May 21, 2024

Deborah Lynn Hilliard (1958-2024)

Posted May 21, 2024 10:30 PM
Deb Hilliard
Deb Hilliard

Deborah Lynn Hilliard of Kearney, Nebraska was born on March 3, 1958, to Kenneth Ray Johnson and Beverly Ann (Mills) Johnson. After a long battle with breast cancer, she passed away on May 20, 2024. Interment will be beside her son Christopher in the Ogallala Cemetery. 

Her family moved around Nebraska while she was growing up, putting her in schools in North Platte, Holstein and Kearney. Deb graduated from Kearney High School in 1976. She attended Kearney State College where she double majored in psychology and sociology, earning two bachelor of science degrees in 1981. 

She was united in marriage with Samuel Kevin Hilliard in 1979. They welcomed their first child, a son, Christopher Lee Hilliard on March 3, 1985. They welcomed a daughter Jaymie Lynn Hilliard on September 2, 1988. 

While working full-time at Safeway, she made sure her daughter Jaymie was able to participate in many extracurricular activities while she and her husband provided in-home healthcare to their son Christopher until he passed away in 1998.

She was an extremely hard worker holding multiple jobs during her life, but was always present at school activities from chaperoning on band trips to hosting many sleepovers and movie nights, and making sure she talked to every single teacher during parent teachers conferences just so her daughter could get extra credit. 

She was known for her amazing cupcakes, and homemade frosting which everyone especially her nephews looked forward to every single family get together. There were many cupcake debates over who got to take home more of them. 

In 2004 she hosted a rotary foreign exchange student from Venezuela, Dessi Jimenez De Salazar. She will always consider Dessi a daughter and her daughter Martina a granddaughter and kept in touch with them until her death. 

The last few years of her life she was blessed to become a cat grandma to very fluffy spoiled kitties named Edith and Mabel who already miss her. 

Deborah was preceded in death by her son Christopher of Ogallala, Nebraska, and her parents Kenneth and Beverly Johnson of Lincoln, Nebraska.

She was survived by a daughter, Jaymie Lynn Hilliard of Kearney, Nebraska, brother Terry Lee Johnson (Patty D’eak) of Portland, Oregon, and aunt Connie Johnson of Overton, NE. 

Memorials received will go to The Panhandle Humane Society in Scottsbluff, Nebraska from where her grand kitty Edith was adopted and Kearney Rescue Cats in Kearney, NE from where her grand kitty Mabel was adopted. 

Visitation will be held Thursday, May 23, 2024, at Draucker Funeral Home Chapel in Ogallala, Nebraska with family greeting friends from 4:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.

Funeral Services will be Friday, May 24, 2024, at 10:00 A.M. at Draucker Funeral Home Chapel in Ogallala, Nebraska with Rev. Curt Magelky of The United Methodist Church of Ogallala Officiating.

Interment will be Friday, May 24, 2024, in Ogallala Cemetery, Ogallala, Nebraska.

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Services will be live-streamed at

Draucker Funeral Home of Ogallala has been entrusted with arrangements