Memorial Service

In Loving Memory


Mr. Hillis Elvin Haygood

Wednesday, January 1, 2003



Grace A.M.E. Zion Church

219 S. Brevard Street

Charlotte, North Carolina


Rev.  Michael Neal, Pastor

Bishop Cecil Bishop, Eulogist

          Order of Service






    Hymn of Celebration                "Blessed Assurance" #504


    Scripture readings:                   Rev. Dr. J. Elvin Sadler

             Old Testament - Psalm 23

             New Testament - Peter 2:1-5


    Solo                                            Jimmy Person


    Prayer of Comfort                    Pev. Michael Neal


    Reflections                                Victor Carr

                                                      Col. (Ret.) Cleveland Simpson

                                                      Homer Townsend

                                                      Solomon W. Washington, III

                                                      Melanie  Washington

                                                      Hillis E. Haygood, II


    Solo                                           Jimmy Person


    Eulogy                                       Bishop Cecil Bishop

                            Senior Bishop of the AME Zion Church


     Hymn of Comfort              "It Is Well With My Soul” #507


    Benediction                             Bishop Cecil Bishop





 Major (Ret.) Hillis Elvin Haygood at the age of 55, died December 27, 2002 at the Carolinas Medical Center-Main Charlotte, North Carolina.  Hillis was born November 4, 1947 in Greensboro, North Carolina to the late Preston Haygood and Alice Foote Haygood.  In 1969, he married the late Gwendolyn Mitchell Haygood and from that union two children were born.

 Hillis graduated from Dudley High School in 1965.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology from North Carolina  A&T State University and Master of Arts in Business Administration from Webster College.  After an extraordinary sports career in High School and College he was commissioned into the United States Air Force as an Aircraft Commander, flying the KCI35 refueling aircraft in 1969.  During his career he served as a flight instructor, a mission controller as well as squadron commander.  After retiring from the Air Force, he spent the Cast ten years teaching math and science to middle school children.  He was employed at the following schools: Tabor Middle School in Warner Robins, Georgia, Neal Middle School in Durham, North Carolina and currently at Martin Middle School in Charlotte, North Carolina.  He also coached basketball, football, as well as track and field events.

 As well as being an avid golfer and tennis player, Hillis enjoyed listening to jazz and giving his time to numerous community activities.  His list of accomplishments include: Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, AFC Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and countless others.  He was a member of the National Education Association a NC Certified Teaching Mentor, National Honor Society, 1968 CIAA baseball Champion, 1964 & 1965 State Baseball Champion, 1965 MVP Dudley Football, 1965 City Brain Team, coach of the 1991 USAF Championship Girls Basketball team, Mentor for Jr. Honor Society and countless other accomplishments too numerous to name.

 Survivors include his children, Hillis E. Haygood, II and wife Tonya of Charlotte, North Carolina and daughter, Hillisha Kaye Haygood of Durham North Carolina.  He leaves behind two grandchildren, Hillis LaShawn Haygood and Taliyah Gwendolyn Haygood,  siblings, Preston D. Haygood and wife Patricia and Pam H. Washington and husband Solomon Washington III.  He also leaves one aunt, Rosena H. Gaines of Charlotte, North Carolina; dearest friend Diane G. Haygood of Durham North Carolina; best friend Victor Carr of Greensboro, North Carolina and a host of nieces, nephews, friends and students.


A heart of gold stopped beating,

Two shining eyes at rest

God broke our hearts to prove

He only takes the best.

God knows you had to leave us,

But you did not go alone

For part of us went with you

When God took you home.

To some you will be forgotten

To others, just part of the past

But to us who loved and lost you,

Your memory will always last.

In Loving Memory

The Family






Alexander Funeral Home Inc.

1424 Statesville Avenue

Charlotte, North Carolina



Hillis suffered a stroke while shopping at an Eckerd Drugs store Tuesday, Christmas Eve in Charlotte, NC.  On Friday Hillis was unable to overcome a second more serious stroke while in a Charlotte hospital.  His family honored his desire to be cremated.

Honoring A Dear Friend

December 29, 2002

To the family and friends of Hillis: 

I was at shocked at the news, and I am still in shock over the passing of one of my best friends.  Hillis and I had a lot in common.  We have shared everything from little league baseball, to Lincoln Junior High School, to Dudley High School.  As athletic trainer I was privileged to share with Hillis the experience of winning State Championships two years in baseball.  Our Panther football team…who could ever forget Number 34, our fullback.  When things got tough our senior year, Hillis even played quarterback.  We were at North Carolina A&T State University together; we were also in the United States Air Force during the same time.  

But there are two events that I will never forget.  The first event was one day Hillis and I went into his father’s frame shop and made a picture frame out of old scrap molding.  I think "Skip" was with us that day also.  I recall that it was a day when the shop was closed.  The next time was when I was in the North Carolina Air National Guard.  I would visit Charlotte one weekend a month for military training.  One of those weekends I called Hillis and Gwen and they invited me over for dinner, and there I met for the first time little Hillis, and his little sister.  Gwen told little Hillis my name was Uncle Colley.  I gave Little Hillis Some little Air National Guard Decals; I will never forget the smile he had on his face when I gave him those decals.

 To the Haygood family, my prayers are with you.  I know my life was a little bit better because I had an opportunity to meet Hillis Haygood.

Arthur "Colley" Hood
Dallas, Texas
Class of 1965 

January 5, 2003

How ironic it was last week when my mother gave me a box of old letters and memorabilia from high school and college.  One of the items that caught my eye was this program from the Athletic Banquet held our senior year.  Hillis' name just seemed to jump out at me.  I then went to the computer to pull up the website only to read what had happened to him. How ironic.

I thought you might want to include this attachment on the website just to remind all of us of what an exceptional athlete and Dudley Panther that Hillis was and will always be in our memories.
Cassandra Feaster Hamilton
Class of 1965 

1965 Dudley High School Athletic Banquet

Hillis' wife puts on his lieutenant bars

January 5, 2003

Hillis was definitely a Class "A" guy who would give you the shirt off his back...To be honest, I am still shocked to learn of his passing. We were both in the Air Force at the same time but we never crossed paths while in. I played a lot of fast pitch softball while stationed down in Panama 1979-81 and I met an Airman who played with Hillis while they were stationed overseas. Hillis's name came up when I told the Airman I was from Greensboro.

It was then that I learned Hillis had lost his wife to cancer but I was never successful in learning of his Base Location. I believe he and Earlton Donnell was stationed together at one time...No doubt, I will remember him and his family in my prayers. He was truly an Officer and a Gentleman.

Jim Patterson
Class of 1965 

January 1, 2003

If any classmate deserved the honor of "bringing in a new year" it was Hillis.  Each of us attending his very touching memorial service today have an added special meaning to future New Year's celebrations.  Long before Richard Gere portrayed the role of "Officer and a Gentleman" we experienced a real officer and gentlemen from our classmate Hillis to the much accomplished retired Air Force jet pilot Major Hillis Haygood.  Our class was appropriately represented by Hillis' best friend and soul brother, Vic Carr.  May each of us live the remainder our lives in such a manner that we see Hillis again at the grand class reunion in the sky.

Ralph Herbin
Class of 1965