Robert E. Hillis, 85, Kokomo, died at 7:57 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, at Community-North Hospital in Indianapolis. He was born June 29, 1928, in Kokomo, to the late Glen R. and Bernice (Haynes) Hillis. On Feb. 7, 1955, in Kokomo, he married Doris (Hilligoss) Hillis. She preceded him in death July 19, 2010.
Mr. Hillis graduated from High School at the Culver Military Academy. He attended Hanover College for his undergraduate degree, and obtained a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Louisville.
Over the course of his professional career, Bob Hillis was a soldier, chemist, metallurgist, engineer and licensed as a commercial pilot. He also was an avid enthusiast of amateur radio using the call letters, W9GAV.
He worked as a chemist for Bendix Corp. in South Bend, and later as a metallurgist for Dirilyte Corp. in Kokomo. After Dirilyte closed its Kokomo operations, Mr. Hillis became a registered professional engineer, formed his own company, Hillis Engineering, and designed numerous local commercial buildings before his retirement in 1998.
Mr. Hillis was the grandson of automobile pioneer Elwood Haynes, and brother of former Congressman Elwood (Bud) Hillis, and the late choral director, Margaret Hillis. His father, Glen R. Hillis, a Kokomo attorney, was the 1940 Republican candidate for governor of Indiana.
Surviving are his son, Rolden Stephen Hillis; two brothers and one sister-in-law, Elwood (Bud) and Carol Hillis, Windsor, Colo., and Joseph Hillis, Oakland, Calif.; two brothers-in-law and one sister-in-law, Robert and Billie Lou Hilligoss, Kokomo, and Fred Hilligoss, Kokomo; and several nephews and nieces.
He was preceded in death by his wife; parents; and sister, Margaret Hillis.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Ellers Mortuary Webster Street Chapel, 3400 S. Webster St. Services will be conducted by Dennis Kinnan, Janet Nicol, and Won Choi. Burial will follow in Kokomo Memorial Park Cemetery. Friends may visit with the family from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at the mortuary.
You are invited to read Robert’s obituary at www.ellersmortuary.com, where you may sign the guest book, share a personal message, or order flowers for the family. Ellers Mortuary Webster Street Chapel is in charge of arrangements.