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Phillip Hugh Hillegass

Phil Hillegass, age 76, of Palm Harbor, Florida succumbed to pneumonia surrounded by family on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at Mease Countryside Hospital. Phil was born on August 12, 1943 in Palm Beach, Florida, the son of the late Raymond Hillegass and Dixie Sellars Hillegass. On October 8, 1966 he married Linda Lester at Coral Villa Baptist Church in Miami. Together they shared 54 years of marriage.

Phil is survived by his loving wife Linda; along with two daughters Melissa Bruce of Palm Harbor and Melinda Astrup (Wayne) of Truckee, California; five grandchildren, Jack Lester, Lily Lester, Hailey Lester, Owen Astrup and Mila Astrup; three great grandchildren, Marlee, Esmae and Lyra; sister Rae Wallen and  loving many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. He was proceeded in death by his parents Raymond and Dixie Hillegass.

Phil grew up in Boca Raton, Florida where his days were spent fishing, diving and anything you could do in the water. In 1963, Phil joined the Coast Guard which he was passionate about until his final days. He was stationed in Miami when he met Linda, fell in love and got married. They moved to Peachtree City, Georgia in 1981 to raise their daughters. Phil raced BMX with his daughters for many years. When he wasn’t working you could find Phil fishing on the lake or down in his workshop turning ordinary pieces of wood into amazing art. He had a creative mind and an inspiring artistic ability. Phil was always busy; he was natural handyman and the cook of the house. He was always helping a friend or neighbor and would go above and beyond to help someone in need. Phil and Linda were happily married for 54 years and he loved his wife with all his heart.  Phil loved to travel and cruise with his family and friends.  He was a proud member of the Peachtree City Auxiliary Police, the American Legion and attended Christ Our Shepard Lutheran Church.

Funeral Service with full military honors for Phil Hillegass will be held at 1:00pm, Thursday, February 20, 2020 at Bay Pines National Cemetery featuring the The American Legion Post 125 and  United States Coast Guard Honors Team to bid a final farewell to their shipmate.

Memorial donations are encouraged in Phil’s memory and may be made to the Lewy Body Dementia Association 


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  • Mike Smith says:

    I am so happy I had the privilege and honor to know Phil for the short time I did, 10 years. Phil and I worked together for around 9 years. He was a true and loyal friend. I will miss him dearly. Linda and you girls, he loved y’all so much. Please take care of yourself’s and I am here for y’all if needed. Love Mike

  • Deb&Debbi Carroll says:

    It is so hard to believe that Phil is gone. No one should have had to go through what he’s been through the last four years, but at least we know he’s in a better place. He was a wonderful next door neighbor. A co-worker of 23 years and good good friend. I find it hard to think of anybody else in my lifetime that’s been as giving as kind and sometimes hysterically funny as I do Phil… He loved and was so loved by his family. And he will be sorely missed by any person who ever crossed his path. So Phil now that you’re able to move around more get to working on that beautiful woodworking that you always do..We’ll Get together again my friend

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