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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Gladys Mae Hillyerd

Gladys Mae Hillyerd 93, a resident of Columbia, New Jersey for 68 years, passed away peacefully on Saturday, July 8, 2023 at St. Luke’ Warren Hospital, with her girls at her side.

Born in Plainfield, New Jersey on December 20, 1929 to William and Isabel Mantell, Gladys went to St. Bernard’s Catholic School and graduated from Holy Trinity High School.

At age 26, Gladys met her future husband Edward Hillyerd at a grange square dance. After a brief courtship, they tied the knot and together built a beautiful home on his family farm property, where they raised three daughters.

Extremely religious, Gladys was a faithful parishioner of St. Jude’s Catholic Church, Blairstown, where she was a member of the Ladies Guild. She also served on the Knowlton Township Election Board for several years and volunteered as a Girl Scout leader.

Along with being a caring and loving mother, Gladys was a perfectionist with the most impressive organizational skills anyone could have. Always meticulous, she was the bookkeeping partner of Ed Hillyerd Excavating for 60 years. Her sharp pencil was invaluable to the success of the business. Everything had a place and it was always there when she looked for it.

A thrifty homemaker during the lean years, she sewed the family’s clothes (even school lunch bags), canned all the garden harvests, and was a pioneer in the recycling movement, often ironing wrapping paper and unwrinkling tin foil to reuse. Her house was always immaculate.

Gladys’ longevity can be attributed to her well-balanced diet of the five c’s food groups: chocolate candy, chocolate cake, coffee cake, cookies and coffee.

Blessed with just short of 65 years of marriage, Gladys and Ed spent a good part of their later life traveling in their motorhome to all corners of the country, always making new friends and memories along the way. She loved spending summers boating and waterskiing on the Delaware and staying at the family’s river house, a place that will be enjoyed by generations to come.

Up until the last few days, she was fortunate to live alone in her home that she shared with her adoring cat Sunny. Watching her great grandbabies was her color TV she cherished every moment with them.

Gladys was predeceased in death by her husband Edward and daughter Donna. She leaves behind two daughters, Rosemary and Eileen Plunkett, husband Rich, grandchildren Jessica Zieche, husband Jared, Colleen Apgar, husband Joel, Patrick Plunkett, wife Maureen, son-in-law Bill O’Reilly, and five great grandchildren, Conor, Libby, Kaitlyn, Jonathan and Reid. And Sunny, her cat. Does anyone want to adopt him?

A viewing will be held at Newbaker Funeral Home, 200 Route 94, Blairstown between 4-8 PM, Friday 14, 2023 and services will take place at 11 AM, Saturday July 15th at St. Jude Roman Catholic Church, 7 Eisenhower Rd., Blairstown, NJ. Burial will follow in Knowlton Frame Cemetery, Centerville.

Gladys wanted any donations to be made to St. Jude Catholic Church Ladies Guild.

When you savor a piece of chocolate, think of Gladys and smile.