Katrina + 10

Marie Hilliard, 70, Biloxi

Marie Hillard's time in this world was spent helping and caring for anyone in need.

As a member of St. Paul United Methodist Church in Biloxi, Hillard, 70, was regarded as a quiet leader who evangelized to not only her own family, but that of others, as well.

The Rev. Edward Moses remembers Hillard as one always willing to lend her assistance in the church, whenever she was not working. But even while she worked she did so for God as well, helping to care for elderly people through the senior citizen's companionship program.

It was her love for friends and neighbors that led her to endanger her life in the face of Katrina. One of Hillard's neighbors, not healthy enough to evacuate, had decided to stay. Hillard elected to stay behind in order to care for her.

Moses said such a sacrifice was not uncommon for Hillard, who strived to live life as a true Christian.

"When some people give, they expect something in return," he said. "What she did was (worth) more than that. She laid down her life by (staying behind). When you do that, you don't know what's going to happen. It's like when Jesus said,'They don't take my life from me. I lay it down.' It was the ultimate call."

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