1932 - 2021
John Gerhard Hildebrand, beloved husband of the late Ellen Hildebrand (nee Wiens), passed away in Medicine Hat on Saturday, September 25, 2021 at the age of 88 years.
Relatives and friends were invited to attend the burial service at the Bow Island Cemetery on Friday, October 1, 2021 at 12:30 P.M.
As a result of the restrictions regarding COVID-19 and the government recommendations, a private funeral service was held at the Evangelical Free Church, 214 - 4 Avenue West, Bow Island on Friday, October 1, 2021 at 2:00 P.M.
For those who were unable to attend, a video recording of the service is available by visiting www.bowislandefc.com and choosing the ‘live’ link.
John is survived by his daughter Geraldine Hildebrand-Chernezky of Redcliff; four grandchildren Staci Chernezky, Robert (Angela) Chernezky, Ryan (Clara) Chernezky and grandson-in-law Paul Coon; great grandchildren Kelton, Kendra, Myron, Taryn, Mason, Keely and Jayda Lynn. He is also survived by a sister-in-law, Ruth Wyton.
He was predeceased by his wife Ellen Hildebrand (2007); son Arthur Hildebrand (1979); son-in-law Nick Chernezky (2015); granddaughter Nicole Coon (2011); brothers Victor, Alex and Jack Hildebrand.
John was born the last boy in the line up of brothers, Victor Jacob, Alexander Gerhard, George Gerhard and Jacob Gerhard and then he was followed by two sisters, Mary Agatha (Hansen) and Elizabeth Hildebrand, all born to Russian parents Gerhard J. Hildebrand (1893-1935) and Maria Hildebrand (1895-1985). John’s parents along with baby brother Victor, sailed on the Melita from Russia, arriving in Halifax in 1925 and eventually settled, homesteading land and farming in the Grassy Lake area.
John understood the concept of stewardship, that all he had belonged to the Lord. His lifetime of generosity demonstrated that he internalized this truth and that he offered all that he had to further the Kingdom of God.
John contributed his coming to a saving knowledge of trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, with a view for eternity and thus sacrificing to give to missions, to his early years of attending the Southern Alberta Bible Camp (SABC). In the early days, SABC was located at the Grassy Lake forks and one had to drive all the supplies (tents and all) and people, across the river by citing a certain tree and keeping the course to get there. Certainly, that may have played a part in his investigative curiosity and love to explore and see around. Even at the last, he loved to go for a drive and ‘check things out’.
During his final days while hospitalized for a couple days, he decided to remove the supporting oxygen, smiling and waving goodbye before passing shortly thereafter.
It looked like John could see the finish line, and he ran for it! Yes it appeared like he jumped over the line in his jovial way, waving good bye as he crossed the line!
SABC brought hope to John as a child and during the years that followed. For this reason, if friends so desire, memorial tributes in John’s name may be made directly to the Southern Alberta Bible Camp, Box 99, Lomond, Alberta T0L 1G0 www.sabc.ca. Please designate the donation to the “All Aboard Fund” so that less fortunate children may have the opportunity to attend camp.
The family would like to thank those that ‘adopted’ John as family, including his companion care person, so even while in the Lodge, they were his watchful eyes and gave him family close by. These individuals include Mary and Isack Hamm and their delightful children and Roger and Cheryl Lobb and their family, who were there for him to the end, taking his instructions and not leaving him alone. They did so much more for him, to reassure him, make sure his wishes were understood and followed, while still allowing him to continue to engage in the farming that he so enjoyed. Also, thank you to the Pleasant View Lodge in Bow Island where John resided after he gave up his home. They made living alone so much more fun, with meals and room service being taken care of and providing a beautiful community and caring staff. Last but definitely not least, to two of the fellas, John Wikkerink and Ben Reimer at the Pleasant View Lodge, that together with John formed the three Mouseketeers or three Stooges - we don’t know which, but we do know that together they just kept life exciting for everybody and gave John’s life a zest. As well to so many others, to numerous to mention, thank you.