Lavern Austin Hilliard, daughter of the late Samuel and Cora Austin, was born May 26, 1947, in Lafayette County, MS.
Reared in a devoted Christian home in Abbeville, MS, Lavern accepted Christ at an early age and joined Smith Chapel C.M.E Church pastored by the late Rev. J.C. Buford. At Smith Chapel, she served on the Usher and Missionary Boards, sang in the choir and remained a faithful member until her death.
“Lee,” as she was affectionately known, attended Central High School in Oxford, MS. Being the eldest child born, Lavern always had a nurturing spirit and made sure everyone was taken care of. During high school, she stopped attending to take care of her parents/siblings and work at Kelwood Pants Factory. Lee loved working and had many jobs such as a cook at the Sorority House, assembler at Emerson Electric, and custodian at the University of Mississippi where she retired.
After retirement, she enjoyed: taking care of family/friends, cooking, shopping, traveling, and talking on the phone with Pete, Alma, and other family and friends.
On January 25, 2022, in Abbeville, MS, she was called home to be with the Lord. She leaves to cherish her memories her husband, Hugh (Baby) Hilliard of Abbeville, MS; children, Louis (Sharon) Austin of Abbeville, MS, Melanee (Trevan) Porter of Abbeville, MS, Renee (DD) Spearman of Water Valley, MS, Samuel (Rochelle) Austin of Oxford, MS, special daughter, Charlette (Veronica) Smith of Goodyear, Arizona; stepchildren, Candy Hilliard of MS and Nichole Choran of VA; grandkids, LaCrystal Austin of Memphis, TN, Shaquita Austin of Oxford, MS, Edriana (Chris) Ketchmark of Southaven, MS, Gabrielle Austin of Nashville, TN, DJ Spearman, Demetria Spearman both of Water Valley, MS, Takiya Porter of Oxford, MS, Breann Spearman of Water Valley, MS, Samuel Austin Jr., Aaden Austin both of Oxford, MS, Conrad (Mariane) McClinton, and Tifina McClinton all of Jackson, MS; great grandkids, Dinarion Johnson of Oxford, MS, Tristan Sneed of Nashville, TN, Demetriq Spearman of Oxford, MS, and Zoey Ketchmark of Southaven MS; siblings, Larry Austin of Abbeville, MS, and Betty (Herbert) Patton of Oxford, MS; aunts and uncles, Minnie Johnson of Abbeville, MS, Patricia Braziel of Minneapolis, MN, Eddie Braziel of Minneapolis MN, and a host of other family, friends, and loved ones.
Lavern was preceded in death by her parents, Samuel Austin and Cora Austin, one sister, Elizabeth Logan, and one brother, Ricky Austin.