Thursday, October 25, 2007

Carole Hillard DHS54 dies of accident complications ~ Updated 10/26/07.

Carol died peacefully today (10/25/07) at the University Hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland, said her son, Todd Hillard. After her accident and surgery she suffered pneumonia, a bacterial blood infection and a series of strokes, which claimed her life.

I will greatly miss Carole for the personal information and support she has provided to me and the DHS54 Class in recent years. She gave a "state-of-the-world" presentation at our DHS54 50th Class Reunion, September 2004. It was very thought provoking and timely. Notice of Carole's induction into the South Dakota Hall of Fame was the very first posted item on dhsclassmates in June of this year. Our DHS54 classmates are in shock and are sharing email of our loss of Carole. I took the candid picture of Carole as she pondered a question at the 2004 DHS54 Reunion.


She understood the risks of traveling to some remote regions, Todd Hillard said."She was not afraid of dying," he said. "She was afraid of not living."

In her last e-mail to her family, written after her surgery in Zagreb, Carole Hillard talked about her luck being able to walk out of the hospital despite nearly severing her spinal cord. And she noted the irony of her boat accident. "Ponder this -- I go hang gliding over Rio, sky diving with the Blue Angels, did a 300-foot bungee jump over Victoria Falls and I walked away with just a huge smile on my face. Last week however, I was thrown off a 3 foot step into the galley. I broke my neck (literally), broke 3 ribs, cut my face and totally blackened one arm. "So the question is -- are we not safer living the daring life?" she wrote. "Is it better to be bird than a turtle as we sojourn thru life?"

Hillard's body will be cremated and returned to Rapid City, where a memorial service will be held on Thursday, Nov. 1.

Memorial services for Carole Hillard in Rapid City will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, in the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center theater. A reception will follow.

Condolences, memories and thoughts may be sent to her family at .

In lieu of flowers, Hillard's family asks for contributions to:

The Hillard Mozambique Endowment
c/o Heifer Foundation
P.O. Box 727
Little Rock, Ark. 72208


Black Hills Children's Home Hillard Memorial
24100 Rockerville Road
Rapid City, S.D. 57702

There are so many comments and observations in addition to her last written words and life thought. The one that strikes me is that in the dictionary under "class" they should have a picture of Carole.

Here are the last emails I received from Carole:

~~Date: Fri. 27April2007 13:01:26 EDT

Subject: Re: 2007 DHS Reunion Committee

Hi Dick,

What great organization and "people power." You all are appreciated.

I h
ad originally responded that I would attend. Since then some good news-bad news events. I won't be in attendance, the reason being that I was inducted into the SD Hall of Fame and the ceremony is that weekend. Bummer conflict.

Carry on.


~~Date: Thu. 3May2007 19:51:40 EDT

Subject: Re: The DHS Cannon

Hi Dick,

I am back in Nigeria and will go from there to Azerbaijan for a State Department assignment. No time to research right now, but keep me posted. VERY fascinating!


For more reporting details see the following. The Wikipedia information is a fitting free world encyclopedia tribute to Carole's importance and passing.


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