In 2015, the world lost a bright light named Hillary Jane Dupic. She was just 30 years old, a beloved soul whose life was tragically cut short due to a drug overdose. The loss reverberated deeply through her community and her family, leaving an indelible mark on those who knew and loved her.
Hillary was more than the battles she fought; she was a multi-faceted woman filled with love, warmth, and joy. Born on July 3, 1984, in Sioux Falls to Michael and Catherine Dupic, Hillary embodied a myriad of roles with grace—she was a caring mother to Kady Jane, Joesie Kay, James Dean, and Ashton James; a cherished daughter to her parents; a supportive sister; and an adored aunt, cousin, and friend.
Though she’s no longer physically present, Hillary’s legacy endures in the lives she touched. She was the sort of person whose absence created a gaping void, a space that previously was filled with her laughter, kindness, and the love she gave so freely.
Hillary is survived by an extensive, loving family, all of whom feel her absence acutely. Among them are her father, Michael Dupic; her mother, Catherine Dupic; her step-mom, Mary Rudd; her brothers—Adam, Michael, and Chris; as well as her grandparents, a niece, and a number of aunts, uncles, and cousins. Hillary was also preceded in death by her grandparents, Russell and Aletta Dupic, and her great-grandparents, Osborne and Dorothy Hillary, after whom she was named. Each family member carries a piece of her in their hearts and memories, a priceless memento that fuels their ongoing journey of healing and remembrance.
Adam Dupic, Hillary’s brother, has made it his mission to ensure that her experience serves as a cautionary tale in the hopes that others might avoid a similar fate. In every classroom he addresses, and in every initiative he participates in, Hillary’s story is there, breathing life and urgency into the message. It’s almost as though she stands beside him, encouraging and inspiring him at every step. Hillary’s narrative remains not only alive but also profoundly impactful.
Although the world may have lost Hillary, her spirit lives on, touching lives, shaping conversations, and fueling a broader mission against the stigma and devastation caused by substance use disorder. Her name, her story, and her love are far from forgotten; they are, in fact, catalysts for change, compelling us all to live with more compassion, awareness, and purpose.