Billy Dean Hilker
Billy Dean Hilker, of Axtell, Nebraska, died Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, following a lengthy battle with Parkinson 's disease at Bethany Home, Minden, Nebraska. Billy was born November 22, 1929, at home in rural Gosper country, north of Holbrook, Nebraska to William Heinrich Christoph and Anna Dorothy (Rupp) Hilker.
Billy on June 2, 1950 he married Lora Irene Hazen of Farnam, Nebraska. Billy was the fifth of seven children born on the family farm. He was baptized and confirmed at St Matthew church in rural Arapahoe, Nebraska and attended country school through 8th grade. Billy proudly served in the US Navy from December 18, 1951 to December 17, 1959. After boot camp in San Diego he served aboard the USS General H.W. Buttner (Tap 113), going first to Yokohoma, Japan going through Korean waters. Following dry dock in San Francisco, the ship was transferred to Staten Island, NY. His wife, Irene accompanied to all his port-of-calls.
Billy and Irene had six children, Freddy, Darla, Mick, Brad, Cindy, and Lisa. They lived in various Nebraska communities, Holbrook, Cambridge and Indianola, Nebraska before settling in the Funk and Axtell area, Nebraska. He was a member of the Funk (NE.) Lions Club and served on the church council at Fridhem Lutheran Church, Funk, Nebraska. He worked for many years on the Dick Gustafson Dairy farm before retiring from the Axtell (NE.) Community Schools. He was a farmer at heart and maintained a well-groomed house, lawn and gardens in Axtell, Nebraska. He was an active advocate for recovering alcoholics since he received treatment in 1971. His family was important to him. He actively supported Axtell Community sports, often taking the family to Lincoln to state Basketball tournaments, if the bus went the Hilker family car was loaded and on the road to many sporting events. He continued to attend his grandchildren and great- grandchildren activities as his health permitted and particularly enjoyed when the family gathered together to celebrate milestones. Husker football was a passion as was hunting, fishing, "Sunday driving" to see how the crops were doing and check the water level at Harlan. He particularly enjoyed spending time with his brother-in-law Glen Stombaugh of Eustis in pursuit of that big buck and the perfect practical joke. Glen passed away on Jan. 8, 2014 as well.
Billy was preceded in death by: sons, Freddy Lynn Hilker at birth, 1951 and Michael Craig "Mick" Hilker, July, 1987, parents, William and Anna Hilker, sisters, Bernice Youngquist and her husband Emil, Betty Farr and her husband, Eldon, brother, Eldon Hilker and brothers-in-law, Merle Macy, Buss Balcom and Virgil Delimont.
Survivors are: wife, Lora Irene Hilker; son, Brad Hilker and his wife Shelley of Kearney, Nebraska; daughters, Darla Haight and her husband Pat of Minden, Nebraska, Cindy Treffer and her husband Doug of Axtell, Nebraska and Lisa Thaut and her husband Roger of Minden, Nebraska; grandchildren, Tina Haight of Boston Massachusetts, Jeff Haight and his wife Marci of Papillion, Nebraska, Darin Haight and his wife Laurie of Minden, Nebraska, Sean Haight and his wife Amanda of Washington D.C., Athena Pace and her husband Ryan of Kearney, Nebraska, Kelsey Ostrander and her husband Andy of Kearney, Nebraska, Kayla Carver and her husband Aaron of Minden, Nebraska and Austin Thaut of Minden, Nebraska; great-grandchildren, Jessica Haight of Boston, Massachuetts, Taylor and Amber Haight of Minden, Nebraska, Reiley Haight of Ft. Collins, Colorado, Laikyn Haight of Lincoln, Nebraska, Kyra and Muryn Haight of Papillion, Nebraska, Jaykob, Cheyanne, MacKenzy, and Kylar Pace of Kearney, Neebraska, Kaylynn Ostrander and new baby Ostrander of Kearney, Nebraska and Bryson Carver of Minden, Nebraska; sisters Marjorie Macy of Yankton, South Dakota, Virginia Delimont of Denver, Colorado and Shirley Balcom of Holdrege, Nebraska host of family and friends.
A celebration of life service was at Trinity Lutheran Church, Axtell, Nebraska on Saturday January 11, 2014 at 2:00 P.M. with Rev. Gale Dorn as officiator.
Burial was in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Axtell, Nebraska.
Researcher's Note: Lora Irene (Hazen) Hilker is a 1949 graduate of Farnam High School
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