James Richard Hillis

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our father, grandfather and great-grandfather, James Richard Hillis, 88 of Alamosa, Colo., on Friday, June 7, 2024.

Jim was born Aug. 23, 1935, in Delhi, N.Y. He was the only child of Clark and Annis Hillis, who preceded him in death.

He grew up in Upstate New York spending his childhood with many cousins and extended family. He graduated from high school at the Delaware Academy, attended Syracuse University and eventually graduated from the SUNY Ranger’s School in Wanakena, N.Y.

He worked for the U.S Forest Service as a Range Manager and Law Enforcement Officer. He took great pride in his work and worked in California, South Dakota, and several offices throughout Colorado including Saguache and Monte Vista. He fought many, many wildfires throughout the U.S. and retired after 33 years of service.

While he was working in Rapid City, S.D., in 1966 he met and married Patricia (Williamson) Biggs. Together they had four children, Steven, Beth, Tim and Teresa. His kids were his pride and joy and he spent many hours with them playing ball in the front yard, camping, fishing, hunting, traveling and attending their sporting events.

Jim loved to tell and laugh at jokes, make up stories about “side-hill gougers” and “wampus cats”– all of which his children wholeheartedly believed! He loved to dance and spent several years taking country swing classes and ended up staying on as a fill in dance partner. He was a loyal member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church and dedicated countless hours reading at Saturday night mass.

For many years he sold Amway products and enjoyed the opportunity to travel on behalf of the company, making new friends and learning new sales strategies. He enjoyed being a member of the Alamosa Republicans, as well.

The Brooklyn Dodgers were his favorite baseball team, and he was so disappointed when they went to L.A. One of the highlights of his younger years was the opportunity he was given to briefly play minor league baseball.

He was also one of Alamosa High School’s most devoted fans. He attended as many sports as he could, even if his kids and grandkids weren’t competing. He loved to go to the Colorado State Wrestling Tournaments in Denver and showed up 31 consecutive years to support the wrestlers! When he was no longer able to get out of the house, he missed being able to go to the sporting events the most.

He is survived by his children: Steven Hillis, Beth Quinlan, Tim (Kristi) Hillis, Teresa Hillis (Chester Baker) all of Alamosa, his grandchildren Aaron Quinlan (Jenna), Corey Quinlan (Anne), Cody Quinlan, McKenna Quinlan (James Selman), Tayleur Hillis, Kolten Hillis (Liana), Kacey Hillis, Kennedy Hillis, Amanda Martinez (Gavin), Whitney Martinez, AJ Baker and his great-grandchildren Noah Quinlan, Makissa, Caysen, Brooklyn and Kjerstin Quinlan and Christina, Hamilton and Kaidon Selman.

A Funeral Service will be held on Thursday, June 13, 2024. A rosary will be held at 9:30 a.m. and Funeral Mass will follow 10 a.m. at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Alamosa. He will be laid to rest at the Alamosa Cemetery.

Arrangements have been made through Rogers Family Mortuary.  To leave online remarks, condolence, and words of comfort for Jim’s family, please visit www.RogersFunerals.com.