LaFayette Breland Hilburn passed away at the University of Mississippi Medical Center on April 5, 2021, surrounded by his family.
Hilburn was born in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1941 to Lafayette Bowman Hilburn and Mary Jane Hilburn (Breland), but moved to Jackson as a young child. After graduating from Murrah High School, he completed his undergraduate degree at Mississippi State University. He then earned his Juris Doctor from the Univeristy of Mississippi School of Law.
He began his judicial career in 1972 as a Municipal Court Judge and was appointed to the position of County Judge in 1978. He was subsequently elected to the circuit court and served as a Seventh District Circuit Judge from 1981 through 2002, retiring from elected office as senior circuit judge. He then served by special appointment of the Supreme Court to assist in hearing cases in Hinds County, ultimately serving more than 40 combined years on the bench.
For over 20 years, he spent his weekends in New Orleans where he made many friends over a shared passion for playing pool. He was also a skilled acoustic guitar player, an avid chef, a college football fanatic and a lover of classic movies.
He is survived by his wife, JoAnn Chesnut; his three children, Judson Carter Hilburn, Kathryn Breland Hilburn and John Holmes Hilburn; two step sons, William Mancil Dearman and Russell Earl Dearman; and two step grandchildren.
A private ceremony honoring his life will be held later this week.