Benjamin Casper "Ben" Hillicoss

August 28, 1939 ~ October 6, 2021 (age 82)


Florence - Benjamin (Ben) Casper Hillicoss, 82, of Florence, Montana, passed away peacefully at Kathy’s Place Assisted Living on Wednesday, October 6, 2021, after a long journey with Alzheimer’s. Ben was born on August 28, 1939, in Preston Hollow, New York, the son of Gertrude and Edward Hillicoss. Ben grew up on his family farm in the Catskill Mountains and attended Middleburgh High School. After graduating at age 16, Ben joined IBM in Yorktown Heights, New York. During Ben’s 30-year IBM career, he frequently moved around the U.S. working on a variety of projects, including managing the creation and installation of the first airline reservation software system. His four-year IBM assignment in Paris allowed Ben and his family to travel and enjoy many European countries. After retiring from IBM in 1986, Ben joined the Candle Corporation in Los Angeles as Research Director. Ben retired early at age 54 in 1993. One of Ben’s first IBM jobs was in Great Falls where he fell in love with Montana and hoped, eventually, to retire to. In 1994 he moved to Florence, bringing his vision to fruition. Ben loved life, was an enthusiastic adventurer and loved to laugh. He was an avid hunter his entire life. He treasured hunting with his sons and grandsons – a Hillicoss tradition. Demonstrating his passion for hunting, in 1963 Ben received a Boone and Crockett First Place Award medal for the largest black bear killed in Newfoundland. He also loved traveling, fishing, hiking, snowmobiling, and reading - especially science and space related topics. Ben was an active member of the Florence community and local Ravalli County politics giving back to the community that gave much to him. He was a member of the Florence Civic Club, a volunteer firefighter, Big Brother to Missoula teenage boys, and a member of the Ravalli Planning Board where he was Committee Head on the Growth Plan Policy and Streamside Setback Plans. Ben also ran for Montana State Representative in 2011. Ben was a caring, loving, and devoted friend, husband, father, grandpa, and great grandpa. He is survived by his wife Sharon; son Darren, wife Cheryl and grandson Benjamin (Maine); son Mike, wife Vickie, granddaughter Mel and Mel’s husband David, and great-grandsons Caiden and Asher (Idaho); granddaughter Jennica, husband Kameron and great-grandson Koen (Washington State); daughter Kim, husband Ralph and granddaughter Lida, husband Joe and great-granddaughter Emily, and granddaughter Megan (Maine); son Ryan (Missoula); and stepdaughters Sarah (Missoula), Andrea, husband Andre and granddaughters Leah and Stella (California). Due to current Covid conditions, the family is planning a celebration of Ben’s life on Saturday, June 4, 2022 at Sharon and Ben’s Florence home. In lieu of flowers, please contribute to The Brain Support Network by using the link provided.

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Celebration of Life
June 4, 2022

Time: TBD
Sharon & Ben's Home

Florence, MT 59833
Guaranteed delivery before the Celebration of Life begins

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