On Tuesday, July 6, 2021, Marion B. Hilliard, of Orange Park, FL, passed away peacefully in her sleep. She was 92.
The matriarch of her family, Marion came from humble beginnings. Born in the Bronx, NYC, on October 7, 1928, Marion was known for her advocacy and dedication to a variety of environmental and wildlife causes.
Closest to her heart was her involvement in the national, state and local garden clubs, where she held many positions including President of the Garden Club of Orange Park, President of Florida Federation of Garden Clubs (FFGC), and member of National Garden Clubs. She was a Flower Show Judge Emeritus, an Earth Stewart, a Guardian of Gardening, a Patron of the FFGC, recipient of the Pillar of Pride, and was honored in the FFGC Hall of Fame. She was credited for creating or serving on numerous initiatives including the Color Our Garden program, the First Edition Florida Series ornament design, the Scenic Florida Roadside Beautification Council, establishment of the Coreopsis named as Florida State Wildflower, Wekiva Springs Youth Camp, and the Youth School and Backyard Gardening program.
A tireless activist and leader, Marion was involved in numerous environmental clubs and initiatives, none of which she took lightly. Her main goal in belonging to these organizations was to be sure she did what she could to make this world a better place for those she left behind.
Marion was preceded in death by her husband, Alexander H. Hilliard Jr.; parents, Alfred and Louise Williams; brother, Alfred Williams Jr.; and grandson, Craig Newton.
She is survived by her four daughters, Susan Newton, Gale Lindquist, Debe Smith, and Liane Mihlebach; two stepsons, Alexander Hilliard III (Ham) and Christopher Hilliard; stepdaughter, Neva Hilliard; and their families, including 10 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
Marion's family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to one of three charities: Wekiva Youth Camp, Jacksonville Orchid Society, or Hospice of Chattanooga Foundation.
A private celebration of life will be held in Ringgold, GA, and an interment service is being planned at Jacksonville National Cemetery in the fall.