Cover photo for Paul R. Hillner's Obituary
Paul R. Hillner Profile Photo
1952 Paul 2022

Paul R. Hillner

July 16, 1952 — July 20, 2022

HILLNER, Paul R. beloved husband of 43 years to Deborah Hillner, loving father of Sara, Brian (Amber) and Lauren (Will Thomas); Preston, Jacob and the late Alyssa Hillner, dear grandfather of Chase and one granddaughter on the way, son of late Rudolph & late Dorothy, brother of Bruce (late June) Hillner.

Paul went to his heavenly home on Wednesday, July 20, 2022 at age 70, after a brave battle with blood cancer.

Paul grew up on the famed Jersey Shore and was the Big Kahuna of his neighborhood, mastering surfing and teaching others to hang-ten. He graduated with a BM in Trumpet Performance and Masters in Wind Conducting from University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). He led an illustrious 40+ year career as the Sr Asst Dean of Admissions at CCM and director of the Prep Brass Choir, shaping future musicians across multiple generations. Paul’s favorite instrument was the trumpet, as he’s well known throughout the community for creating magic “tooting” his horn.

A very faith-filled man, Paul served on multiple committees in his parish, was the director of the guitar group, and played trumpet at many masses throughout the liturgical year.

Paul leaves a huge hole in the hearts of his family, colleagues and friends. He was a selfless and loving husband, father, and friend to all who had the privilege to meet him - making anyone laugh with his whimsical dad jokes.

The family would like to thank Dr. James Essell and the staff at the Blood Cancer Center of Jewish Hospital-Mercy Health for all their unending care and loving support for Paul and his family.

Visitation will be held Monday, July 25, 2022 at Hodapp Funeral Home, 6041 Hamilton Avenue, College Hill, 45224 from 4-7PM, Mass of Christian Burial at St. Margaret Mary Church, 1830 West Galbraith Rd, NCH, 45239 at 10:45 AM on Tuesday, July 26, 2022.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a special CCM Memorial Scholarship fund in Paul’s honor. To give, call (513) 556-2100 or visit and choose the College-Conservatory of Music Scholarship Fund. In the comment section, please write: “In Memory of Paul Hillner.”

If you’re unable to donate financially, please consider donating blood to help your local community, as Paul donated countless pints of blood throughout his service with Hoxworth Blood Center.

Condolences and more info at


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