Official Obituary of

Phyllis S. Hillinger

April 29, 1947 ~ March 25, 2024 (age 76) 76 Years Old

Phyllis Hillinger Obituary

Phyllis Swartz Hillinger, passed away at age 76, at her home in Delmar, NY, on March 25, 2024, surrounded by her loving husband of 55 years, Stephen M. Hillinger, MD and family. She is preceded in death by her mother, Lilian Swartz and her father, Eli Swartz. She is survived by her sister Janet (Bud).

Phyllis was born in Boston on April 29, 1947. She went to Hull High School in Hull, MA, and Simmons College, in Boston, MA, graduating with a degree in communications in 1969. She worked in hospital public relations in Philadelphia, at Presbyterian Hospital and Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where she was Assistant P.R. Director. She moved to St. Louis, MO, and Athens, GA, following her husband Steve’s postgraduate and military obligations, before setting in Delmar, NY in 1977.

While raising a family, Phyllis edited a book at Hope House, and wrote for State Communities Aid Association, and the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Voorheesville. She was involved with the Bethlehem Public Schools for 25 years as an advocate for children. She was the second President of Bethlehem Opportunities Unlimited (BOU), and was honored by the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce as Citizen of the Year in 2002. Phyllis and her lifelong friend, Felice Freeman, were responsible for the “Pooper-Scooper” law in the town of Bethlehem, for which she was very proud.

Phyllis’s passion was writing essays, poems, and short stories. She helped establish the Evergreen Poets Workshop and was accepted to the Writers Institute at SUNY-Albany. Phyllis was an avid sailor on Lake George, loved spending time on the beach, cooking and baking for her family, and playing golf.

Beyond that, Phyllis had a passion for making other’s feel warm and welcome. She had a gift for empathy and spreading love. Her home was a cozy place with an open door full of delicious food, and her famous cookies. This gift of love now emulated through her children, friends, and family.

Phyllis is survived by her husband, Steve; children Alex (Megan), Seth (Annie), Marni (Colin) and Suzanne (Alexis); her grandchildren Leo, Calvin, Oona, Yvonne, Oliver, Rafa, and Serena; her nephew, Daniel, and her sister-in-law Carol (Steve), and their children, Corey (Vanessa), Jaime, and

Mark. She is also survived by her cousins Scott, Marc, Peter and Steven and their children. She is preceded in death by her uncle, Gerald Kadish.

She was a long term member of both Temple Israel, and Congregation Beth Emeth in Albany.

Phyllis and Stephen want to thank Dr. Karen Tedesco for her vigilant care, and the nurses of NYOH, and hospices nurses for their wonderful attentiveness.

Funeral service will be held at 9:30am on Friday, March 29th at Congregation Beth Emeth, 100 Academy Rd., Albany, NY. Burial will follow around 2:00pm, at Sharon Memorial Park, in Canton, MA.

Shiva will be held at the Hillinger residence on Saturday March 30th from 6:00 - 9:00 pm and on Sunday March 31st from 3:00 - 6:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to: World Central Kitchen, To Life! (Capitol Region), The Community Hospice (Albany, NY), or a charity of your choice.

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