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Mary Ann Collins Hilton

Greenville Herald Banner
Thursday, Nov 2, 2006

Mary Ann Collins Hilton died Oct. 31, 2006. Her death is a release from the physical pain of her earthly body and a joyous elevation to her heavenly home. A memorial service is at 10:30 a.m. today at Ridgecrest Baptist Church. A reception is scheduled in the Fellowship Hall of the church immediately following the service. She was born Sept. 28, 1919, daughter of Cora Lee Carsey and Theron Tilford Collins Sr. She was a lifelong resident of Greenville. Mary Ann graduated from Greenville High School in 1936 where she was an officer in the first Flaming Flashes drill team. She attended East Texas State Teachers College in Commerce and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor of arts in English. She was a member of Delta Gamma sorority. She taught English in Port Arthur in 1942-1943. Before the outbreak of World War II, she met a young journalist who was the advertising manager of the Greenville Evening Banner. She and Wilburn Hilton courted by mail during his service in the Coast Guard in Europe from 1942 to 1945. They married in Greenville on June 28, 1945, upon his return to the United States and lived for a short time in Houston until his discharge from the service. In late 1945 they returned to Greenville when Mary Annís father invited Wilburn to join him in the family furniture business ó Collins Brothers Furniture Company in downtown Greenville. The business was later to be renamed Collins-Hilton Furniture Company. The Hiltons are members of First Baptist Church and were charter members of Ridgecrest Baptist Church where Mary Ann taught Sunday school for 25 years and served in many other capacities. She was a member of the Junior Pallas Club and the Dirtdaubbers Garden Club, a founder of the Hunt County Opportunity Center and active as a youth leader in the YMCA. She loved to travel with Wilburn and often talked of a month-long trip to Greece, the Holy Land, North Africa, England and Scotland. She is survived by her husband; a son, Dee Hilton and wife Mary Jean of Greenville; daughter Jennifer Hilton of Dallas; grandsons Robert Hilton and wife Amy and son Parker of Heath, Martin Hilton and wife Heather and daughter Abby and son William of Galveston, and Dan Hilton and wife Carrie and son Reed of Charlotte, N.C.; granddaughter Tiffany Chambers and husband Darrell and sons Leighton, Makenzie and Obadiah of Williamsburg, Ky.; and a host of loving members of the Carsey and Collins families. She was preceded in death by an infant son, William; her parents; a brother, Theron Tilford Collins Jr.; and longtime friend Florine Redmon. Pallbearers are grandsons Robert, Martin and Dan Hilton, Dr. John Hill, Charles Lawrence and Mark Sniveley. Honorary pallbearers are Harold Curtis, Jack Finney, James Taggart, Bill Polk, Howard Winans, Bill Boggs, John Bloskas, Ken Hare, Dr. Dee McCrary, Dr. Jesse Salazar, John Holman and Bill Rutherford.

Memorial may be made to Ridgecrest Baptist Church or Hunt County Shared Ministries (FISH) Building Fund.

Coker-Mathews Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Submitted by Elaine Nall Bay

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