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Our Lord and Savior called William Thomas (Bill) Hilderbrand, 89, home to Heaven on May 8, 2020 at The Garden at Orchard Ridge in Coeur d’Alene with his daughter by his side after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. A family service will be held this month with a Celebration of Life held later this summer.
Bill was born November 21, 1930 in Norman (Lawrence County), Indiana to Ora and Minnie Hilderbrand. He enjoyed helping on the farm and attending a one room schoolhouse. He joined the Air Force in 1951 and was sent to Korea during the Korean War. He received the Korean Service Metal, UN Service Medal and the Medal of Honor. Bill returned home in 1953 to help his parents and met and married Patty Murphy on July 14, 1955 in Heltonville, IN. They were blessed with son, Mark D. Hilderbrand, Daughter, Dianna K. Hilderbrand Nicholas and William D. Hilderbrand. Bill and Patty were happily married until her passing on November 15, 1975.
Bill is preceded in death by his parents, Ora and Minnie; wife, Patty, half-bothers, Malcom, Russell and Harry Hilderbrand and half-sister, Grace Huddleston.
Bill is survived by his wife, Joyce; son, Mark D. (Kathy Jo) of Nampa, ID.; daughter, Dianna K (Scott) Nicholas of Kuna, ID.; son, William D. Hilderbrand, step-son, Mark (Mary) Spurgeon of Hayden, ID and step-daughter Cheryl (Stacy Poling) Spurgeon of Bothell, WA., 15 Grandchildren and 23 Great Grandchildren.
Bill worked for Colonial Bread Company in Bedford, IN upon returning from Korea, until he became an Insurance Agent for Farm Bureau Insurance in 1965 and became Agency Manager in 1967. In 1977 he decided he would like to continue his career in Idaho and when an Agency Manager position opened up in Boise, ID., the family moved from Indiana. In 1979 he transferred to Coeur d’Alene, ID with Farm Bureau where he met and married Joyce A. Spurgeon on May 30, 1981. In 1983 Bill and Joyce started Mountain West Insurance then merged their Agency with Schedler-Ballou Insurance until his retirement in 1995. He decided that retirement was not for him so he applied at Wal-Mart in Post Falls, ID and became a Greeter for 15 years and retired again. Retirement plans were interrupted by the intrusion of the debilitating disease of Alzheimer’s.
Bill enjoyed the numerous organizations he was a member of over the years, including the Cd’A Lions Club, Calam Shriners, Cd’A Shrine Club, Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Kootenai Masonic Lodge #24, Legion of Honor of Calam Shriners and Heritage Baptist Church.
Bill was a small aircraft pilot in Indiana, attended years of the Indianapolis 500 with friends; in Idaho he looked forward to spending every hunting season with family and/or friends, riding horses and going on camping trips with Joyce with the 3-month trip to Alaska being a memorable trip. He called being the Potentate of Calam Shriners in 2000 a great privilege and honor.
As many of you know, he loved to tell jokes at every opportunity and his favorite tag line was “I always wanted to be a comedian but people just laughed at me”.
The family extends their gratitude and heartfelt appreciation to the staff and caregivers at Orchard Ridge for their wonderful care of Bill. Also, thanks to Hospice of North Idaho for their compassionate care.
In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to The Garden at Orchard Ridge, 624 W Harrison Ave., Cd’A ID 83814, Hospice of North Idaho, 2290 West Prairie Ave, Cd’A, ID 83815 or Shriners Hospitals for Children, 911 W 5th Ave, Spokane, WA 99204.
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