A coed Friends school, pre-K to 12, on 47 acres in East Falls, Philadelphia


Remembering Roger Hillas

Remembering Roger Hillas

Roger S. Hillas OPC '45, beloved friend and longtime overseer of Penn Charter, died on Sunday, surrounded by his wife, Dee, and his children. He was 92 years old.

Penn Charter graduate Roger Hillas OPC 45 smiling at the camera

Appointed to Overseers in 1961, Roger served on the board for 55 years; he served as treasurer from 1961 until 1995, when he became clerk of Overseers, a role he held until 1999. Roger was instrumental in the campus expansion, having orchestrated the acquisitions of the Sklar Estate (now Perrott Field) and the Strawbridge property. 

As a Penn Charter student, Roger managed the football team, played basketball and co-captained the track team, on which he was a star high jumper. He was an excellent student—a member of the Trident Club—who attended Dartmouth College before his long and distinguished banking and civic career.

Roger and his wife Dee's philanthropic support of Penn Charter was unwavering. He was part of every campaign in the school's history. After the 2008 economic downturn, Roger and Dee quietly made an instrumental gift to the school to keep at Penn Charter students whose parents had lost their jobs. Most recently, they gave to the How Far? campaign to support the Lower School.

In addition to his wife, Dee, Roger is survived by children Roger Hillas Jr. OPC '71, Susan Merle-Smith, Lynn Hillas, Heather Hillas OPC '06 and Sean Hillas OPC '09. Roger's daughter Charlotte died in 2011.

According to his wishes, the immediate service for Roger will be private.

To learn more about this incredible friend of both Penn Charter and the City of Philadelphia, read the Overseers Minute of Appreciation approved and presented to Roger Hillas in May 2016 upon his stepping down from the Overseers of Penn Charter.

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