February 16, 1937 ~ September 30, 2022

Born in: Maxton, NC
Resided in: Asheville, NC

Mary Lois James Hilliard (85) of Asheville, NC passed away peacefully on September 30, 2022.

She was born at home near Maxton, NC to the late Marshall Prince James Sr. and Mary Lois McRae James, and is survived by three sons and daughters-in-law, Roney Alvius Hilliard III (Jennifer Emory Hilliard), Marshall Prince James HIlliard (Stephanie Cole Hilliard), and Alexander McRae Hilliard (Lori Beland Hilliard); as well as seven grandchildren: Marshall Prince James Hilliard Jr., Andrew Scott Hilliard, Parker Robinson Hilliard, Maryworth Patterson Hilliard, Preston Paisley Hilliard, Fairly Patterson Hilliard, and Hinton James Emory Hilliard.

She was preceded in death by her husband Roney Alvius “Chip” Hilliard Jr, brother Marshall Prince James Jr., and sister Sally McRae James Bass.

Mary Lois was a graduate of Salem College where she served as Senior Class President. She retired from Estes Elementary School in Skyland, NC after teaching for 25 years.

She was a member of the French Broad Garden Club for 50 years, and was a sustaining member of the Junior League of Asheville.

“Loli” loved the annual Hilliard Family week at Holden Beach even more than she enjoyed Tar Heel basketball.

A lifelong member of The Presbyterian Church, she joined First Presbyterian Church of Asheville in 1961 where there will be a memorial service in celebration of her life on Tuesday, October 4th at 11:00 a.m. The family will receive guests in the Fellowship Hall immediately following. A private graveside service will be held in Maxton, NC.

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian is assisting the family

Services

Celebration of Life: October 4, 2022 11:00 am

First Presbyterian Church
40 Church Street
Asheville, NC 28801


Visitation: October 4, 2022 12:00 pm

First Presbyterian Church
40 Church Street
Asheville, NC 28801


Funeral Home Assisting The Family:

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
72 Long Shoals Road
Arden, NC 28704

(828)687-3530
http://www.grocefuneralhome.com

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Guestbook

  1. My deepest condolocence to the Hilliard family. ❤ I’m praying that God comforts you all and gives you the strength you need in these difficult times.

    She’s gone, but will never be forgotten. I will forever cherish the moments spent with her. She was the most sweetest and genuine person.

    She raised the most amazing father-in-law (Marshall) and my soon to be husband (Scott).🙏

    The one and most important thing is that she approved for me to be part of her grandson’s life (Scott), which is very major to me. I will miss her but she will always be remembered. 🤍

    Rest in peace, Mary Lois. 🕊

    Reply
  2. My deepest condolocence to the Hilliard family. ❤ I’m praying that God comforts you all and gives you the strength you need in these difficult times.

    She’s gone, but will never be forgotten. I will forever cherish the moments spent with her. She was the most sweetest and genuine person.

    She raised the most amazing father-in-law (Marshall) and my soon to be husband (Scott).🙏

    The one and most important thing is that she approved for me to be part of her grandson’s life (Scott) and the family, which is very major to me. I will miss her but she will always be remembered. 🤍

    Rest in peace, Mary Lois. 🕊

    Reply
  3. McRae , family and friends, I am sorry for the loss of your loved one. She will hold a place in your heart and memories. Hugs.

    Reply
  4. Mrs. Hilliard was my favorite teacher in my entire schooling. I went back to see her every year until I graduated. We always talked Tarheel basketball, she was an amazing educator and friend. I even have her name as my security question as my favorite teacher EVER. My deepest condolences and prayers for you all.

    Reply
  5. I am so sorry. Mary Lois was one of my sister Stuarts best friends and I really loved her. Thinking of all of you. She was very special!

    Reply
  6. Dear Roney, Marshall and McRae
    I was deeply saddened to hear about your Mom. We taught side by side for many years at Estes. She was a
    dear friend and I cherished her friendship. I will miss her!
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Love, Jane and George Kramer

    Reply
  7. Roney, Marshall, McRae, I remember when my mother and I would visit ya’ll in the mountains when I was younger, I remember staying in her house when driving back and forth to Kentucky 13 years apart, plus other times of visiting including at her condo. We’ve kept in touch over the years. I hope we will continue to keep in touch. Contact me if you need something.

    Donna and I will be praying for ya’ll in this difficult time of grief. We will be there in Maxton on Wednesday and Thursday for the graveside service. Love, John Marshall.

    Reply
  8. We will miss having wonderful talks about antiques and Tar Heels. The boys are some of our favorites and know that we will be praying for peace and love in the days ahead. Love Hezzy and Sharon

    Reply
  9. Roney,

    Our condolences for the loss of your mother, we are wishing you and your family courage and peace during this time of mourning.
    Please know we are thinking of you during this painful time, and, our hearts go out to you during this time of sorrow.

    Reply
  10. I just heard about Mrs. Hilliard. She was such a lovely person and a good friend of my mother’s. I have many happy memories of her from very early childhood…a real Southern lady. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. A long time ago, I was wandering through an old churchyard down in South Carolina hunting for ancestors and I saw an inscription on a stone that has stuck with me, particularly when I’ve lost those I love. It said:
    “Past all pain and tears,
    Past all cares and griefs,
    Over in the Summer Land.”

    Reply

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