William Hilton Painter Jr. was born April 29, 1922 in Dallas to W.H. and Jo Coughran Painter. He was educated in the Dallas public school system and at Southern Methodist University, graduating with a B.B.A. in finance. He excelled in athletics at Woodrow Wilson High School and at SMU, receiving accolades and winning championships in basketball. He served for three years in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He and Lillian “Babbie” Vance married at Grace Episcopal Church in Ponca City, Oklahoma on March 2, 1946. He then entered the life insurance business as an agent for United Fidelity Life Insurance Co., Dallas, for five years.
For the next 25 years he was in corporate management at National Empire Life Insurance Co., Dallas, Texas, Occidental Life Insurance Co. of North Carolina in Raleigh, and Ranger National Life Insurance Co., Houston, Texas. Some highlights of his career in life insurance included being a member of Young Presidents Organization, a life member of the Million Dollar Round Table, and a recipient of the National Quality Award, among others.
In 1977 he moved to Brownwood and, with the help of his wife Babbie, established Hilton Painter Associates, an independent life insurance agency. During the next 25 years he was active in civic and professional affairs in Brownwood. He served on the boards of Brownwood Regional Medical Center, Community Concerts, and Rotary Club. He also served as president of Brownwood Economic Development Corporation, Industrial Foundation, and the Pecan Valley Association of Life Underwriters. Hilton was also a member of the Comanche Trail Boy Scout Council and co-chairman of Howard Payne’s Target Tomorrow. In 1991 the Jaycees named him the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. The following year he added the sale of securities as a registered representative with Southwest Securities in Dallas. In 1993 he sold his life insurance agency and retired, but retained a few clients until 2006.
He owned acreage in northwest Brown County as a stock farm and pecan orchard, where he spent many fulfilling, happy times with family, friends, and his beloved dogs. He also, in September 1994 at the age of 72, hiked across Switzerland with two old friends from Dallas, walking through the Swiss countryside for 18 days.
Hilton, 94, died Aug. 26, 2016 at home and is survived by children, Penny Painter of Round Rock, Beth Painter of Brownwood, Peggy Goodell and Gene of Granbury, William Painter and Robin Copley of Durham, N.C., Cathy Wortham and Kevin of Lucas.
He is also survived by grandchildren, Eric Goodell, Laura Goodell, Kevin Wortham Jr., Adam Keough, Cody Younghans and Amelia Baugh; three great-grandchildren; and nephew and nieces, J. Carr, Judy Carr, Sara Carr, Mary Lou Vincent, Jo Andersen, Ann Trawinski, Amy Amason; along with many great-nieces and nephews.
Hilton was predeceased by his wife of 70 years, Lillian “Babbie” Vance Painter, his parents and sister Mary Lou Painter Carr.
The funeral will be held at The Church of the Good Shepherd where Hilton and Babbie were active members since their arrival in Brownwood. The service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8. Memorials may be made to St. John’s Food Pantry (700 Main Street, Brownwood 76801), the Corinne T. Smith Animal Center (3016 Milam Drive, Brownwood 76801), or a charity of your choice.
Condolences can be offered to the family online at heartlandfuneralhome.net.