HOWARDVILLE -- Illa V. Duff Hilliard Smith, a resident of Howardville, died Sunday afternoon April 29, 2012, after a courageous 13-year battle with Alzheimer's. Illa passed away peacefully at Golden Living Nursing Home in New Madrid.
Illa was born and raised in Oxford, Miss., graduating from High School in 1946. She married King "Golly" Hilliard and moved to Holly Springs, Miss., where she lived until moving to Howardville in 1975. Prior to moving to Howardville, she was married to Raymond Smith whom she subsequently divorced. Illa was a talented seamstress and earned her living sewing and doing domestic work.
Illa was one of two children born to the late Albert Lester and Eria B. (Duff) Lester.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her only son, James Golly Hilliard; brothers Varson Duff, Magellan C. Duff and Baron Leonas Duff; sisters Vercilla Duff and Vardie Lee (Duff) Hilliard; sisters-in-law Willie Mae (Harris) Duff and Clemon T. (Pride) Duff; nephews (M.C.) John Ed Vinson (Vardie), Buren Hilliard, Nitchel "Bud" Hilliard; and nieces Mary Hilliard Swopshire, Hazel Hilliard Walker and Emmer Hilliard Brown.
Illa was an active member of True Holiness Church of God in Christ in Lilbourn until she was no longer physically able to attend. She was also a talented cook and enjoyed preparing wonderful meals.She loved flowers and always insisted that celebratory occasions displayed flowers. She touched the lives of many people with her quick smile and subtle humor.
Illa will be remembered by her nephews Quinton Hilliard of Fort Wayne, Ind., and Baron G. Duff (Bobbie) of Dixon; nieces Minister Shirley Hilliard Bartlett and Justean Hilliard Miller (Charles) of St. Louis, Ellar Duff of Alton, Ill., Ella Rose Duff of Glenwood, Ill., Birdie Duff of Columbia, and Centronella Duff-Reed (Anthony) of Florissant; along with countless other family and friends whom were blessed to know her.
Friends and family are invited to attend a memorial service on Saturday, May 5, 2012 at First Baptist Church of Howardville, Highway 61, in Howardville.
Her final resting place will be Sand Hill Cemetery in New Madrid.
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The family requests all donations be sent to the wonderful people who gave such wonderful care for Illa in her time of need at:
1050 Dawson Road
New Madrid, MO 63869
423 W. Business 60
Dexter, MO 63841
The Alzheimer's Foundation of America www.alzfdn.org.