We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Phoenix Funeral Services, Inc.
John Hilliard passed away at home on July 20, 2022 at the age of 73, with his beloved wife Katherine, daughter Lauren and grandson Emory by his side.
John was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on February 10, 1949. John grew up in South Carolina where his father R.O. Hilliard served as a Baptist minister for 41 years. He moved to Georgia in 1978 but never lost his love of the Low Country. John excelled in sports, lettering in football, baseball, track and basketball in high school. He received many awards and accolades personally and contributed to his teams’ winning region and state championships. He attended North Greenville College on a football scholarship. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1969 and served to 1971. Afterwards he attended the Culinary Institute of America.
John was truly a “renaissance man”. His passion for artistic perfection was expressed in both his culinary and landscaping careers. He was Executive Chef and Food Service Director in resorts in the Low Country, Hospital Director of Operations including food services and other non-healthcare departments in Atlanta and Athens. He changed his career direction and became a territory sales representative and manager of food service and equipment. His passion for artistic expression, his love of the outdoors and desire to have the freedom to use his talents led to his founding of his company, Hilliard Landscape Group.
As a professional and executive chef, he received many awards and recognitions including a National Award for Desserts, and was featured in The Ford Times, Gourmet and Southern Living magazines. His original recipes were included in several cookbooks.
In his retirement he was committed to his grandson Emory’s education and sports, especially in the competitive shotgun shooting sport. He was a coach on both the school and Scholastic Clay
John’s legacy throughout his life as mentor, coach, and teacher of life lessons enriched the lives of many people. He gave freely of himself and financially without expecting or wanting any recognition.
John was preceded in death by his parents, R.O. and Lillian Hilliard and grandson Alezander Moseley Hilliard. John leaves behind to cherish his memory, his wife of Forty-Four years, Katherine Sherman Hilliard, his daughter; Lauren Brittany Hilliard, grandson; John Emory Hilliard, Brother-in-law; Eric (Brenda) Sherman, Nephew; Jonathan (Elaine) Sherman, Niece; Carrie (Mark) Glover, great nephews, as well as a host of other loving family and friends.
KISS YOUR LIFE. ACCEPT IT, JUST AS IT IS. TODAY. NOW. SO THAT THOSE MOMENTS OF HAPPINESS YOU ARE WAITING FOR DON'T PASS YOU BY.