Dr. Barry Hillmer died at home on Monday, October 8, 2018 after a long battle with heart disease at the age of 79. He was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. Barry completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania, followed by his Medical Degree at the University of Nebraska, where he met and married Cynthia Lee Grimm, his wife of 53 years and became a diehard Nebraska Cornhusker fan. After completing his residency, Barry moved his family to Durango where he shared his passion for the outdoors. Here, he joined the Durango Orthopedics Association in 1972 and practiced as a surgeon for 28 years.
Many consider Barry a surrogate father because he was a man of generosity and acceptance for all. He is a legend among the Durango Bridge community, a true master of the game. He loved ice cream for breakfast, ice cream for lunch, and ice cream for dinner with a couple cookies for snacks in between. He always had a diet coke in hand and would never miss the opportunity to indulge in a burger, fries, and shake. Grandpa Barry will always be known for his wacky white socks that he wore with sandals, his bad driving, his passion for history and learning, and his love for books. He was an avid competitor yet would share and teach at any opportunity whether it be golf, swimming, tennis, racquetball, chess, running, biking, backpacking, or skiing. He would never turn down a grandchild’s request for a game of Sorry or cards, a trip to the pool, or a good movie. He persevered through his health issues, playing golf and bridge as long as he could.
Barry is survived by a large and loving family: Wife Cindy, Daughters Kelly Powell, Wendy Hillmer, Ashley Hillmer, and Mandy Butterstein, foster daughter Elsie Hughes, five grandchildren, and his sister, Connie Herrick.
In honor of Barry, vote in every election possible. Donate to a charity of your choice under his name, or to Jolean Scott and her family at gofundme.com/a-gift-of-time-for-jolean-scott. A celebration of life for Barry will be held shortly.