Linda Hilker, 101, of Watertown, died Sunday, May 12, 2019, at Marquardt Health Center in Watertown.
She was the last member of her immediate family, born on Feb. 16, 1918, in the town of Milford to the late William and Martha (Moll) Altenburg. Linda weighed less than 3 pounds at birth and was baptized that very day as she was not expected to live. The family placed her in a box of warmed grains on the oven door. She was a survivor and went on to live a long and fulfilling life. During that life, she enriched and contributed so much to the lives of all that loved her.
Linda was a lifelong member of Mamre Moravian Church, fulfilling the role of church treasurer for many years. She married Francis Hilker on July 24, 1948, at Mamre. He preceded her in death on Feb. 10, 1975. Linda worked at G.B. Lewis and then at Northwestern College (now Luther Prep) in food preparation for the students until her retirement. She was a homemaker, helping her husband build their home. She loved to bake and had a special talent for baking and decorating wedding, confirmation, graduation and birthday cakes. Her Christmas and Easter sugar cookies were so beautifully decorated, they were actually works of art. She had a passion for working puzzles. She enjoyed watching birds, especially cardinals. She was fond of the color yellow. She loved potatoes -- any kind, hot or cold, it didn't matter. She was a member of the Watertown Senior Center and for many years enjoyed playing shuffleboard. Above all, she loved her family.
She was preceded in death by four brothers, Ben, George, Herbert and Harry; four sisters, Esther Bergdoll, Elsie Gronert, Meta Altenburg and Grace Miller; a niece, LaVerne Jine; nephews, William "Bill" Altenburg and Roger Miller; in-law nephews, William Krebsbach, Robert Jine, Marvin Kirst and Larry Painter, in-law niece Carol Bergdoll.
Survivors include nephews Melvin Bergdoll, Herbert (Pam) Altenburg, Howard Altenburg and Victor A. (Margaret) Miller; nieces Irene Kirst, Lila Painter and Hazel Krebsbach. She is also survived by members of the Hilker family, the next generation of nieces and nephews, other family members and friends.
The family would like to extend their appreciation for the wonderful care Linda received from the staff at Visiting Angels, Highland House, Park Ridge Marquardt, Marquardt Health Care Center and Marquardt Hospice over the last six years of her life.
Also a very special thank you to the Rein family: Eric, Tracy, Allison, Emmaleigh and John and Vernette Wuestenberg for their friendship and assistance.
Memorials, if desired, can be made in Linda's memory to Mamre Moravian Church Cemetery Fund or Building Fund.
Funeral services will be held 3 p.m. on Friday at Mamre Moravian Church with the Rev. Jane Gehler presiding. Visitation will be held at the church on Friday from 2 p.m. until the time of service. Burial will be in Mamre Moravian Cemetery.
Pederson-Nowatka Funeral Home is caring for the family. To place online condolences please visit www.pn.fh.com.
Pederson-Nowatka Funeral Homes
213 S. Fifth St. Watertown