Delbert "Del" Vincent Hillary

June 23, 1954 ~ July 26, 2020


July 31, 2020
9:00 AM - 9:45 AM
1880 East 9800 South, Sandy, Utah
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    July 31, 2020
    10:00 AM
    1880 East 9800 South, Sandy, Utah
  • Directions to Service
  • On the beautiful morning of July 25th, Delbert Vincent Hillary enjoyed his last motorcycle ride. Born in Los Angeles, California on June 23, 1954 to Edward and Molly Hillary. As the oldest of 7 children, the love he has for his siblings was constant and true. He attended schools in Southern California including Bonita High, where he excelled in Math, Sciences, and mastered the Saxophone. He was a member of the Western United States Award Winning Jazz Band and continued his love for music throughout his life. He earned a full ride scholarship to California State Polytechnic University and graduated with honors from Pi Tau Sigma Honorary Mechanical Engineering Fraternity. He received his Masters of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah.

    Del loved to ride. He started on a tricycle and graduated to a two-wheeler where he knocked out his two front teeth, but that didn’t stop him from getting on some form of a motorcycle as often as possible. He built motorcycles, a dune buggy, multiple high-powered cars, which led to an exceptional mind to building all sorts of things throughout his life. He worked for L&H Molds and became a proficient machinist at the family company for two years. He moved to Utah and put his skills to work at Edo Western Transducer Corp. He then found the Aerospace Engineering world calling for him and he became the Rocket Scientist he dreamed of being. He became a Resident Scientist at ATK (now Northrop Grumman), for 35 years. Active in the space program, he was a published engineer and a presenter at JANNAF Conferences for multiple years. The rocket industry knew his name, and if there was a rocket, he was a part of it. Shortly after retirement, he was asked to become a consultant for NASA for multiple critical upcoming missions to further space explorations. He always had the biggest smile when he witnessed his part of the rocket do the job, he knew it would do. We know he’ll now have some of the best views for upcoming launches. He respected his fellow engineers, and in return was well respected. When called to do his job there was never something he couldn’t figure out or fix. We know that Del sincerely appreciated those who trusted him and his intuition to be a part of these amazing efforts.

    Del loved music. He played tenor saxophone with the Bonita High School Jazz band. In his senior year, his band was awarded the best jazz band not only at the state level, but in the entire nation with Gordon Goodwin playing alongside him on the alto saxophone. He kept his love alive for music by being a part of his favorite bands with some of his favorite people including those in the dixie band, Riverton Jazz Band, and other groups he had been a part of. He sincerely appreciated those who participated with him, and we know his talent will always be honored. We will miss hearing his practice his saxophone at home.

    As a kind-hearted soft-spoken soul, Del would be anywhere you needed help as an exquisite friend. If you needed it fixed, he fixed it. He was giving of his time, love, and care by always being there for others. He loved God. He loved Christ. He strived to live a Christ-centered life, which started very early in his life. At 26, Del found and became a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Del was able to positively influence the lives of many individuals, and serve those he loved, as he served in various callings in the church; including being a member of a Bishopric, Elders Quorum President, served faithfully alongside his eternal companion, Nicole’, as an Intercity Service Missionary, and an ordinance worker in the Draper Utah Temple.

    He married the love of his life, Nicole’ Bowen, on April 22, 1983 in the Salt Lake Temple for time and all eternity. You’d often find them riding bikes, motorcycles, getting a McDonald’s Coke, eating at their favorite places together, serving in the temple, raising children, heading to Disneyland, lovingly arguing about which movie to watch, and always making sure everyone knew they were loved by them. He loved Nicole’, and she loves him back, forever.

    He was proud of his children, and you knew of the absolute love he had for them. He expected great things from them, and they stood up to the challenge. It is important to know that they each possess his drive, his skills, and his musical abilities. He taught them to work hard and that on hard days, you work harder. Then you go to Disneyland. The only people he equally shares his love for, are the spouses they married, and the 9 grandchildren he adored. These four children stood solid next to their dad, and each other during these horrific days of never-ending sadness. A more priceless sight you’ll never see.

    Del’s life was tragically cut short when he had no time to react when a deer ran in front of him while on a motorcycle ride with his son near Mirror Lake. He was riding safely, wearing a helmet, protective gear, and his favorite leather jacket, but the impact caused irreparable damage to his brain. Matt was there and bravely held him until MedFlight arrived and transported him to the U of U Surgical ICU, where his family was able to say goodbye. After he passed away the morning of July 26th, 2020, he was eligible to donate his organs to save the life of so many others.

