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  • Writer's pictureRoxie Daggett

Mama Bear & Baby Bear into Eternity

It’s been one year since the departure of the most beautiful, full-of-life wife, mother and friend this world has known, Hilary Daggett. The world will never be the same without you, Chobert. Your heart for Jesus, your love for your family and friends, and your faith in the midst of fiery trials leaves us in awe. We know you are wearing a crown that matches your ancient Irish beauty. We are thankful you are free from pain and can finally be the mega-athlete you always were and chase after Flora as far as the eye can see. We take comfort in knowing you are busy with your best friend, N, working on projects and rejoicing in your Savior. There aren’t enough words to describe how incredibly special you are, so I’ll leave the best testimony to your one and only baby boy: Nathanael. Read on...

When Hilary sensed she would be going HOME, she asked the LORD for a sign of encouragement. Shortly after that, she found this card from Nathanael, buried at the bottom of her night stand drawer. She showed it to me and neither of us had any recollection of ever seeing it before. She knew it was the answer to her prayer. Nathanael's words of blessing and honor held all the courage she needed: the invitation to come HOME. Her real birthday was coming up.

To Mom from Nathanael:


Hilary Parnell Marie Burdick Daggett--November 3, 1945-September 9, 2016

Nathanael Alexander Daggett --December 5, 1977-June 16, 2015

(scroll down for more cute pics below)

Below is Johnny’s very favorite picture of Hils-- he says it says everything about her intense Irish soul and unparalleled cuteness.

We all loved Hil’s Irish storytelling gene, especially when it came to elementary school tales. You are looking at the pogo stick champion of Palo Alto-- 8 hours of bouncing up and down non-stop (which she credited to her severe ADHD). She was also “hired” by other moms to beat up on the bullies who picked on disabled children at the bus stop. She really enjoyed that line of work, but had an awful time sitting still in school. She was ALWAYS a champion for the underdog.

Hils and her big brother Chrissy on the sand. She LOVED being barefoot and when she went to Utah state for a spell everyone thought she was from the ozarks with her long blonde braids, guitar and barefeet (even in the snow!!!). A true child of the 60s.

Best gourmet chef on the planet, too. As John Ruttkay once said, “If Hilary spit on the floor, I’d eat it!” From Diana Kennedy’s award winning tamales to Julia Child’s coq au vin to Alice Waters’ lemon tart and far into the border of heaven’s kitchen, this French White Burgundy daughter of Normandy could do it all! It was such a huge honor to “apprentice” with such a foodie genius. I can hear her telling us: “ALWAYS use waaaaaaayyyyy more lemon zest [or garlic] than the recipe calls for!” If you ever tasted her homemade peach icecream at the Yuba River, or her Irish leg of lamb with homemade aioli, or her buckwheat waffles enjoyed around the stove because you can’t leave the room or they will be gone, the flavors will linger on your tongue forever. We will never forget the love, passion, creativity and effort that went into putting incredible food on the table everyday. We joked about having a show called the ADHD chef and she always said her favorite kitchen utensil was... scissors! She was always seen hovering over a pot of something madly clipping away at whatever she didn’t have the patience to chop properly. In her final days, she wrote a goodbye letter to Ruby (Nathanael’s caregiver Maria’s grandaughter whom she loved) to tell her she was going to heaven and that she was was going to have a giant kitchen where you could eat all the Mexican food you want without getting fat and drink all the tequila you want without getting drunk. Hallelujah!

A cuter girl we’ve never seen! (one of her lines)

She learned to cook from her Irish raving beauty of a mother, Veronica “Moni” Burdick. If you ever hung around Hils long enough you were sure to hear her tell romantic stories about her mother with her long black hair, convertible, I. Magnin wardrobe, French bread, martinis, cigarettes, lunch and shopping in San Francisco. So glad they are dining together at the King’s table now (no lack of ingredients there)!

Moni, Hils and Johnny’s Grandma Laura below on their wedding day. Too bad Johnny didn’t make it down the aisle... but that’s another story.

This is the only picture we could find of Johnny and Hils together! It was love at first sight since ’68 and their romance and marriage were an inspiration to everyone who was blessed to be in their lives. They made the BEST, most devoted parents to the two most beautiful babies, Nathanael and Theodora (Fee, FeeBird). Let me tell you, I’ve never seen more pics of doted-on friggin’ cute kids in my life! The boxes of photos of N and Fee leave Facebook in the dust. Hils was always dressing them up, making adventures, and taking lots of photos of her precious children. Despite the ongoing pain, continual hardships, and struggle to save N’s life and then Hil’s life, they trusted Jesus together as ONE for nearly 50 years. What a testimony to God’s faithfulness.

This is the only pic I could find of Hils and Fee together (that Hils would approve of, mind you). So beautiful!

And just so you can see what I mean by cute, here is baby FeeBird. Please pray for her as the loss of her precious mom and brother is VERY painful and she really needs a healing touch from Jesus herself. Please pray for our Fee. An adorable combination of her two good looking parents!

Hils took such beautiful photos! A natural photographer with the best eye for everything appealing. Food, wine, fashion, decor, wisdom, grace, compassion, cute kids etc-- she hit the top of the charts everytime. Here are her precious ones.

DOG WORSHIPPER: Dogs ALWAYS fell in love with Hilary and whenever she’d be on any beach, no matter what, all the dogs would start leaving their owners and follow her down the shoreline. She said it happened all her life. A true pack leader who always brought home the bacon. A canine’s best friend who is now living her dream of running heaven’s largest pitbull, buffalo, and penguin ranch. You've never seen anyone treat animals so well.

Hils was never one for sitting on the sidelines. She always told us the story of how she took the kids to the zoo and when they got to the penguin area she was overcome by temptation. There was no one around so she bent over the side and picked up Jeremiah the Penguin and was shocked to realize “he was one solid muscle!”

Hils graduated from Mills College in style. Always way ahead of her time. Always looking HOT, as FeeBird would say. A natural beauty, she didn’t even have to try. I remember once she was out shopping at an outlet mall with my mom who didn’t have the shopping stamina of Hils. My mom, as usual, had to get a corn dog for revival. As she was sitting on a bench next to a couple of old cronies, Hils passed by to pop into another store. The two blokes eyed Hilary and my mom overheard one of them proclaim to the other: “Kinda foxy!” Some things never change.

Hilary also spent years working in convalescent hospitals and doing private caregiving which is why she always said she wrecked her back. I remember she often told us stories about a gentleman she took care of named Mr. Hagburg. My favorite was the day she was carrying her brown leather purse in front of her and he exclaimed with glee: “A POTROAST!”

Hilary loved God’s Word and now she is with the Living Word with her son by her side. She told us before she went HOME that she was going to ask God if He could make N two years old again so she could push him around in a grocery cart. That was one of her fondest memories of being a mom--taking him shopping and having all the women dote on her adorable baby boy.

Hilary’s very best friend, Linda Granger, who went home years ago, is now sitting right by her side once again. I’m certain they are laughing, but this time without peeing their pants. She was very excited to see her bestie Lin again! And we can’t wait to be greeted by them all.


There are millions of stories to be told about you, Cho. It could fill 10 books. You were the most beautiful, most fun, most insightful, most brilliant, most passionate and most gracious person we ever knew. We know you may not have felt the same way about yourself or about your time on this earth, but now you have come to know how highly honored you are.

“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:6-8

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