In Memory

Larry Hillhouse

Born: Palo Alto, CA - January 25, 1946

Died in Manila:  June 21, 1978 - Age: 32

Laurens Hillhouse was known to his family and early classmates as "Larry", at college as "Lars" and to his friends throughout the So. Pacific as "Tony".

A 1967 graduate from Willamette University in Oregon, he majored in psychology.   Following graduation he entered the Peace Corps and served in Western Samoa where he taught at a little Catholic school for 2 1/2 years.  He then traveled to other parts of the the So. Pacific and throughout Southeast Asia (Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia and Singapore among other smaller Indonesian Islands)  for 6 years spending extended time in New Guinea's uncivilized areas, photographing and writing about the country and its peoples.  For 18 months he lived with the tribes people in the highland and valley regions of Irian Jaya (West New Guinea).  During that time he collected many of the folktales from the people of that area. 

In 1976, he returned to the US with cancer, was at Stanford Hospital for a time appearing to have improved, and decided to return to Asia.  Although this was supposed to be a short visit,  he became very ill and died in Manila shortly after leaving Palo Alto.  His brother, David stated, "It was as if he knew he was dying and wanted to chose the place where he would spend his last days." 

Although  various exhibitions of his many photos, collection of artifacts and recorded music  were held at the M.H. deYoung Museum, and California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, The Lowie Museum of Anthropology at UC Berkeley, CSU Hayward and UC Santa Cruz,  he had always dreamed of publishing the folktales along with his extraordinary photographs.  This was realized post-humously in the book, "MAN IN ESSENCE"  that his parents, Jim and Marion Hillhouse collaborated and  put together with a friend of Larry's who had been helping him with transcribing and translating the stories.

A permanent collection of the artifacts Larry collected are in the de Young Museum in San Francisco.

He is survived by his parents, Jim and Marion Hillhouse; two brothers, David and Bob and a daughter born in Western Samoa now living in Australia who is in frequent contact with Larry's brothers. 


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08/19/13 06:34 AM #1    

Richard L. (Dick) Barkley

I remember Larry from the Cross Country and Track teams. Quiet but very dedicated. So sad that his life ended so soon.

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