James Hugh Hallmark, 87, of Abilene passed away Thursday, February 27, 2020 in Abilene. James was born January 8, 1933 to Levi and Velma Hallmark in Fort Worth, Texas. He graduated from Hardin Simmons with a Bachelors of Art in 1951. In 1981 James married Barbara Utter and the two loved each other for many years until her death in 2018. James produced the first 47 telethons for the West Texas Rehabilitation Center and for the Ben Richey Boys Ranch for many years. He was a member of the Big Country Emmaus Community, The Kiwanis Club of Abilene, a proud member of Alcoholics Anonymous, and The Old Farts Group. He was a popcorn lover, silly jokester, Donald Duck impersonator, movie enthusiast, porch coffee connoisseur, and gave hugs so tight they were almost painful. He was The Voice of the West Texas Rehab Center, a TV legend in the Big Country, and the first person on air when TV came to Abilene. He was an author, painter, world traveler, and preacher. He gave the best shoulder massages and was a TERRIBLE driver. His soul lives forever and his memory lives on in the people he loved and touched throughout his long life.
He is preceded in death by his parents; and his wife, Barbara Hallmark.
James is survived by his children, Jana Smith and her husband Jay, Mark Hallmark and his wife Elsa, Jeff Utter and his wife Teresa, Greg Utter and his wife Jana, Chris Utter and Marc Utter; his grandchildren, Lindsay Hallmark, Loren Hallmark, Ryan Hallmark, Nathan Smith, Levi Smith and his wife Chandi, Jacob Smith, Sarah Smith, Haley Leslie and her husband Erick, Kinsey Aquallo and her husband Matt, Alexandra Utter, Andrew Utter, Jeffrey Utter, Mary Margaret Utter, Jordan Utter, Bonnie Utter, Sasha Illig, and Anika Wilkinson-Utter; numerous great grandchildren; and many friends.
Visitation will be held 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM on Friday, March 6, 2020 at Elmwood Funeral Home, 5750 Hwy 277 South. A celebration of this remarkable man’s life will be 11:00 AM on Saturday, March 7, 2020 in the Elmwood Funeral Home Chapel. Interment will follow the service in Elmwood Memorial Park.
Online condolences and memories may be shared with the family through the obituary link at www.elmwoodfuneral.com
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