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I just heard from Hilary's brother (Tranquilis) that Hil has passed away. The preliminary diagnosis is respiratory failure as a result of pneumonia. I am beyond shocked. I know she hasn't contributed a whole lot here lately, so many newer members won't know her, but when she was active, her humor, writing style, and words of wisdom were a great asset to this forum. Hilary herself was a wonderful and caring friend.

 

Please say prayers for her family and friends, who have lost a bright star this day. I have no words right now. Gospeed, Hil, and I sure hope we can meet again someday in the great beyond. I'll never forget our shared pipedreams of writing and ranching; although you were across the country and then some, I still counted you as a dear friend.

 

J.

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Oh, no!

 

She and I had a short correspondence not long ago as she was interested in a rescue dog. She talked about some of her plans for her future. She had a wicked sense of humor, a huge heart full of caring, and a bright future.

 

My thoughts go out to her family and friends.

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I'm deeply saddened to hear this. Even though she hasn't been very active in the BC Boards of late, I *so* enjoyed her contributions, as well as her blog. She's an individual who I'd always hoped someday to meet in person.

 

Godspeed, Hilary. My heart goes out to your family and friends, losing you far too soon.

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I am beyond shocked also. It didn't matter that she didn't contribute much. I know she was busy with her job and life. What she did contribute (Iditarod updates and stories) were very much treasured, and I looked forward to them.

 

My sincere condolences to her family.

 

Jovi

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I am in tears! I loved her style, her level head...her blog is one of the few I actually read. Condolences to her family and I suppose they needed a good story teller up high!

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I too am totally stunned by this news. Hil joined the Boards nearly ten years ago, and for a good part of that time was a frequent poster. She didn't post as much in recent years, but those who have been on the Boards for a long time will remember her sensible, helpful, witty and sometimes lyrical posts. I met her in person only a few times, in Alaska, but we corresponded off and on for eight or nine years, and I considered her a true friend. She was only 51, I think. She had a serious respiratory infection + flu + pneumonia in early 2011, and had recurrent respiratory problems and bouts of pneumonia since that time (the AK climate can be tough on the respiratory system), but nothing that I (or she, I'm sure) thought could be life-threatening. I feel this as a great loss, and my heart goes out to Tranq and her family, for whom it is a much deeper loss.

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I remember her being sick a few years ago, but never imagined it would lead to this.

 

She was always very fun and supportive to talk to. I can't believe she is gone.

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Tranq said in a message to me that his mother and sister had bought plane tickets to go visit Hilary and help her out with this latest bout of extended respiratory illness. Obviously they didn't make it there in time, which is all the more sad.

 

J.

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Thank you all.

 

The kind and quality of people who mourn her loss say all that needs to be said about the kind of person she was. Gods - I can't believe I'm talking about her in past tense - That's just not right. But it's reality... One we wish we didn't have to face.

 

My sister had *just* turned 52, and by our family standards, had maybe 40 years left on the clock, if not longer. But she also suffered from a common healer's curse: She gave all to her patients, and saved nothing left for herself. The cruel irony is that just as we became alert to how extreme her danger was, it was already too late.

 

We've lost a spark, and laughter. She was a sizzling bright wit, a keen observer, and a ribald jokester. I cannot count the hours and days we spent setting each other up to be the the straight man to each other's jokes and jests. She raised me more than my mother did, she protected me and taught me. We were mental and emotional cognates - She was the closest of my many close siblings. She was the same to her friends, and they will miss her as deeply as my family and I.

 

Thank you all for your kind words.

 

 

On practical matters:

Hilary will be cremated, and returned to the fold of her family. The final memorial (aside from that which her Alaskan friends undertake) will be in Newark, Delaware - Possibly at the end of June, more likely at the end of July - There are too many things ongoing that she would not want to interrupt, so we won't let her interrupt them - they're as important to her as they are to the rest of us.

 

Donations in lieu of flowers or cards would be appreciated. We don't have an 'official' charity as yet. We may never - Hilary was also a bit of an anarchist. Donate to a reputable dog- or horse-related rescue. Or donate to organizations that support the legal structure to enable and/or enforce laws preventing abuse of animals. Do that, and she will surely give you a wink, click of her tongue, and a thumbs-up from wherever she may be.

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