Margaret Joanna Huggans Hillman died February 4, 2022 in Roswell, NM. She was born July 29, 1936 in Glendale, CA to Joseph Huggans and Helen (Marquiss) Huggans.
Margaret “Peggy Jo”, best known as Peggy, grew up in Escondido, CA. She was always on the go, from raising rabbits for 4-H to playing sports. She attended Escondido Union High School where she excelled in basketball, speedball, synchronized swimming, and field hockey. In addition to her athletic pursuits, she was active in student government, acting as secretary and president. She was also in the audio/visual club, public speaking club, school play and girl’s league. She played the trumpet in band, was a drum majorette and a member of the A Capella Choir. Peggy worked at The Mercantile during high school, where she was a sales associate and modeled the newest fashion collections for patrons.
She attended Palomar College and earned her Associates degree in Education. She served as the class president and was a force on the debate team, winning several team and individual awards at the Southern California Forensic Tournament. Peggy then attended the University of California Santa Barbara for one and half years where she worked on her speech pathology degree and continued to hone her debate skills. She finished her teaching degree at Bakersfield College and earned her credentials as a teacher in 1967.
Peggy married the love of her life Michael John Hillman in 1957 and they moved to Farmington, NM where Mike worked in the oil fields. They moved to Bakersfield, CA in 1961, where a major portion of her life was spent supporting her husband and their four children. All friends and family of any age were always welcome in their home, and Peggy served as “second mom” to many of the children’s friends. Peggy especially enjoyed teaching first grade at Norris Elementary for several years. She attended and was very involved in the First United Methodist Church. Peggy still managed to fit in civic activities such as the Cancer Society and Junior League. Her final gift to Bakersfield was in providing the drive and inspiration behind building the John S. Hillman Memorial pool at California State Bakersfield. Peggy supported Bakersfield swimming for years with scholarships and moral support.
In 1980 Mike and Peggy bought a ranch in Cambridge, Idaho where they ran a cow calf operation and she entertained friends and family, fed the ranch crew and cared for the ranch dogs. She truly loved all her dogs, and we are sure she often preferred their company to ours! In 1993 Peggy and Mike bought the Red Bluff Ranch in Roswell, NM. Her involvement in the community included acting as an Ombudsman for residents in long term care facilities. Peggy spent many hours supporting the grandkids in youth sports, 4-H and rodeo. She was a voracious reader and loved to help out at her grandchildren’s schools by reading to students.
Peggy is survived by: her daughters Helen (Gary) DeMoss of Bliss, ID and Michele Hillman of Griffith, IN; son Ron (Licia) Hillman of Roswell, NM; granddaughters Chelsea (Paul) Valente of Griffith, IN, and Katie Hillman of Washington DC; Sister Sandy (Tom) Cobb of Rolling Hills, CA; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Skip and Sue Hillman of Mayflower, AR; nephews Doug (Doris) Finch, Steven Finch, Jeff Cobb, Jason (Michelle) Cobb, and David Hillman; and nieces Jerriann (Quinton) Fleming and Dana (Chad) Holst.
Peggy was preceded in death by: her husband Michael J. Hillman; parents, Joe and Helen Huggans; son John Sanford Hillman; grandson Michael Edward Hillman; and sister and brother-in-law Dottie and Gene Finch.
At 85 years, even given all she had accomplished, hers was a life cut short. Peggy was always on the go, and being so active, she created many wonderful friendships along the way. Family and friends will miss her more than she would have imagined, but we are comforted in knowing that Peggy Jo is reunited with the many who passed before her.
At Peggy's request, no services will be conducted. If you wish to remember Peggy, her favorite charities are Patriot PAWS and Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund.