In Memory of Hillary Corgey

Our colleague Hillary Corgey had to work hard to become the person she wanted to be. She was smart and wanted to make a difference and she set out to make herself into policy expert.

Hillary earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government from the University of Houston in 2010. During college, she worked at the Houston SPCA, volunteered for Armando Walle’s campaign and then served as an intern in his Houston office. She then went on to earn a Master of Arts degree, also in Political Science and Government from Texas State University in San Marcos in 2012.

Hillary speaking about the health impact of ground-level ozone at the EPA Haze Rule Hearings in Austin on January 13, 2015. Photo by Matt Johnson.

Hillary speaking about the health impact of ground-level ozone at the EPA Haze Rule Hearings in Austin on January 13, 2015. Photo by Matt Johnson.

Hillary started as an intern in Public Citizen’s Texas office in the summer of 2012 and quickly proved herself to be an asset to our team. She stayed on as a contract worker and then as a full time member of the staff.

Hillary’s experience growing up with asthma and struggling to breathe the polluted Houston air made the work personal to her. She gradually became more confident and took on public speaking and working with coalition partners, in addition to research. Research was where she excelled most though. She was able to dig up more interesting and useful facts in a shorter time than anyone else in the office.

Hillary’s dedication to her job and to improving conditions for those on the front lines of environmental injustice made her a good co-worker.

Hillary was also an interesting person to be around. She had unique ideas and very definite opinions about many things. She was a true independent. Hillary could be funny, but she had a very dry sense of humor, so you might have missed it if you weren’t expecting a joke. Her personal interests included heavy metal music, fantasy role-playing games, zombies and comics, and chicken – especially fried chicken. And Hillary liked guns; she was even a member of the NRA.

Hillary Corgey in front of Texas FlagHillary was loyal to those who made it into her inner circle and kind to people in general. She especially loved her grandparents, and took her grandmother’s death hard last year. She made her way through that hard time though, and emerged from it more able to forgive. She seemed to more often be thinking of the needs of those whom she was close with than her own needs.

Hillary died at the much too young age of 27 and will be sorely missed by her friends, family and colleagues.

A memorial in Hillary’s honor will be held at 1 P.M. at the Rothko Chapel at 1409 Sul Ross St in Houston on Thursday, February 5th.

The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, a donation be made in Hillary’s name to Public Citizen. A check may be mailed to Public Citizen Foundation at 1600 20th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009 or you can donate via the link on the Houston Chronicle obituary by clicking here.

If you wish to send condolences to the family, please fill in the form below:

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