Robert “Bob” C. Hillegas, 78

Robert C. Hillegas, 78, husband of Barbara A. (Schoenly) Hillegas, died peacefully in his home, surrounded by his family on Wednesday, January 3, 2024.

Born in Pottstown, he was the son of the late Robert and Eleanor (Krause) Hillegas.

Bob was a devoted teacher and coach for 35 years in the Chester (2yrs), Reading (2yrs), and Boyertown (31 yrs) School Districts. He was an assistant coach for various sports at both the high school and collegiate levels throughout his early coaching career. In 1987, he achieved his lifelong dream of becoming the head football coach at Boyertown High School and brought pride back to the Boyertown football program. During his time as an educator and coach, he developed relationships that continued throughout his life. All that knew him would consider him to be a mentor, teacher, coach, friend, and one of the kindest, gentlest, and humble men you would ever meet. Whether you were lucky enough to hear one of his pre/post-game speeches, lessons in the classroom, or just have a casual conversation, his words inspired you to be the best person possible. Bob had many accomplishments throughout his playing and coaching careers. The highlights being inducted into the Boyertown and Kutztown University Football Hall of Fames and being named Educator of the Year for the Boyertown School District in 1998. Bob was a loving and devoted husband to his high school sweetheart, Barb, for 54 years. As a father, Bob was an unwavering source of support for Matt and Mike throughout their life. They were able to “tag” along with their dad to practices and games while growing up and developed a love for playing sports just like he did. He never missed a game, and was always there to show how proud he was whether or not the end result was a win or a loss. Bob continued coaching after his retirement and later transitioned into his role as “Poppy''. His favorite things to do were to support his grandchildren in all of their athletic, dance, and 4-H activities. He attended countless games, recitals, meets, fairs, a state championship, and witnessed many blue ribbons being won. He was super proud of his grandchildren and will be dearly missed by all of them.

Bob and Barb were able to travel throughout the United States, and enjoyed camping with their close knit group of friends. While he was at home, Bob also was able to enjoy weekly golf outings with many of his lifelong friends.

Surviving is his wife,Barbara, of 53 years, his son Matthew, fiancé of Beth, son Michael, husband of Michelle, grandchildren Lindsay, Emily, Morgan, Chad, and Marissa . He is also survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Garrett and Ruth Stauffer, brother-in-law David Schoenly, and sister-in-law Mary Murrow, nieces and nephews, Ross Stauffer, Jennifer Hetcko, John Murrow, Lauren Everett and their families.

The Hillegas family would also like to extend a special thank you to Raleigh Crosby who has been his caregiver for the past year.

A visitation for friends and family to gather will be held on Saturday, January 13, 2024, from 11:00AM-2:00PM at Catagnus Funeral Home (1020 E. Philadelphia Ave., Gilbertsville, PA 19525). Burial will be held privately by the family at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the charity of your choice in Robert’s name.

Add My Condolences

Our condolences to the Hillegas family. Bob was a wonderful neighbor and friend who we will greatly miss. Will always cherish our times running into each other while doing yard work and getting caught up in discussing the current state of our Philly sports teams. He also provided us great advice on how and what it means to be a parent. Thank you for all those memories.

~ The Sakal's Gilbertsville, PA
1/11/2024 2:42:11 PM

Hillegas family,

I've just learned of the passing of Coach Hillegas and am so sorry for your loss. He was a great man and a huge influence on so many young people. I'll remember his kindness, despite his imposing figure (!), forever. My sincere sympathies to all of you who loved him so much.

Kristin (Muthersbaugh) Lepping

~ Kristin (Muthersbaugh) Lepping West Long Branch, NJ
1/8/2024 8:37:46 PM

Coach Hillagas, was a great coach and teacher I had him as a student and player at Jr.High East from 96-98. He will be deeply missed.
Cory Black

~ Cory Black Barto, pa
1/8/2024 10:59:43 AM

Deepest sympathy to Bob’s family. I operated the basketball clock at B-west and saw first hand his skill as a coach. Also worked with him as a teacher in that he was geography teacher at East and I as one at West. Rest in peace.

~ Doug Oswald
1/8/2024 9:07:41 AM

Matt,Mike, Michelle and family
My sincere condolences. May the Lords comfort surround all of you.

