Donald Lee Hillsman, 84, El Dorado Springs, passed away Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024, at Cedar County Memorial Hospital after a stay in Community Springs Nursing Facility, both in El Dorado Springs.

Don was born May 22, 1939, in Appleton City. He was the only child of Herman Hillsman and Mary Lois (Brackenridge) Hillsman of Schell City. He grew up on the family farm southwest of Taberville where he helped his dad farm. He attended school through eighth grade at Stoney Point, a rural school one mile away from the farm. He went to El Dorado Springs High School where he played football and was active in Future Farmers of America, graduating in 1957.

He married May Elayne Schmidt of Schell City on June 25, 1960, and they lived near Schell City until they bought their farm west of El Dorado Springs in 1968. They raised their three children, Brent, Kelly and Todd there, with Don farming, working at MidAmerica Dairymen, and helping his children with their school, 4-H, and FFA projects.

He retired from MidAm (Dairi Concepts) after 35 years in 2000, and focused full-time on farming and supporting his grandchildren at their church, school, band and sporting activities.

Don accepted Christ and was baptized at Schell City Christian Church in 1961. For more than 50 years, he was a member of Dederick Christian Church, where he faithfully attended until his health no longer allowed.

Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Elayne, of the home; children, Brent (Vicki) Hillsman – Schell City, Kelly (Scott) Barton – Louisburg, KS, and Todd Hillsman – El Dorado Springs; grandchildren, Tyler (Lori) Hillsman and Matthew Hillsman, of Kansas City, Bailey (Hans) Engebretsen – Seattle, WA, and Blythe Barton – Overland Park, KS; great-grandchildren, Eleanor and Arlo Hillsman – Kansas City, and Barton and Annali Engebretsen – Seattle, WA; niece, Robyn (Rob) Eckhoff – Butler; great-nieces, Kirstyn Eckhoff – Fulton, and Kalyn Eckhoff of Lawrence, KS; and other loved extended family members and friends.

Services for Don will begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, at Dederick Christian Church, under the direction of Bland-Hackleman Funeral Home. Tommy Bowen will be the minister. Burial will follow at Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Dederick Christian Church.