Georgene Louise Giltner Hill Thomas
Georgene Louise Giltner Hill Thomas died peacefully surrounded by her family at the Eureka Springs Hospital on Tuesday, May 5, 2009.
She is survived by her three daughters, Kathryn Goodyear Hill Davis, Pamela Klee Hill Morton, Suzanne Thér se Hill Findley, and her son William Alton Hill Jr and his wife, Mary Lynell Vinyard Hill, as well as by a nephew George Giltner of DeRidder, Louisiana, and a niece Bobbie Jean Giltner Pfifer of Gilbert, Arizona, and 9 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. Georgene also cherished the three children of her second husband, Thomas R. Thomas: Bruce Thomas, Vikki Thomas Slavik, and Sandra Thomas Powers, who also survived her.
Georgene was preceded in death by her two husbands, Lt Col William Alton Hill Sr and 1Lt Thomas R. Thomas, as well as by her parents George and Emma Giltner and a brother, Paul Giltner.
In Eureka Springs, Georgene was a committed member and supporter of St James Episcopal Church, the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, the Eureka Springs Garden Club, Alanon, and the Humane Society, among other civic and social involvements. In Beaver, she was among the small group of residents who revived the Beaver town charter, established and supported the Beaver Community Center, Post Office, Volunteer Fire Department, and restored the Beaver Park after its closure in the 1960s.
Georgene was 88 years old. She was born in North Platte, Nebraska on June 30, 1920. While still an infant, her father George Logan Giltner and mother Emma Klee Giltner moved the family to Longville, Beauregard Parish, Louisiana, near DeRidder. There Georgene lived from 1921 to 1934 on the family farm, graduating from Deridder High School in 1936, having lived briefly in Pawnee, Oklahoma, where she lived and worked from 1934-1935.
During the Great Depression, Georgene was one of the first "hippies," having lived with her family at the New Llano Commune near DeRidder. She told her children years later that her father moved his family off the commune after learning that communal living was not all it was cracked up to be -- the other members were really good at sharing, but not so good at contributing.
After graduation from high school, Georgene moved to Denver, Colorado, where she worked as a stenographer and attended Colorado Business College from 1936-1941.
During the World War II years, Georgene returned to work for the U.S. Army Fort Polk post commander near Lake Charles, Louisiana, in 1941 where she met and married her first husband, William Alton Hill on May 11, 1942.
As military families do, Georgene's family moved numerous times with short postings, but her favorite was Evreux Air Force Base, France, where she was an active member of the Officers Wives Club and a Girl Scout leader. She moved to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, in 1967 where she was again an active community member, serving in the St James Episcopal Church altar guild, the Eureka Springs Garden Club, the Eureka Springs Humane Society, and Beta Sigma Phi service sorority. Georgene returned to work as a legal secretary for prominent local attorney Judge John Maberry.
A memorial service will be held Monday, May 11, 2009 at 1:00 p.m. at St James Episcopal Church in Eureka Springs. Online condolences may be sent to the family at nelsonfuneral.com.