    Many lives have been touched by and have been made better because of Del Hillary. He is survived by his wife, Nicole’, his 4 children and spouses, Matt & Bethany Hillary, Ashley & Mike Doxstader, Mandy & Ryan Merriman, Ryan & Katie Hillary, his 9 beloved grandchildren, his siblings Karin & Keith Sahm, Brenda & Ken Pace, Steve & Cyndee Hillary, Stan Hillary, and Patrick Hillary. He is now in the loving arms of his Parents, Ed & Molly Hillary, his brother Eddie Hillary, and so many others who loved him who have passed.

    Funeral services will be Friday, July 31, 2020 10am at the Roseboro LDS Chapel at 1880 E 9800 S, Sandy UT 84092, for immediate family, extended family, and close friends, with a viewing prior, starting from 9:00-9:45am.

    Due to COVID 19, this service will be primarily for immediate family, extended family, and close friends, following proper protocols with face masks and social distancing. A LIVE video streaming option will be made available for those that will be unable to attend due to restrictions This can be found at the Del Hillary Memorial Group on Facebook:

    Del will be laid to rest in the Mendon, Utah cemetery located in Cache Valley. Burial will be for immediate family and invitation only.

    The Hillary family is sincerely grateful for the support shown to them during this time. A GoFundMe account has been created at the request of friends of Del to support the Hillary family at this time. The link is available here:


    I'm so sorry for your tragic loss. I had the privilege of working with Del early on in my career at Hercules. He made a lasting impression and was the benchmark for all other analysts I would later work with. He was amazingly intelligent, very capable and a true professional. Beyond that he was generous and a joy to be around. With deepest sympathy, Guin Cummings

    - Guin Cummings
    I am so sorry to hear about Del's accident. I had the pleasure of working with Del at Hercules/ATK. He was truly an amazing engineer. Please accept my condolences on your loss.

    - Deborah Davis
    Dear Hillary Family, I was so saddened to hear of the passing of your dear husband, father, and grandfather. I remember his quiet demeanor and sweet, countenance as he sat with the bishopric many years ago. I have adored your family for what feels like my lifetime, and my heart aches for you. Sending my love, prayers, and deepest condolences. Rayann

    - Rayann Allred Sandstrom
    No words can express how shocked and saddened I was when I heard of Del's accident. Del was an amazing person and the words in the obituary capture it all so well. I always loved bumping into Del in the hallway when he still worked at Bacchus. He always had that huge smile and had something exciting going on in his life to share with me. I am so sorry for your families loss. May God bless you all and help to heal your hearts.

    - Rod Christensen
    Dear Sister Hillary, This is Jayne Johnson. I have served with you in the Draper Temple. I heard about your husband's death and am sincerely saddened at the loss of a great life and your beloved husband. I remember one time in the Temple at the veil, you and he were there together, happy and smiling. I hope the many happy memories you share will sustain you now and forever! Prayers and tears for you Sister Hillary! Love Jayne Johnson

    - Jayne Johnson
    Nicole, so sorry for your loss. Prayers with you and your family. Love you

    - Shelley Dewar
    Nic & Family, You are in our thoughts & prayers in this time of sorrow. With Sympathy, Terry & Fred Fredsall

    - Terry & Fred Fredsall
    July 31, 2020 Dear Nikki and family, I just wanted to share with you a few of my thoughts and special memories of your beloved husband and father, Del. He spent about 22 years on the special program that I manage. From his first days on that program until the day he retired, there was no doubt that he was the right man for the job. He was an exceptional engineer as so many have said and he quickly became a forever great friend. Del and I had fun sharing bishopric stories and discussing the gospel. As I recall, he recounted that around the time he served as bishopric first counselor, it was announced there would be a change in the bishopric. As a result, Del said he put on his leather jacket, got on his motorcycle (maybe a Harley) and drove up and down the street where the stake president lived to help neutralize any inclinations of the stake president to call Del as the bishop. Apparently, that trick helped yield the desired outcome. But, it was funny the way Del told the story. As time went on, we discovered a number of other mutual interests. One such mutual interest was our love of quoting classic lines from favorite movies. From Ben-Hur, we occasionally quoted the last words from the mortally wounded Messala just after the Chariot Race when he gasped “The race goes on Judah.” We also had fun quoting to each other some words from Star Wars when Darth Vader told Luke Skywalker, “Impressive, most impressive” and “I am your father.” Del and I both love Disneyland - we are Disney addicts! I remember at least once that Del called or texted me a picture from inside Disneyland’s Blue Bayou restaurant. It psyched me out. So, I returned the favor at a later time when I was down there and he was at work. We compared many experiences about Disneyland through the years. Del and I both love dark chocolate, and on occasion, would share a dark chocolate bar or some other treat with each other. This was especially useful during certain stressful times in our lives. When my program team was generating Power Point presentations to answer certain customer questions, Del was well-known as one who provided very quick and concise answers. Sometimes, his answers were just a quick “Yes” or “No”. When other presenters got too wordy in their presentation responses, it was often suggested they follow Del’s simpler approach, even after he had retired. Del loved all you family members and spoke of you often! He was so proud of all your accomplishments! I felt blessed to have gotten to know you through him, your weddings, the company trips you joined us on and at least one concert. My wife, Susan, and I loved the funeral messages, beautiful music and the Spirit we felt. The tributes were amazing! You are a great family! I wish we could have mingled with you afterwards. I know that nothing will erase the heartache you feel with the loss of your husband and father. But, I hope my thoughts and memories will help confirm what a great guy he was and is. Our prayers are with you, and may you always feel the Comforter strongly as you move forward. With love, D. Ray LeBaron

