History & Staff

We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.

Our History

Hillis Funeral Home was opened in 1946 by Loren E. "Doc" Hillis, when Mr. Hillis purchased the Raymond Seat Funeral Home at 932 Maple Avenue, providing emergency and invalid services as well as funeral service.

The turn-of-the-century mansion, built by the Young family, owners of the Roseville Pottery, at 935 Forest Avenue, was purchased in 1955 and the funeral home moved to its present location. 



James A. Hillis joined his father as a licensed funeral director and embalmer in 1967. 

Upon the death of Mr. Hillis in 1973, his sons assumed the operation of the funeral home. 

In 2013 Tim Combs and Paul Nestor Purchased the funeral Home.


Our Valued Staff

Tim  Combs

Tim Combs, Owner/Funeral Director/Embalmer

Tim is a graduate of Maysville High School, Columbus Technical Institute with an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts and holds and Associate Degree and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Mortuary Science from the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. He is married to the former Ann Foley who is a Bishop Rosecrans High School Graduate and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Franciscan University.

Tim is a member of a member of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church where he served as Elder and is active in many committees and boards. He is a member of Peerless Lodge, Free & Accepted Masons of Ohio, Amrou Grotto, and Genesis Hospice Board. Ann is a member of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church where she is a lecture and Eucharistic minister. Ann serves as the Executive Director of the Muskingum County Center for Seniors.

Together they enjoy boating, cooking, dancing, travel and time with family and friends. They also greatly enjoy spending time with their two dogs.


Paul Nestor

Paul Nestor, Owner/ Funeral Director/Embalmer

Paul is a graduate of West Virginia University with a Bachelor’s Degree in History. He also holds a Degree in Mortuary Science for the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. Paul has two sons: Wesley A Nestor who attends Bishop Rosecrans High School and Joshua I. C. Nestor who attends the Ohio State School for the Blind. He and his family are members of St. Nicholas Catholic Church where he serves as lecture. He is a member of Zanesville Barbershops Singers, Zanesville Daybreak Rotary, Fraternal Order of Eagles, and Lions Club. In his spare time, Paul enjoys spending time with his boys, golf, fishing, cooking and wine making.


Jim  Hillis

Jim Hillis, Funeral Director

Jim followed in this fathers foot steps and serviced in the family business for over 50 years. Jim is married to Sue Hillis and together they had six children and several grandchildren. They are members of St. Nicholas Catholic Church. Jim enjoys golf, fishing and is a member of Zanesville Daybreak Rotary Club.


Sonie  Darby

Sonie Darby, Office Manager

Sonie is the funeral home office manager and has been with the firm since 1990. She is married to Dick Darby and together they had four children and six grandchildren. Sonie is an avid sports fan enjoying golf, tennis, basketball and many other sports. In her spare time she, and her husband enjoy showing their vintage corvette.


Bill Porter

Bill Porter, Funeral Attendent

Bill is a graduate of Ohio University where he obtained his Bachelor’s Degree to become and educator. He is a retired general business manager and has served in many positions at the funeral home. He currently enrolled the Apprentice Program with the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors to obtain is Funeral Directors License. Bill is a member of Zanesville Day Break Rotary where he served as president and also Assistant District Director. Bill is very active in Rotary International. He is also past president of the Genesis Healthcare Volunteers and sits on the Genesis Healthcare Board.