Jacob Paul Hillis

Jacob Paul Hillis (Paul)

was born in Berthold, ND,

in 1931 to Mabel McIsaac.

When his mother died

shortly after he was born

he was adopted by the

doctor who delivered

him, Samuel and his wife

Catinka Hillis. An accom-

plished musician who

played many instruments,

Paul was interested in

everything around him

and spent most of his life

doing what most people

only dream about. He is

an alumnus of Berkeley

College of Music in Bos-

ton. He was playing the

circuit out of Miami and

was in Cuba shortly be-

fore Castro took over and

barely made it back before

they closed the ports. He

had a music studio where

he taught music and sold

instruments while playing

local clubs and dance

jobs. He later fell in love

with growing plants and

had commercial

greenhouses where he

raised cacti and succu-

lents. He made many trips

to Mexico gathering

plants and beginning a

lifelong love of the Span-

ish language. For a time

he had a Mexican restau-

rant in Gainesville where

he made all the food from

scratch. He also made

trips to the Andes and

South Africa. He and his

wife Gillian also spent

some summers in Spain

in an immersion language

school learning and

spending time absorbing

the Spanish culture. At

the age of 83, he had lost

most of his mobility and

took up jewelry making.

He made beautiful wire

jewelry for family and


Paul had four children

with his first wife and is

Preceded in death by: two

sons, Marc Hadley Hillis

and Brent Avery Hillis.

His eldest son, Jeffrey

Paul (Marge), gave him

four grandchildren, Jacob,

Samuel, Daniel, and Han-

nah. His daughter, Chris

Marie Takashima

(Russell), has one son,

John-Michael. Paul was

able to, late in life,find

some of his McIsaac

cousins in North Dakota,

and they gave him great

peace and a sense of con-

nection, as well as a

prized possession, a pic-

ture of his mother. They

are William (Bill) Murrey,

Minot, ND, and Mickey

Harmon, Erhard, MN. In

lieu of flowers please

donate to your local an-

imal shelter or humane