Barbara Jane (Stanton) Hillis, founder of Barbara Hillis Dance Studio

Barbara Jane (Stanton) Hillis, age 83, of Shelton, took her final bow on February 25, 2015, while in the warm embrace of her loving family.

“Lady Barbara” was born in Rochester, NY to the late Earl J. and Marion Elizabeth Stanton.

A Charter Oak State College graduate, she found her life’s passion in education and dance, teaching early childhood development and founding the Barbara Hillis Dance Studio, a staple of the Huntington, CT community for 40 years, through which she touched and changed the lives of thousands. Also a fixture of St. Lawrence Parish, Barbara served on the Mother’s Club and Rosary Society, and was past treasurer of the Home School Association.

Her boundless joy for living continues on in her closest students — those she spent her life teaching how to find laughter every day and to love with abundance — her greatest dance partner, beloved husband of 64 years, and soulmate Arthur L. Hillis of Shelton (who, despite his adoration for Lou Gehrig, knows that he is, indisputably, the luckiest man on the face of the earth, MTYLTT); her partners in crime, daughters Susan (Jay) Young of Oxford, Karen (Jay) Belles of Palm City, FL, Judith Hillis of Derby, and Barbara Iannotti of Shelton; her protectors, sons Richard (Deborah) Hillis of Union Grove, Alabama, Paul Hillis of Shelton, and Michael (Lynne, Barbara’s champion and guardian angel) Hillis of Derby; her eleven grandchildren who owe every graceful step to their “Nanny,” David, Danielle, Gregory, Jay, Janessa, Ryan, Whitney, Katherine, Erin, Alexandra and Shaun; eight great grandchildren Rory, Dillon, Elijah, Evan, Emma, Reagan, Samuel and Kennedy; and several nieces.

She will be greeted with open arms, warm smiles, and a snappy joke or two in her next life by her son Timothy J. Hillis, M.D. and brother Clayton Warner Stanton.

Friends and family are encouraged to join the family and celebrate her life on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. at the Cyril F. Mullins Funeral Home 399 White Plains Rd. Trumbull. Friends may greet the family on Friday from 4-8 p.m.

A memorial Mass will be held on a date to be announced, followed by inurment in Mt. St. Peter’s Cemetery.

To share your fond memories, please contribute an online condolence at www.mullinsfh.com.

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