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Joe Hilliard


It is with great sadness that the family of Joseph William Hilliard III announce his passing on January 1, 2019, at the age of 56 years old. He was born on September 29, 1962, in Baltimore, MD, to Joseph and Elaine (Schmidt) Hilliard. He was a 1980 graduate of Centennial High School in Ellicott City, MD, and he earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Illinois University. Born and raised in Maryland, he relocated to San Diego, CA, while serving in the Navy and resided there for the rest of his life.

Joe worked as a Project Manager in the aerospace industry for nearly 30 years, most recently with Northrup Grumman. He proudly served his country in the United States Navy for six years. He was very active in the Boy Scouts, where he was a Cub Master while his sons were younger. He enjoyed hiking and the outdoors. He also cherished time spent with his family and friends. 

Joe is survived by his wife, Deanna Hilliard, of San Diego, CA; his two sons from a previous marriage: Robert and Jeremy of Escondido, CA; his two sisters, Melissa Hilliard, of Hampstead, MD, and Melinda (Jerry) Resh of Columbia, MD; his brother, Brian (Jill) Hilliard of Collegeville, PA; his mother, Elaine S. Hilliard of Woodstock, MD; and his former wife, Sara Hilliard of Escondido, CA. He was predeceased by his father Joseph W. Hilliard, Jr. 

A Celebration of Life with Military Honors was held at Lake Poway, on Saturday, January 12, 2019. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Joe’s name to the International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society,

Honor the memory of Joe

by donating to help others

affected by Autoimmune


Our website is not a substitute for independent professional medical advice. Nothing contained on our website is intended to be used as medical advice. No content is intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for your own health professional's advice. Although THE INTERNATIONAL AUTOIMMUNE ENCEPHALITIS SOCIETY  provides a great deal of information about AUTOIMMUNE ENCEPHALITIS, all content is provided for informational purposes only. The International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society  cannot provide medical advice.

International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society is a charitable non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2016 by Tabitha Andrews Orth, Gene Desotell and Anji Hogan-Fesler. Tax ID# 81-3752344. Donations raised directly supports research, patients, families and caregivers impacted by autoimmune encephalitis and to educating healthcare communities around the world. Financial statement will be made available upon request.




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