Paso Robles News|Tuesday, September 17, 2019
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Hillary Hodel dies at 50 

Hillary Jane Hodel, 50, of Big Bear died on Jan. 28, 2018, in Riverside.

Hillary grew up in Altadena, moving to the Central Coast with her late husband, Phil. She visited San Luis Obispo County throughout her childhood, spending summers with her aunt, Mary Fiala, her grandparents and other family members. After moving to the county, she lived in Paso Robles and Atascadero until 2017.

In Southern California, she volunteered at a children’s home, where she worked with a girl from the time she was 8 until Hillary moved to the North County from Pasadena.

She was active in a local motorcycle group with Phil, as well as volunteered at Heaven Can Wait, a horse rescue nonprofit in San Miguel after she moved to the area in 2006 until she was thrown from a horse and broke her back.

Hillary was known by her friends and family as a very giving person, helping anyone in need.
“Hillary is that person that will treat you like you’re family when you’re a stranger,” friend Amber Marino said about Hodel before her death.

She is survived by her daughter, Ella Jane Cruzen Hodel; her father and stepmother, Lawrence and Dianne Hodel and Dianne’s family; her stepfather, Darey Devinny and his family; her brother, Drew Domenghini and his wife and family; and her sister, Courtney Bonifacini and her husband and family; and many extended family members around SLO County and California.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Jane Cecile Tognazzini, in October 2017 and her husband, Phillip J. Smith, in August 2007.

A celebration of life will be held for Hillary on Saturday, April 7 at 11 a.m. at Atascadero United Methodist Church, 11605 El Camino Real. The service will be followed by a potluck in Fellowship Hall. Attendees are encouraged to wear bright colors, especially purple or red. In lieu of flowers, donations in Hillary’s name are encouraged to be made to Heaven Can Wait, dog or cat rescues or to recovery programs.

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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at