Friends, Family Celebrate Richness of Philanthropist's Life; Guests Entering Henry Hillman's Den to Greet the Billionaire Philanthropist Usually Had to Sidestep Towers of History Books, Biographies, Poetry, Nonfiction Works and the Occasional New York Times Best-Selling Novel. [Derived Headline]

By Lindstrom, Natasha | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, April 22, 2017 | Go to article overview

Friends, Family Celebrate Richness of Philanthropist's Life; Guests Entering Henry Hillman's Den to Greet the Billionaire Philanthropist Usually Had to Sidestep Towers of History Books, Biographies, Poetry, Nonfiction Works and the Occasional New York Times Best-Selling Novel. [Derived Headline]


Lindstrom, Natasha, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Guests entering Henry Hillman's den to greet the billionaire philanthropist usually had to sidestep towers of history books, biographies, poetry, nonfiction works and the occasional New York Times best-selling novel.

The voracious reader's side table "never saw the light of day," piled high with newspapers, business publications, stock analyses, annual reports and science journals, recalled his grandson, Dylan Simonds, during remarks at Hillman's funeral Friday. Yellow legal pads always lay stacked neatly within arm's reach of Hillman, as the Princeton University graduate lounged in his favorite La-Z-Boy and filled the pages with thoughts and criticisms.

"Nobody was more serious about learning about the world and wanting to improve it," Simonds said.

And unlike most men in their late 90s, Hillman had a large collection of iPhones, iPads, Blackberrys and Kindles. He was an avid texter and always on the hunt for the latest innovative gadget or promising tech startup.

"At 98, he was both one of the last of the Greatest Generation and perhaps, the oldest Millennial," said another grandson, Talbott Simonds.

"His mind was sharp; he was curious until the end," Simonds said.

Several hundred people gathered at Calvary Episcopal Church in Shadyside on Friday morning to pay tribute to Hillman, who died of heart failure April 14. He was 98.

The Gothic Revival-style church on Shady Avenue filled with friends, relatives, business executives, artists, philanthropists, educators, health care professionals and dignitaries, including former Pennsylvania Govs. Tom Corbett, Tom Ridge and Dick Thornburgh.

Thornburgh said he admired Hillman's "sense of responsibility to the community in which he lived. …

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Friends, Family Celebrate Richness of Philanthropist's Life; Guests Entering Henry Hillman's Den to Greet the Billionaire Philanthropist Usually Had to Sidestep Towers of History Books, Biographies, Poetry, Nonfiction Works and the Occasional New York Times Best-Selling Novel. [Derived Headline]
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