John E. Hillhouse, age 96, departed this life and entered his heavenly home Friday afternoon, January 27, 2023, at his residence surrounded by his loving family. A beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend to many, he will be forever remembered by anyone who knew him.
Born Sunday, May 9, 1926, in Bolivar, TN, he was the youngest of seven children to Pink and Bell Harrell Hillhouse. Even with a 6th-grade education, John possessed knowledge, wisdom, and life skills more than most. At the age of 21, he met a pretty green-eyed, brown-haired girl named Georgia Thornton, from Cloverport at the County Fair and a beautiful love story began. They married on October 2, 1948, in Hernando, MS, and were married for 74 years.
John proudly joined the United States Army in 1951, and after returning to the states, they began their family, with the addition of two daughters, Debbie, and Lisa. His working career was with Citiplate, Inc. as a foreman, and is where he retired.
He would brighten any room with his smile. He loved having fun, whether dancing, telling jokes, or dressing up for any holiday and celebration. He enjoyed gardening, riding on his lawnmower, and cheering for the Atlanta Braves. One of his favorite family activities was to look for 4-leafed clovers.
When asked what the secret was to his kindness and joy, he would quickly answer, “God and Love.” A devoted man of the Lord, he often quoted scriptures and told stories from the Bible in conversations. They were members of Antioch Baptist Church.
He deeply loved his family, and in return, they deeply loved him. Spending time together was a priority and a celebration, and three generations would often gather together. Christmas Eve breakfast at the Old Country Store was his favorite gift to his family. His grandchildren and his great-grandchildren learned many lessons from these times spent together.
Other than his parents, going before him were his six siblings and a great-granddaughter, Karah Elizabeth Osborne.
Those who remain to cherish his life are his wife, Georgia Hillhouse, of Three Way, TN; daughters, Debbie Simpson and husband Barry of Jackson, TN, and Lisa Decker and husband Brian of Jackson, TN. He was Papaw to his grand-children, Jeff Ragan (Christie), Brent Simpson (Sarah), Lauren Voorhees (Eric), Madison Decker, and Morgan Decker, and great Papaw to Taylor, Chandler, and Kaley Ragan, Jaxon and Lila Kate Voorhees, and Barrett and Ivy Simpson.
SERVICES: The funeral service will be held Tuesday, January 31, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. in the Chapel of Arrington Funeral Directors with Rev. Larry Kirk and Rev. Lynn King officiating. Entombment will follow at Highland Memorial Gardens Mausoleum.
The family will be receiving friends on Monday, January 30, 2023, from 5:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. and on Tuesday, January 31, 2023, from 11:00 until the service time at 1:00 p.m. at Arrington Funeral Directors.
Pallbearers will be Barry Simpson, Brian Decker, Jeff Ragan, Brent Simpson, Eric Voorhees, Dwight Hillhouse, Rick Hillhouse, and Larry Newsom.
Honorary pallbearers will be Taylor Ragan, Chandler Ragan, Jaxon Voorhees, and Barrett Simpson.
The family requests that any memorial donation be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, or online at
The family wishes to especially thank Hospice of West Tennessee Hospice and Comfort Keepers Home Care for the love and care they provided John over the last few months.
Arrington Funeral Directors 148 W. University Parkway Jackson, TN 38305