    - D. Ray LeBaron
    Nicole’ I’m so sorry to hear about your husband. This is so tragic! But you know that he his safe and out of pain. You and your family know that you will see him again when you are able to join him . Stay strong knowing he is with you and watching over you and your family. My prayers are with you and your family 😊❤️ Love ya Annette

    - Annette Soumpholphakdy
    “May my condolences bring you comfort and may my prayers ease the pain of this loss.” ... “Today and always, may loving memories bring you peace, comfort, and strength.” “My heart is with you in your time of sorrow.” “Wishing you peace and strength during this difficult time.”

    - Rene and Jilma Cardenas
    Even though I only met this incredible man once, I'll never forget his warm, genuine, and friendly personality. My heart aches for you, Nicole' and your family. You're in our prayers every day. I hope you find comfort in knowing that you will spend an eternity with him, after this journey on earth is over. I love you!

    - Celeste Tobler
    Dear Nicole and wonderful children: Our hearts were deeply saddened, even broken, when we heard of the passing of Del. All of you have been in our thoughts and prayers. We will miss seeing him ride around the corner on his motorcycle. May you be surrounded with peace and comfort from our loving Heavenly Father. We know He will be there for you always as you face difficult times but also feel His presence and the presence of Del beside you. We wish we could be there tomorrow but know that everything will be beautiful. Nicole, I wish I could reach out and give you hugs--someday in the future but feel it virtually from me for now. All our deepest sympathies and Love, Dave and Annette Holdsworth

    - Dave and Annette Holdsworth
    Sending condolences and deepest sympathies to all. We have you in our thoughts and prayers. Much love, The Albiston's

    I am so sorry for your loss, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    - Penny Carroll
    I only knew Del for a few short years. But he spent that time teasing and joking and convincing me that it “really is rocket science “. We both loved music and enjoyed talking about that and sharing eternal principals as we served together. The love between him and his eternal companion is a wonderful example. I’ll miss him.

    - Dan Bradshaw
    Nicole, i know what you are going through and my heart bleeds for you. I am so very sorry. I remember the good moments we had as neighbors. Both of you will always hold a special place in my thoughts. I know Del was met by Mont and Del is teaching him to ride motorcycles. May you receive peace and comfort during these difficult times. My love, thoughts and prayers be with you. Condolences to all. Love. Jan

    - jan garrett
    Dear Matt and the Hillary family - I am so very sorry for your loss. All of us at Workfront send our love and our prayers that you will be able to find peace in this middle of losing a husband, father and grandfather so suddenly.

    - Alex Shootman
    Rose-Marie and Doug knew Del briefly when our granddaughter, Katie, married Del's son, Ryan. However, besides Katie and Ryan we had much in common. Doug also obtained an undergraduate degree in mathematics. We are sorry at his passing and the resulting shock to his family. Please be aware of and accept our condolences.

    - Douglas and Rose-Marie Henderson
    To my lovely aunt I found through peculiar ways , Nicole I love you so much. That is not hard to do the moment someone meets you. You live such a life of love and service. I’m so grateful for your example even from a distance. I wish I could wrap my arms around you and take away any sorrow you’ve felt. You’ve given such a beautiful tribute to your husband, he would be proud. Thank the heavens above we have the knowledge of Gods plan. Families are the most precious thing in the whole world and I am so happy I met you. You are truly a beloved soul. 💕 Nikki Millet

    - Nikki Millet
    I'll always remember Del as a uniquely competent, confident rocket scientist and as a true friend in a sometimes difficult work environment.

    - Dave Chassé
    Nicole and family, So very sorry for your loss! Prayers and condolences to you all! What a great tribute to your eternal companion. I'm sure there was a grand reunion in heaven. God be with you ! Love the Helms

    - Lisa and Mike Helms
    I remember Del as a calm voice in a busy place at Hercules and Alliant TechSystems. He was friendly, supportive and worthy of trust. I share sympathies with family and friends as we say goodby to Del, a special individual indeed.

    - Mike VanVoorhis
    Sending our thoughts and prayers.

    - Peggy Genebach