Jay W. Hilliard, 70, of Avilla, passed away on Wednesday, January 15, 2020, at Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne.\n\nBorn in Kendallville, on July 9, 1949, to the late William and Audrey (Addis) Hilliard. He spent his formative years in Noble County, graduating from Churubusco High School in 1967. While in high school he was known to play the drums in the band and was a Churubusco football player.\nAfter high school Jay served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. He was stationed for the majority of the time in Germany. He was honorably discharged from the Army on August 6, 1971.\n\nJay married Donna Liggett in Gatlinburg, TN, on April 10, 1999.\nHe retired from Silgan Plastics in Ligonier and had previously worked for Wicks Lumber.\nJay was a member of Faith Lutheran Church in Churubusco. He was a life-time member of both the American Legion and the V.F.W. He served as a past commander of the Churubusco American Legion Post #157 and was the current commander of the Columbia City American Legion Post #98. He was a past 4th district commander of the American Legion in Indiana. Jay was also a member of the Ideal Fish & Game Club, the American Legion Riders, Post #98 and a ride captain of the Patriot Riders. He was affectionately known as "Curly" by his Legion friends.\nJay was always honored to serve at the Military Honors of fallen comrades; serving on the Honor Guards.\nWhen his kids were younger he enjoyed taking them camping. He also enjoyed being a western style square dance caller.\n\nJay is survived by his wife of 20 years, Donna Hilliard; two daughters, Nikki (Ivan) King and Tammi (Shaun) Klopfenstein; a step-daughter, Tiffany (Torey) Smith; a brother, Dale (Becky) Hilliard; eight grandchildren.\n\nHe is preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Gene and Mark Hilliard.\n\nServices will take place at Sheets & Childs Funeral Home on Monday, January 20, 2020, at 11:00 AM, with Pastor Lane Burgland officiating, followed by Military Honors. Calling one hour prior to the service.\n\nFamily will also receive friends on Sunday, January 19, 2020, from 2:00 PM, to 5:00 PM. At the end of calling there will be an American Legion memorial service.\n\nIn Lieu of flowers, please direct memorials to the American Legion Post #98 building fund.\n\nOnline note to the family at www.sheetsandchilds.com.