William F. Hilburn, Jr.

Hilburn photo (1)
William F. Hilburn, Jr, age 63, passed away October 5, 2021, at the Kansas City Veterans Administration Hospital. William was the beloved husband of Angelique Hilburn. They shared nearly 22 years together.
Born November 27, 1957, in Hochspeyer, Germany to Staff Sgt. Billy Hilburn, United States Army, and Leokadia Kretshmer. He attended Waynesville High School in Waynesville, MO, and graduated in 1975. He joined the United States Air Force the same year reaching the rank of Staff Sgt. in the Security Police attached to Strategic Air Command. After his time in the military, he attended Central Missouri State University where he received an Associates’s Degree with a major in Broadcast and Film.  William worked many jobs over the years to fund his interest in writing and radio broadcasting. He, along with business partner Jay, wrote and recorded Beyond The Shadowline, a science fiction rock opera. He was also the co-author of the radio drama The Crystal Conquest, a story of the children’s crusade during the Dark Ages, along with several other plays and short stories he performed on the air at KKFI in Kansas City, MO during his 20 plus years as a broadcaster there. He continued his love for music and writing with his own podcast, Mobys Trip (named after his previous radio program) for six years until the time of his death.
William was a member of the Church of Christ With The Elijah Message. He also served a term on the board of directors at KKFI. He loved his time working for the Kansas City Repertory Theater and the Kansas City Symphony. William will be remembered by all who ever knew him for his love of music, great writing, movies, and comics. He was always willing to share new music or books or comics with everyone he met. William also loved to play D & D with his college buddies and later on his sons, friends, and nephews. His sense of humor ranged from the absurd to the blue to the dark – you never knew just what he might say and that was part of the delight in knowing him. He loved going to Comic-Con and meeting the writers and artists of his favorite comics. That joy was, even more, when he could share that world with his grandson, Brayden. They loved nothing more than a good bowl of cereal and watching comic character-related cartoons from the time Brayden could talk. William also loved the simpler things in life such as sharing a cup of coffee with his wife, Angelique, sitting outside in the morning, walking down nature trails, enjoying the sunset, and driving around for no reason to listen to music and feeling the breeze on his face.
William is survived by his beloved wife, Angelique C. Hilburn, of the home; his sons Jacob W. Staley, of the home, Brian C. Staley of Overland Park, KS and Aaron E. Staley of the home; his grandson Brayden C.Staley of Overland Park, KS; his mother Leokadia Hilburn of St. Roberts MO; his brother, Robert Hilburn currently stationed in Seoul, South Korea; many beloved nieces and nephews and countless beloved friends and church family.


A Celebration of Life Concert will be held at Knuckleheads Saloon on November 20, 2021


  1. Heather Webb on December 5, 2021 at 3:52 pm

    Bill even though I never got to meet you , I feel as though we would have been great friends…. Your Mom talks about you alot. I know you forgive her not being there for your party and send off . … Please let your sons and grandson that leokadia (Grandma). Would love to see them anytime… Say hi to Jesus for Us. We are still working on passing on your word …

  2. Willette Cannon Balsamo on October 17, 2021 at 7:57 am

    I cherish my memories of Bill in high school and our experiences in drama and debate. Bill was brilliant, hilarious, and so talented. No matter how big or small the role, he made it unforgettable. I’ve never forgotten his role as the father in The Diary of Anne Frank. The audience was silent and there were a few tears when he was on stage.

  3. Alan Murphy on October 14, 2021 at 8:42 pm

    Incredible life. Amazing man. He fought the good fight. In the end he won. He is in a better place. And he left us classic works to remember him by.

  4. Stefanie P Rosedaughter on October 14, 2021 at 12:13 pm

    I only knew Bill for a brief time as a co-worker. I remember him most as a person who loved music and radio and the one who introduced me to Bob Dylan. For this, I’ve been forever grateful. Hey Bill, I played that mixed tape until in broke! Many thanks. May peace be with you. Angie, my sincere condolences to you and your family.

  5. Diane Stark on October 14, 2021 at 10:03 am

    If ever the term “larger than life” applied to a human being, it applies to Bill. Meeting Bill changed my life’s trajectory enabling a better me to emerge. Bill lives on and on in the wide range of creativity he championed. Happy Trails, dear friend, and thank you.

  6. Sista g on October 13, 2021 at 7:14 pm

    Will miss Bill’s dark humor. He was brilliant in creating stories with sharp edged satire. Always enjoyed hearing Bill’s newest ideas. His work in radio and writing should have catapulted him to be known around the country. Thank you Bill for having been an authentic human being. Wish you a calm transition. Love to you and your family.

    Sista g

  7. Michael Gibson on October 13, 2021 at 12:09 pm

    What a beautiful tribute. I can think of nothing more “Bill” than that last sentence: “A Celebration of Life Concert will be held at Knuckleheads Saloon”. I’ve never been there, but if I had to come up with a name for the venue for our dear Bill’s sendoff, I could never think of anything more fitting than Knucklehead’s Saloon. Godspeed, my friend.

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