Virginia Harkey Hilton


Obituary Notice

Virginia Harkey Hilton, age 84, formally of Little Rock, living in Fayetteville, Arkansas, died Monday January 26, 2004. She was born in Plainview, Arkansas to the late Opal Noel and Mary Leah Willson Harkey. Later graduating from Little Rock High School in 1936 and receiving her degree in English from Hendrix College in 1940. She taught high school for 2 years in Warren, Lake Village, and Hot Springs. Mrs. Hilton was married in 1941 to Lydle C. Hilton spending the World War II years with him in various locations in this country, until he was sent to the European Theatre Operations.

After teaching school she moved to San Francisco where she became secretary to the president of Golden Gate College. From 1943-45 she continued her secretary skills at the Pine Bluff Arsenal for the United States Corp of Engineers. In 1950 she returned to Little Rock as a secretary with the Department of Education later working as secretary at Olin Mathison Company, and as executive secretary to the president of National Old Line Insurance Company. In 1965 she was nominated as Organizing Chairman and then elected Charter President of Executive Secretaries' International. This organization was later renamed Executive Women International. After her retirement from NOLIC, she was honored by named and approved as a Life Member of the Little Rock Chapter of Executive Women International. Until her death, Mrs. Hilton oversaw the family farming operations. She was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church since the age of 14. 

Virginia is survived by a daughter Mary Hilton Charlton of Fayetteville, and three grandchildren; Lea Hofheimer, Leslie Stigaard, Nathan Charlton and 3 great-grandchildren; Julia Hofheimer, Nicholas Stigaard and Amanda Leah Stigaard. She is preceded in death by a brother James W. Harkey who died in 1983.

There will be a graveside funeral service Thursday at 10:00 a.m. at the Ola Sandlin Cemetery, Ola, AR followed by a memorial service at 1:00 p.m. Thursday at Immanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock, followed by a reception at the Fellowship Hall at the church. Arrangements are under the direction of Ruebel Funeral Home. 

Memorials may be made to Immanuel Baptist Church or to the J. Sherwood Charlton Endowed Student Leadership Award for the Department of Electrical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville 72701.

Register Book

  • We remember Mrs. Hilton and the valuable contribution she made as the Founding President of the Little Rock Chapter of Executive Women International. She was a truly lovely, warm and gracious lady, and her importance to the businesswomen of Central Arkansas will be long-lasting. We will miss her.
    Linda Seaton
    EWI Chapter President 1999
    Little Rock, Arknasas
  • Virgina Hilton will be greatly missed by all of us in the Little Rock Chapter of Executive Women International. She continues to be an inspiration to us all. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.
    Michelle Jenkins 
    2003-2004 President EWI Little Rock Chapter
    Little Rock, Arkansas