Jordan Jay Hillman, 89, died on April 8, 2014 after an eight-and-a-half-year journey with Alzheimer's. Born in Waukegan in 1924, he was known to friends and colleagues as "Jay." He served during World War II as an Army Air Corps navigator in the Eighth Air Force Unit and liked to reminisce about
flying. He earned a Master of Arts degree in Political Science, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago and later received a Doctor of Juridical Science from Northwestern University.
He was vice-president and general counsel for the Chicago
and North Western Railway and joined the law school faculty at Northwestern in 1966. In 1975 he took a temporary leave from teaching and served as general counsel for the U.S. Railway Association.
He pursued many social causes beyond his chosen profession and served on the Evanston school board as well as the CTA board and various boards related to the arts. He was strongly committed to humanitarian endeavors, expressing his deepest convictions and principles through both philanthropy and service. He was a lover of nature, animals, children, walking, and classical music, played the clarinet, and after retirement, joined a chamber group.
During the last five years of his life, he lived in Oak Park and was surrounded by his loving family, friends, and caregivers. His book, The Torah and Its God: A Humanist Inquiry was published in 2001 and embodies his deep respect for scholarship, humanism, and Judaic history.
Jay Hillman is survived by his wife, Karen G. Hillman; his two daughters from a former marriage, Deborah Jay Hillman and Amy Elizabeth Stearns; his grandchildren, Benjamin Johnson and Rachel Johnson; his great-grandson, Cooper Jay Johnson; his son-in-law, Kenneth Johnson (Amy Stearns); and by Jane Ellen Birdsong (Benjamin Johnson).
A memorial service will be held in Oak Park in June.