Posted on : Thursday May 3, 2018

WACO, Texas—A former Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware President, Dr. William (Bill) Hillis, died on April 26. He was a member of Seventh Baptist Church, Baltimore (now Seventh Metro Church) during the time of his presidential tenure from 1977-78. He also served as chairman of the board of Baptist Home in Maryland, a retirement home to over 50 residents.

William (Bill) Hillis, and his wife, Argye, traveled the world as scientists and researchers sharing their faith along the way. Photo courtesy of Baylor University

Hillis was an esteemed medical doctor and researcher. He and his wife, Argye, who died in 2017, also a noted Ph.D., known for her work in mathematics and ophthalmology, traveled the world together as researchers living in Baltimore, Denmark, India, the Congo, Florida, Louisiana and Texas.

Willis majored in chemistry at Baylor University before completing his medical training at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. He served in the AFROTC program at Baylor and rose to the rank of Colonel in the Air Force Reserves.

He was a virologist, and according to an article in a Baylor blog written by Lori Fogleman, discovered “the first primate model for Hepatitis B, a key to developing an effective vaccine,” while he and Argye were raising their children in the Congo during a revolution.

Dr. William (Bill) Hillis died on April 26. He served as a past BCM/D President, and chairman of the board of Baptist Home in Maryland. Photo courtesy of Baylor University

He was a nephrologist and epidemiologist and became the first director of the internationally acclaimed Moore Clinic at Johns Hopkins. He later returned to Baylor and became the Cornelia Marshall Smith Distinguished Professor of Biology, he chaired the Biology Department, and later was the college’s vice president of student life.

“Dr. Bill Hllis will forever be remembered at Baylor as a man of great Christian faith, an extraordinary scholar, teacher, and administrator who guided and mentored generations of pre-health and biomedical students to realize their full potential. He was also instrumental in helping to introduce the studies of humanities and ethics at Baylor and was a leader in the understanding of scientific research as a way to illuminate solutions to significant challenges confronting our world,” said Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D., in the Baylor blog.

He is survived by three children, William Daniel; David Mark, and Argye Elizabeth, and six grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the William and Argye Hillis Scholars in Biomedical Science Program, College of Arts and Sciences, Baylor University, 76798-7344.

Funeral services were held on May 2 at Seventh and James Baptist Church of Waco, followed by interment at Oakwood Cemetery.