Mr. Christopher Favre Hillenbrand, age 59, of North Woodstock, New Hampshire, passed away on December 12, 2022. He was the husband of Janet (Williams) Hillenbrand.

Chris was born on July 29, 1963, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to Henry and Anne (Burns) Hillenbrand. He grew up in Oshkosh and attended Lourdes Academy, graduating in 1981. He enrolled in Florida Institute of Technology where he majored in Ocean Engineering and this is where he met his future wife, Janet Williams. Chris started his career in 1985 at Naval Underwater Systems Center (NUWC) in Newport, RI and it spanned 34 years. He initially was an acoustics/mechanical engineer working in the development and support of MK 30, MK 40 and ADMATT torpedo and weapons training targets. He then worked five months at the Office of Naval Research – International Field Office in London, United Kingdom as an Associate Technical Director where his work was the evaluation of commercial, military advanced and emerging technologies and the negotiation of multi-national collaborations where appropriate. After returning to NUWC in Newport, RI he became Technical Program Manager responsible for the oversight of all science and technology development for Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (UUV) and weapon systems representing the Center both nationally and internationally and he had technical oversight of hydrodynamics research, development, and management of three state-of-the-art hydrodynamic testing facilities. Later he served as Science and Technology Program Manager working on formulation and coordination of multi-national collaborations for the development of advanced undersea weapons systems and payload technologies. The efforts were Australia – Unsteady Hydrodynamics, France – Non-Traditional Autonomous Navigation, United Kingdom – Unmanned Undersea Vehicles, and Scotland – Optical Navigation. After receiving his Masters of Business Administration from Bryant College in 2002, He moved his family to London, England where he served two years as COMUSNAVEUR Science Advisor and received the Meritorious Civilian Service Medal and the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Associated Golden link award for the International Defense Category for his 2003 in-country support of the Polish led Multinational Division in Iraq. He returned to NUWC in Newport where he served as Customer Advocate for NAVSEA Program Executive Office Littoral and Mine Warfare, Coast Guard and National Response Missions and successfully managed over 100 human resources across multiple Warfare Centers to execute the integration, test and delivery of the first and subsequent Littoral Combat Ship Anti-Submarine Mission Packages. He finished his career as Director of Undersea Technology Transfer where he directed undersea weapon, vehicle and defensive system technology transfer into acquisition baselines. He spearheaded the first of class development of the RPG of the Sea weapon. In 2015, he received the Superior Civilian Service Medal for his formation, coordination and visionary efforts for advanced undersea weapon technology transition and integration to fill Navy warfighting gaps. He retired from NUWC in January 2019 and shortly accepted a part time position at MRC in Middletown providing support for the RPG program at NUWC.

Chris’ passion was his family. He loved playing golf in the warmer months and skiing at Loon Mountain in New Hampshire in the winter.

Chris is survived by his wife of 33 years, Janet (Williams) Hillenbrand, his children; Brian Hillenbrand, Austin Hillenbrand, and his siblings; Melanie, Roch (Carol), Karola (Peter), and Monica (Leland).

Chris is preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Anne Hillenbrand and his brother Eric Hillenbrand.

Calling hours will be held on Friday, January 13, 2023, from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Connors Funeral Home, 55 West Main Road, Portsmouth.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, January 14, 2023, at 10:00 AM at St. Barnabas Church, East Main Rd., Portsmouth.

In lieu of flowers Donations may be made in Chris’ memory to the Chris Hillenbrand STEM Memorial Scholarship at Portsmouth High School (donation point will be forthcoming) or the American Heart Association.

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Memorial Funeral Home

This obituary was originally published by Memorial Funeral Home on It has been republished here with permission and at no cost.