By Melissa Villeneuve
Southern Alberta Newspapers
A funeral service for the late Jim Hillyer, Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner MP and former Lethbridge MP, is planned for Friday, April 1 in Raymond.
Hillyer was found dead in his office near Parliament Hill in Ottawa last Wednesday. He had been complaining of not feeling well the day before. He was 41 years old, and leaves behind his wife, Livi, and four children.
First elected in the Lethbridge constituency in 2011, Hillyer won re-election last fall as the Conservative MP in the redefined Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner riding.
Recently, Hillyer was reported to be dealing with ongoing health issues triggered by a skiing injury three years ago. A recent report said he had surgery in February for a persistent bone infection in his leg.
Widespread tributes were held, as many were shocked and saddened to hear of his death. A bouquet of roses filled Hillyer’s empty seat at Parliament, and flags were lowered to half-mast at Lethbridge City Hall.
Friends and fellow MPs described Hillyer as “passionate,” and “dedicated to public service.”
From Ottawa, Lethbridge MP Rachael Harder said “Jim was a man of conviction and always demonstrated great compassion toward others. He was known for his welcoming smile and humility.”
A viewing and family greeting is scheduled for Thursday evening from 7 p.m.- 8:30 p.m at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Stake Centre (2 North – >200 West Street, Raymond).
A viewing will also be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, followed by the memorial service at 11 a.m.