Monday, March 22, 2010

Lillian McDaniel, Beal, Hillrigel

Since 1996 (maybe it was in 95), I have been looking for the family and children of Lillian McDaniel (Beal and Hillrigel by marriage). Here is some history.

Lillian Hillrigel (formally Lillian M. Beal and her madden name was Lillian McDaniel – father Will McDaniel (?) who served in the military). Lillian was born and raised in New Orleans, La., moved to Dallas, Texas and passed away in Seattle, Washington in 1995 or 1996.

I believe Lillian had a daughter by the name if Makebia Ann McDaniel (later Beal) who was born in September 1965 in Baton Rouge, La. Later they moved to Dallas where it seems that Lillian was married to Sidney Beal (On January 1, 1996).

Soon after, Lillian and Sidney had a boy by the name of Sidney Beal III (who attended Alexander Hamilton Junior High School in 1980s). Lillian and Sidney Beal divorced while living in Oakland, Ca, in February of 1980.

In 1980, Lillian married Charles Merritt Hillrigel in Oakland, Ca. Sometime between 1980 – 1983, they moved to Seattle, Wa. Sadly, in 1983 Charles was killed in an accident in Seattle, at around the age of 70 (according to the autopsy report). Lillian died 12 years later from, I believe, lung cancer. This is where I come in.

I only met Lillian three times. She was a tenet at an apartment complex I managed in Seattle. The first time I met her was after midnight on a night she had locked herself out of her home. The next time I met her was when I went over to her apartment to change out light bulbs that were too high for her to reach (she was very sick at this point and aided by a respirator). The Last time I met her was when I became, by fate, her estate’s executor. This is when I got to know Lillian as a person – by sorting through her possessions. Sadly, she had no will and I was to learn (through her writings and the family of Charles, her late husband) that relations between her and her children were not good and they had not spoken for years.

While taking care of the estate, I found out that the owner of the building was simply going to keep or sell most of Lillian’s possessions and then trash the rest. I could not stand the thought of a person’s life history being trashed. Thus I finished up the job I had, took all the important papers that the owner was going to trash and started searching for Lillian’s family. I hope you are out there, searching for Lillian and that you find this page.

I do not have much but a box of official documents including birth and death certificates, achievements and a few journals kept by Lillian. Cards and a bunch of pictures. There is nothing of financial worth in this but a family history of worth is contained in this box and it should go to the family. I have been carrying this box around with me from 1996 to the present, from Florida and back to Seattle again. Every few years I try to locate the family and I am hoping beyond hoping that the internet and social media will finally help me in this goal.

If you are a family member of Lillian or know of her children, please email me!


  1. Even if you never find her family, you are honoring her memory by re-telling her story. I, for one, enjoyed reading it and looking at the pictures.

  2. Miss Trudy,

    Thanks! I thought for a bit that I might have found his son, but he can not returned my efforts to reach out. I guess I might be wrong. But the box is back in storage for now and the pages are up there on the internets, so maybe they will find me! R


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