Fray Willis Hillhouse, 97

Funeral services for Fray Willis Hillhouse, 97, of Springfield, were held Aug. 21, 2018, at Greenlawn East Funeral Home in Springfield. Mr. Hillhouse died peacefully Aug. 17 at his home, with his family by his side.

He was born March 1, 1921, in the Ozark County community of Locust. He and his twin brother, Ray, were the eldest sons of the Rev. Willie and Chloe  Robbins Hillhouse. The brothers grew up on the family farm near Gainesville, and in September 1942 they were both inducted into the Army Air Corps and spent most of their enlisted life in Europe during World War II. Fray was a member of the 308 Signal Corps. Just before leaving for war, he married the love of his life, Arlene Wallace. They were married for 72 years until her death in 2014.

After his military service, Mr. Hillhouse resided in Springfield for most of his adult life. He worked as a truck driver for Fadler Produce and then retired from Holsum Bread after 32 years. After retirement, he worked as a school bus driver and a driver for Ryder; he continued to drive a truck for Penske until the age of 87. He loved working in his garden as well as fishing and traveling with his wife. He was a faithful member of First General Baptist Church in Springfield.

Survivors include his son, Wendell Hillhouse and wife Louise; his daughter, Beverly Lonesky and husband Tom; son-in-law Gary Riechers; five grandchildren: Amy Lonesky/Vaini, Beth Murphy and husband Tony, Kevin Riechers and wife Ashley, Matt Riechers and wife Jessica and their children (Mr. Hillhouse’s great-grandsons) and Ryder Riechers and triplets Levi, Jett and Chase; and three siblings Mary Hagler, Betty Wallace and Ivonne Bowers.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Arlene; his daughter, Marilyn Riechers; one grandson, Barry Riechers; and three brothers, Alford, Ray and Etsel Hillhouse. 

Burial was in the  Missouri Veterans Memorial Cemetery south of Springfield with the Rev. John Comer officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to the First General Baptist Church or to Ozarks Honor Flight.

Greenlawn East Funeral Home, Springfield, directors. 

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423