Hiltner to be honored at Sunday service

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Sgt. Harry Hiltner at township hall circa 2010. (Submitted) Sgt. Harry Hiltner at township hall circa 2010. (Submitted)

GALLOWAY – A visitation and memorial service will be held Sunday, Feb. 24 at Beacon Free Evangelical Church for Galloway Township Police Sgt. Harry Hiltner who died Tuesday, Feb. 12.

With the local police since 1993, he was a firefighter at Atlantic City International Airport in Egg Harbor Township before that.

He lived his entire life in Atlantic County, most recently in Galloway.

Hiltner, 53, lost a year and a half battle against cancer.

“Harry’s optimism and absolute love of his family, allowed he and his girls the strength to make it through this difficult journey,” reads his obituary on the Wimberg Funeral Home website.

He began his professional career in the height of Atlantic City’s casino development, as a union electrician before changing careers and going to work at the airport. While there, he was a volunteer firefighter in the Bargaintown section of Egg Harbor Township.  During nearly 20 years of protection and dedication, the obituary goes on, Hiltner achieved the rank of sergeant, and served as one of the most distinguished leaders Galloway has come to know.

His personal message on the police department website was, “I want the kids to know we will always be their friends. If you ever need us we will be there for you anytime day or night.”

Hiltner is mourned by the township’s current police chief.

“We came into the department together,” Galloway Police Chief Patrick Moran said Tuesday, Feb. 19. “He’s been on as long as me.”

The chief praised his colleague.

“You won’t find a better leader, person, supervisor, friend, father or husband than Harry Hiltner,” Moran said. “This is an extreme loss to the department and an astronomical loss to me as a friend.”

Moran said his thoughts are with Hiltner’s family, “which is a part of our family at GTPD.”

The obituary cites Hiltner as being honest, fair, dedicated and patriotic in his everyday ways. 

“He was a religious Philadelphia Phillies fan, and an always-optimistic Miami Dolphins supporter,” it goes on. “Harry took great pride working on his family’s property, and cruising around on his John Deere tractor while listening to “the Boss” on his headphones.” 

His daughter Ashley was his favorite basketball opponent, as they enjoyed many backyard challenges at their home, according to the obituary. And Hiltner was always there to share words of wisdom with his older daughter, Lisa. 

Harry’s wife Jean will cherish quiet moments they shared together watching deer, turkeys and especially their favorite, Purple Martins, among other wildlife that wandered onto the Hiltner compound. 

The beaches of Brigantine were another favorite place for all the Hiltners.

According to the obituary, “his family takes comfort in knowing that Casey, his faithful black lab, is wagging his tail and playing fetch with his best friend.”  

Survivors include his wife Jean, daughters Lisa and Ashley, his parents Eleanor and Harry Sr., and his brother Len and sister-in-law Joan.

Visitation will be held 2-4 p.m. Sunday, followed by the memorial service at Beacon Free Evangelical Church, 420 S. 6th Ave, Galloway.

For condolences, see wimbergfuneralhome.com. 

In lieu of flowers, the Hiltner family is accepting monetary donations at TD Bank for the Ashley Hiltner Scholarship Fund.    

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