Photography

Virgil W Hilliker

June 10, 1933 ~ April 27, 2022 (age 88)

Obituary

Virgil W. Hilliker, age 88, of Dot Lake, Alaska, passed away on April 27, 2022, in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Virgil was born to Thuressa Vivian (Rupert)and Myron L. Hilliker, at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan on June 10, 1933.

In the early 1950s, he joined the military and was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. During this time, he met his first wife and the mother of their six children, Della Mae. After the military he worked at Heckman (Keebler) until early retirement. Growing up in Michigan, Virgil worked many farms and was an avid sportsman from an early age. His training and raising of coon hounds was well known regionally. In 1975, Virgil and his wife Juanita moved to Alaska. The final frontier brought a life of homesteading, friendship with the native Athabaskan community, living off the land and adventure. Virgil worked on the Alaskan Pipeline, the Alaskan Highway, as a Woodland Firefighter and helped out at the Dot Lake Lodge.

In retirement, he continued hunting caribou, moose, and grouse, trapping and enjoyed keeping in touch with many of the people he had met over the years.

Virgil, Juanita, his brother Robert L. and sister-in-law Betty lived remotely in Alaska, but not too far from one another. There are a few adventure stories of the 4 salmon dipping at the Copper River or caribou hunting on the Macomb Plateau.

He was preceded in death by wife, Juanita; his first wife, Della Mae; his parents, Myron L. Hilliker, Thuressa Vivian and step-father Kenneth Wilson; siblings, Edward Hilliker, Shirley Buchholz, James Hilliker, Victor Hilliker; and grandson, Robert W. Hilliker Jr.

Surviving are Virgil’s children: Judith Wiersma, Robert W. (Millie) Hilliker, Earl Hilliker, Norman Hilliker, Heidi (Rick) Babcock, and Michelle (Joe) Cook; grandchildren, Amanda (Scott) Machiela, Matt Wiersma, Nicole (Ryan) McIntosh, Becca (Ben) Burzynski, Michael Vargas and many great grandchildren. Also surviving is Virgil’s brother, Robert L. (Betty) Hilliker and many nieces and nephews.

His desire for his final resting place is with his wife Juanita, near Dot Lake, Alaska.

Special thanks to Eileen Brado, Dan Drake, Tim Gobey and the many others that have loved on, laughed with and prayed with and for, Virgil and family.

Psalm 136:1 “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.”

Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

“While I draw this fleeting breath, when mine eyes shall close in death, when I soar to worlds unknown, see thee on thy judgement throne, Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee.”

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