Patricia Lea Hillyer, born Patricia Lea Burke, age 68, entered into the place that Jesus has prepared for her in heaven. If you have heard that Patti died, don’t believe a word of it. Patti is more alive now than she ever has been. Jesus says in John 11:25-26 “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” Patti believed. So, for those of us left navigating living life here without her, we find great hope in our heartache knowing that though she may be absent here, she is oh so present with the Lord.
Patti was born on March 17, 1955, in Greene County, Pennsylvania to the late Clyde and Gwen Burke. As a young girl Patti attended Hillwood Chapel in Akron, OH under the teaching of Reverend Clair Brubaker. It is here that Patti placed her faith in believing that Jesus is her Lord and Savior.
Patti went on to graduate from Garfield High School in 1973, where she excelled and received awards for her secretarial skills. Patti implemented her skills, first, at Key Bank for several years, then as the office manager and billing specialist for Dr. Suban Razack. Patti developed many lifelong relationships that she treasured during her time working for Dr. Razack. She was a dedicated, valued employee, and friend of Dr. Razack. They both went on to retire after nearly 30 years of working together.
While attending Garfield High School Patti met the love of her life, Ralph Hillyer. She went on to marry Ralph in 1975. Patti and Ralph spent 36 years together before Ralph went home to be with the Lord, where they are surely having the most amazing reunion, as she missed him so much. As Patti and Ralph’s love grew, so did their family. They had two daughters, Jill and Kari. Patti made sure that her belief in Jesus was introduced to her husband and young daughters. Patti found great joy in witnessing the baptism of Ralph, Jill, and Kari on Sunday, July 17th, 1988 at the church they attended, Grace Baptist Church in Akron, OH. Patti loved to witness God multiply those small seeds of her faith in Jesus that she planted into the hearts of her family. God took those seeds and produced a great harvest in her children and grandchildren for generations to come, as they all now have placed their belief in Jesus. Most recently, Patti was attending Life Springs Church in Akron, OH, and followed the ministries of John MacArthur and Voddie Baucham. Patti experienced many joys and hardships throughout her life, as we all do. It was her unwavering faith in Jesus that helped her endure until the end. She fought the good fight, finished the race, kept the faith, and is finally with her heavenly Father.
Patti loved her children and grandchildren. She enjoyed bringing her grandchildren an overabundance of goodies and Gardner pies whenever she could. She was proud of each and everyone of them as they were finding success in their academic, athletic, and military pursuits. She was particularly looking forward to the opportunity to be able to attend her grandson's high school graduation ceremonies and celebrate their success with them. Her absence there will be deeply felt. For twenty long years Patti believed she was divinely destined to be the grandma to six boys, but was tickled pink to find out she was wrong, as she recently welcomed her first granddaughter. Scottlyn will miss her Gi-Gi. Patti was a loving and kind aunt, as well. Her Niece, Kim; Nephew, Ron; and Niece, Denise all held a special place in her heart. She enjoyed the time spent, and many many laughs shared with them.
Patti was bold in her beliefs and generous in her giving. She had a fun-loving nature and was the wittiest woman we knew. Patti was funny, my goodness was she funny. Her humor was second to none. For many years the family enjoyed attending the holidays she and Ralph hosted. Those holidays were always filled with love, laughs, and lots of leftovers. Patti, simply put, was a gift. For this reason, and countless more, she will be deeply missed.
Patti was preceded in her passing by her parents, Clyde and Gwen Burke; husband, Ralph Hillyer; sister, Bonnie Labbe; brother, Clyde Burke, Jr.; and sister, Donna Copeland. Left to cherish her memory are her two daughters: Jill (Maury) Sullivan and Kari (Jason) Lindesmith; seven grandchildren: Bailey Sullivan, Boston Sullivan, Maddox Lindesmith, Brady Sullivan, Jesse Lindesmith, Rylee Lindesmith, and Scottlyn Lindesmith; one brother-in-law: William Copeland; five nieces and nephews: Kim (Howard) Wise, Kenny Labbe, Karl Labbe, Denise Craze, and Ron (Janet) Craze; three great-nieces and nephews: Sara Mae (TJ) Miller, Regan Craze, and Liam Craze; and three great-great-nieces and nephews: Jaden Henson, Stevie Miller, and Kayn Miller and a host of other family and friends.
Per Patti’s request there will be no services. However, she would not want to miss the opportunity to give every soul reading her obituary the opportunity to make the most important and best decision of their life by placing their faith and hope in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Scripture teaches us how to make that decision. Romans 10:9-10 teaches us: If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confessed with the mouth, resulting in salvation.
Beloved daughter, your heavenly father is well pleased. Enjoy eternity!