Lester R. Hillman, 85, of Sun City West, Arizona passed away November 8th, 2012 at Hospice of the Valley, in Surprise, Arizona.
He was born in New Bedford, Mass., June 11, 1927, and attended New Bedford schools until enlisting in the US Navy at age 17 in 1944. He served on the USS Maryland for three years, and during active reserve duties, he was recalled to serve during the Korean War.
In 1951, he transferred to submarine service, and completed Warrant Officer Candidate School in 1966.
While on submarine duty, he served on numerous diesel and nuclear subs, surface ships, and did shore duty in up-state New York where he taught at the nuclear power school. He served through the Korean War, two cold wars, and the Vietnam War.
He had many wonderful memories of submarine life on the Blackfin, Bream, Pomodon, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Edison, and Cascade. He reminisced with old salts while attending several reunions and National Conventions for submariners in his later years.
Lester retired as a Lieutenant in 1972 from the Bremerton Ship Yard where he oversaw the overhaul of Naval ships.
After living in Twisp, Washington several years, he moved to Richland, Washington to work at the Westinghouse/Hanford Nuclear Plant in maintenance at the Fast Flux Test Facility. He then retired from that job in 1982 moving to Arizona to work as a contract engineer at Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station from 1984 to 1985.
He is survived by his wife; Mildred of 13 years, two sons; Stephen Hillman, (wife Tamara) of Sun City West, and Mark Hillman of Granite Falls, Washington, sister; Patricia Foster, and brother; William Q. MacLean, Jr., four grandsons; Jonathan, Ryan, Aaron, and Joshua Hillman, and one granddaughter; Karissa Hillman, plus, numerous great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
He is also survived by six step-children; Tracy Ulrich, (husband John) David Rodenburger, (wife Shawna) Mardi Jorgensen, James McGath (wife Tammy) Bette Otte (husband Russell) and Shirley Brennan (husband David), and their children.
Preceding him in death were his parents, his dear Aunt Dot, and Uncle Willard, one stepson; David McGath, and two grandchildren; Carlinda and Stacey Hillman.
He spent most of his adult years in Washington State, and retired to Arizona in his late sixties.
After marrying Mildred McGath from the state of Michigan in 1999, they became “Snowbirds” between Arizona and Michigan his remaining years.
Lester was a member of Military Officers Assoc., Submarine Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Elks, and the Naval Submarine league.
A memorial service will be held Monday, November 12th , 11:00 a.m. at Camino del Sol Funeral Chapel with reception following at the chapel hall.
Interment will be on Wednesday, November 14th, at 2:00 p.m. at National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona in Phoenix, Arizona.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix, Arizona 85014.