May 18, 2011 EditionAlso in this issue...
Frankly speaking...An overflow crowd filled the First United Methodist Church here Friday for the memorial service of Judge Tom Hilburn. It was the largest crowd I have ever seen in the church with at least 80 people in the balcony, others seated in the choir loft and in extra folding chairs with others standing at the back and sides.
The Hilburns' extended family consisted of some 65 relatives who filled much of the center section of the church. Tom and his three siblings and their spouses, children and grandchildren drew friends from many decades of WRHS grads, as well as other friends and colleagues from around the state and beyond.
Matt Stovall gave a heartfelt and inspiring eulogy for his uncle. He compared Judge Hilburn's life to a round of golf, a game greatly enjoyed by Tom and his wife, Annette. He told how Tom stayed in the game, playing it well through the 18th hole with Annette by his side.
For many years, the Hilburn family has returned each Christmas to attend church together at their home base of Walnut Ridge. It was only natural for them to return home again to remember and celebrate Judge Hilburn's life.