer, Kyra McKissick, Brandon and Tyler Dibble, Matthew Reinshagen, Jordan Hillis, Emily and Griffin Thorpe and Paige, Krysten and Morgan Thorpe. Several great-grandchildren; sisters Janet (William) Tuttle of Croton-on-Hudson and Audrey (David) Thorington of Prattsville; and nephews Steve and Scott Hillis.

Calling hours will be held from 3-6 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, at the MacArthur Funeral Home, 15 Buntline Drive, Stamford. A celebration of Rod’s life will be held 2-5 p.m. on Sunday, April 21 at the Hobart Community Center (Hobart Fire Dept.) Cornell Ave., Hobart.

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