Let the family know you care by sharing this tribute.
Virginia R. Hillix, 80, of Kansas City, Mo., passed away peacefully with family by her side July 13, 2007, at Kansas City Hospice House. A celebration of Virginia’s life is planned with the date to be announced. Cremation will take place at Heartland Cremation & Burial Society. The family wishes to thank the kind and loving people who cared for Virginia at the Hospice House. Donations may be made to the Kansas City Hospice House, 12000 Wornall Road, KC, MO 64145. Virginia was born June 9, 1927, near Camden Point, Mo., to Ray Gaines (d.1967) and Helen Trice Gaines (d.1994). She attended Camden Point High School and earned a B.A. and M.A. from MU Columbia. She was a Phi Beta Kappa and Mensa member. She married William A. Hillix in 1947, they divorced in 1962. After spending 15 years as a stay at home mother she continued her career as an instructor and assistant professor at N.W.M.S.U., Maryville, Mo. (1964-76). She taught painting and life drawing. Her students often said, “She didn’t just teach art, she taught life.” She exhibited her work regionally and has numerous pieces in corporate collections. After her six children left home she resigned her teaching position and moved to Kansas City to be near them. She served as Director of Education at the Art Research Center from 1977-79 and Director of the Bedyk Gallery, Westport, from 1979-89. She also taught painting and humanities as adjunct instructor at JCCC. At age 62 she was forced to retire due to health reasons. Her loving son, Will, remodeled a classic bungalow her, and she lived there happily until her death. She continued to paint and “mother” as well as “grandmother”. She is survived by her six children, Gaines and daughter-in-law Charlotte of Marietta, Ga., Helen of Ramona, Calif., Lynn, Will, twins Elaine Giles and Louise Miller, of Kansas City, Mo.; six grandchildren and four great grandchildren. She summed up her life once by saying “I did what I wanted to do, and that’s all one can ask.” Recently Virginia said “it is not farewell but fare-forward.” Virginia was dearly loved by her family, countless friends and many students. She will live on in their hearts forever and will be remembered by her many beautiful works of art. Fond memories and condolences may be directed to the family in c/o Will Hillix, 119 E. 51st Terrace, KC, MO 64112.