Charleene Hillen, Widow Of Longtime USC Crew Coach Bob Hillen, Dies

Feb. 14, 2006

Charleene Hillen, the widow of longtime USC crew coach Bob Hillen, died on January 17. She was 86.

A memorial service and reception will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 10 a.m. at St. Augustine Catholic Church, 10195 Washington Blvd., Culver City. The family suggests that donations be made to the scholarship fund of Delta Kappa Gamma (Gamma Iota Chapter), 143 S. Kilkea Dr., Los Angeles 90048.

Her late husband, who she married in 1946, founded USC's crew program in 1947 and served as its head coach until he retired in 1990. He died in 2003 at the age of 86.

She was a kindergarten and first grade teacher for more than 35 years, including 30 years in the Culver City School District. She also taught in Bakersfield and Santa Monica. She was active in the Delta Kappa Gamma professional honorary society for women educators and was one of the first members of the Los Angeles chapter in the early 1950s.

After retirement, she stayed active by volunteering in classrooms and hospitals, as well as belonging to several USC charity and support groups. In 1984, she and Bob were volunteers at the Olympic rowing events. USC was the center of their social world and they were avid supporters of football and other Trojan activities.

Born Gladys McGhee in Piedmont, Ala., in 1919, she moved with her family to Tucson, Ariz., and then to Los Angeles. A graduate of Hamilton High in Los Angeles, she earned her bachelor's degree at Mount Saint Mary's College in 1942, followed by a teaching credential at UCLA.

She is survived by her brothers H.C. and Jim, and her son Peter, his wife Ann and her grandchildren Scott and Melina.

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