~ Cindy Jones Boyertown, PA
1/7/2024 11:48:50 PM

Bobby was a grandson or somehow related to Charles & Alice Mellon. They lived in town of Warwick, it's below Elverson. He 1 of the best young men u ever want to know. Mr. Mellon sponsored a number of neighborhood kids, gave us place to play in his back yard, and supplied equipment. Bobby had a love of baseball, second to non. AND he was great at it too! Art Mauger

~ Art Mauger Phoenixville, Pa
1/7/2024 11:04:12 PM

He was a father figure to me. I would rope me in when I got out of line. A great man in my life

~ Jody Munch
1/7/2024 8:29:11 PM

Thanks so much for instilling in our what life is about..Eric adored coach Bob..he talks about him all the time...take care Barb..and know he has reached our to many people who have grown up knowing him...

~ Doris Moyer Bechtelsville, PA
1/7/2024 5:01:28 PM

My sincerest condolences to your entire family. Coach Hillegas was a great coach, teacher, and support during my time at Jr. High East. He is a major reason I became a teacher and coach. He will always be a person we should aspire to be like. Thank you for everything, Coach. Rest easy.

~ Courtney Christy (Diffenderfer) Gilbertsville, PA
1/7/2024 4:46:46 PM

Barb Matt and Mike. We are so sad but thankful for having the opportunity to get to know Bob personally. He was a true gentleman and wonderful husband father and grandfather. He is truly missed

~ Sandra Brown Gilbertsville, PA
1/7/2024 9:27:05 AM

Healing prayers for your family Coach. From Geography class to coaching our defense at B.A.S.H. You had a strong influence on my life.
Thanks for sharing your husband and father with us.

~ Steve stofflet Windham, ME
1/7/2024 9:09:28 AM

I played for Coach and with Matt. I learned much from Coach about football, strategy, school and life. I remember much of what he taught and said during practice and after games. I convey much of thise learnings now to the next generation. He also always had a great sense of humor. He was a wonderful coach and man and the world is worse off for your loss. My deepest condolences.

~ Jarrod
1/6/2024 10:31:31 PM

Barb & family:

We were sorry to hear about Bobby’s passing. You are in our prayers at this difficult time.

~ Harry & Doris Weigner
1/6/2024 8:49:37 PM

Sincere condolences Mike, Michelle and the whole family! Prayers in knowing Bob is with our Heavenly Father and everyone can find peace in their beautiful memories. ????

~ Kevin & Janis Good
1/6/2024 8:45:07 PM

My sincere condolences to the entire Hillegas family. Mr. Hillegas was a true leader and a great family man. He was an inspiring teacher and coach. My thoughts and prayers go out to you during this time of loss.

~ Steve Weiser Oxford, Pa
1/6/2024 7:48:18 PM

To Matt and Family l,

My sincere condolences to you and your family. Hold tight to all the wonderful memories and your Dad will always be near.

~ Patty Roberts Lansdale, PA
1/6/2024 5:16:29 PM

I played for coach from 91-93.

I learned a lot from his example.

He (and Mrs. Hillegas) invested so much into other people.

I am so grateful for his impression in my life.

To the Hillegas family, thank you for sharing him with us.

~ Erin Antrim
1/6/2024 5:12:14 PM

My deepest condolences to the family. May you find comfort in knowing that he had a wonderful life and he now is with our Heavenly Father.

~ Melanie LeVan Boyertown, PA
1/6/2024 5:11:59 PM

I have fond memories of Coach Hillegas while playing sports at B-West and B-High. Condolences to his family. Doug Lopata - Class of ‘81.

~ Doug Lopata
1/6/2024 4:35:35 PM

To the Hillegass Family, sending loves, hugs and prayers to all of you during the sad and difficult time.

~ rosemarie hantwerker Boyertown, PA
1/6/2024 3:55:38 PM

I attended Boyertown until 8th Grade in 1964. I went to the football games and in 1962, Bob who played for the Bears won the Chest-Mont League Championship. He was a very good athlete and I know he was a super person too! My Condolences to Barb their children and Loved Ones! May God Bless!??????

~ Tim Engleman
1/6/2024 3:49:05 PM

Dear Barbara & family, I am deeply saddened to know that Bob has passed away. I have many fond memories of our days at the Lincoln School. We knew back then what talents we would love and develop over the years. The vacant lot across from Fisher's Gas Station, provided the guys from the Lincoln and Washington Schools to play football. There was even a "half-time" show with home made instruments and baton twirlers. As Bob said at the 45th class of '63 reunion, "That's where it started". Sending my most sincere condolences and love to Barbara and her family.

~ Linda Ferraro Wyomissing, PA
1/6/2024 3:31:40 PM

Sorry for your loss!

~ James and Melanie LeVan
1/6/2024 3:27:46 PM