Nancy Lou Hillegas


MARQUETTE, MI – Nancy L. Hillegas, age 81, of Marquette, entered eternal life Saturday, September 30, 2017, at UP Health System, Marquette, in the loving, comforting care of her family.

Nancy was born February 16, 1936, in Erie, Pennsylvania, a daughter of Lawrence and Helen (Smith) Yost. Raised in Erie, she graduated from Harbor Creek High School in 1953. In 1954, Nancy married Donald Hillegas. Don was serving in the US Coast Guard and, in 1956, the couple relocated to his new assigned duty station at Gulliver, Michigan. Together the couple established their home and raised two children, later being transferred to Escanaba. For many years, Nancy was employed with Harnischfeger Corporation in Escanaba, in their financial department. When Don retired from the Coast Guard, the couple moved to Florida in 1984 and Nancy was employed as a finance office manager for the City of Ormond Beach, Florida. Possessing a well-established work ethic and being very organized, Nancy juggled the demands of wife, mother, homemaker, and employment outside the home, very efficiently. To Nancy, family was everything. She loved having family and friends gathered together, sharing food, conversations, and just enjoying each other. She was a talented cook, pie and cookie baker, and was known for wonderful jam making. She was the ultimate giver with family and friends often being the recipients of her culinary skills and generosity. In addition to her love of family and friends, Nancy also had a fondness for birds, collected mice figurines, loved movies and reading, trying her luck at the casino, playing bingo and cards with her husband and friends, and enjoyed attending concerts.

Nancy is survived by her husband of 63 years, Donald Hillegas; her daughter, Nancy (Jim) Todd of Marquette; five grandchildren, Kristen (Doug) Gordon of Marquette, Casey (Molly) Rolig of Sonoma, CA, Brodie (Shelby) Hillegas of Austin, TX, Bergen Hillegas and Ben Hillegas both of Louisville, CO; two great-grandchildren, Lincoln and Bennett Gordon: a daughter-in-law, Karin Hillegas of Colorado; numerous nieces, nephews, and friends. Also surviving are her extended family, Les and Deb Rolig of Marquette; and special friend, Judy Haslow.

In addition to her parents, Nancy was preceded in death by her son, Terry Michael Hillegas; her sister, Donna; and her brother, Richard.

The family will receive relatives and friends at the Messiah Lutheran Church on Wednesday, October 4, beginning at 11:00 am until the time of service at 1:00 pm Wednesday afternoon. Rev. David Van Kley, pastor, will officiate. A reception will follow in Magnuson Hall.

Memorials may be directed to Messiah Lutheran Church, 305 W. Magnetic Street, Marquette, MI 49855 or the Alzheimer’s Association, 309 S. Front Street, Suite 233, Marquette, MI 49855.

The family would like to express their appreciation to Nancy’s doctors and nurses, and the caregivers of UP Home Health and Hospice for their compassionate, professional care of Nancy, and for the many kindnesses they extended to the family.

The Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home is serving the family, where condolences may be expressed online at