John "Jay" Stanton Hilley, 50

John "Jay" Stanton Hilley

November 24, 1972 - March 27, 2023

John "Jay" Stanton Hilley, 50, passed away on March 27, 2023, due to infective endocarditis following an aortic valve replacement in February 2023. Born on November 24, 1972, in Northwood, ND, Jay graduated from Sauk Rapids High School in 1991. He was known for his vibrant sense of humor, love of adventure, and unwavering dedication to his family.

Jay is survived by his loving daughters, Kayla, Savannah, and Anya Hilley; father, John Damon Hilley; stepmother, Cathline (Steitz) Hilley; siblings, Alison Lynch (James), William Fischer, David Hilley, and Kathryn Olsen (Erik); mother of his daughters, Rebecca (Loch) Hilley; uncle, James Patrick Hilley (Linda); aunts, Julie Kubisiak (Jeff), Jeanne Hilley (Anthony), Judy Hoffmann (Cary), and Noreen Norrie (John); and many cousins, nephews, and nieces. Jay was preceded in death by his mother, Sharon Kay (O'Neal) Fischer; stepfather, Lester Fischer; aunt, Yvonne (O’Neal) Fischer; and cousin, Ellen Barber (Russ).

A successful automotive industry professional, Jay worked as a Sales Manager at Gilleland Chevrolet. His strong work ethic, charismatic personality, and ability to connect with people contributed to his success and earned him respect from colleagues and clients.

Jay's greatest joy came from spending time with his daughters, whom he lovingly referred to as "his girls." His girls were the center of his world, and Jay was fiercely devoted to them. He took great pride in being their father, and his welcoming home served as a sanctuary for his girls, their friends, and other family members. Jay also cherished the time spent with his beloved pets.

A true water enthusiast, Jay enjoyed countless hours at Big Fish Lake, where he created lasting memories with family and friends on his pontoon boat, sipping a Bacardi Coke. His love for the outdoors extended to tropical vacations, with a particular fondness for Belize, where he hoped to retire someday. His family plans to make a trip to Belize in the future to fulfill his wishes.

Jay was passionate about the fight against ALS. He participated in the Black Woods Blizzard Tour snowmobile ride in Duluth for many years.

A visitation will be held on April 14, 2023, from 5 to 7pm, followed by a prayer service at 7pm at River of Life, 22881 178th Ave, Cold Spring, MN. A Celebration of Life is planned for June 2023, where friends and family will come together to share stories and laughter in honor of Jay's spirited personality.

Jay's life was a testament to the power of love, laughter, and adventure. He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.