At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
A passionate man, Bob Hildebrand lived his life with great love for his wife, children, and grandchildren. A hardworking and successful mason, he enjoyed building and physical labor for a large majority of his life. Although he spent many years fishing and entering tournaments, his greatest treasure was the time he spent with his close-knit family, especially around the holidays. Bob will be sorely missed and lovingly remembered for his strong-willed yet loving personality.
In the year 1938, Orson Welles' radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds is broadcast, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs held its Hollywood premiere, and the New England area was hit with a raging hurricane across the Atlantic Ocean. Rollin and Bessie Hildebrand welcomed home their newborn son, Robert Jay, on October 30th in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Born the fifth out of six children, he grew up sharing many memorable moments with each of them.
Bob learned the value of a hard day’s work from the exceptional work his father modeled in a local machine shop and his mother’s ability to manage the household with six children. As a young adolescent, Bob could never sit still. Always active and on the go, he went to work with his brother, Howard, in masonry by the time he was the tender age of fourteen. The work kept him out of trouble and became a lifelong passion of his from those early years. Graduating with the Class of 1956 from Vicksburg High School, Bob had his heart set on earning a living. He eased into the world of work as a professional mason. His strong work ethic and attention to detail led him to many years of success.
He met his partner of sixty-one years, Joyce Kunselman, at a church event in Fulton. Her pink coat caught his eye, and after working up enough nerve to approach her, the rest was history! Sharing many commonalities, they dated for five years before joining in marriage on December 21, 1957. Together they raised one son, Rick. As a father, he expected the best out of Rick and taught him to persevere in order to be successful in anything he set out to accomplish. They shared countless fishing trips together and enjoyed the simple pleasures in life. When Rick blessed them with their two granddaughters; Jodie and Jessica, Bob’s life changed forever. He was immensely proud to be their grandpa and wanted nothing more than the very best for the two of them. When his family later grew to also include three wonderful great-grandchildren; Kyllie, Jim, and Aaden, he was over the moon! Lucky for them to have such an outpouring of unconditional love and lucky for him to be able to build close relationships with each and every one of them. They were very special to him and he loved them dearly.
In addition to the pleasure of spending time with his growing family, Bob also shared many special interests. Born with a green thumb, he always had an impeccable yard that was the envy of the neighborhood. He built a manmade pond in his backyard and spent a significant amount of time tending to his meticulous flowerbeds as well as cleaning the pond. He also loved to watch professional baseball and basketball especially the Detroit Tigers and Pistons. However, fishing, by far, was his favorite pastime. Outside of his work, he was a professional fisherman winning many tournaments over the past several years. Popular among the competitive fishing industry, he traveled the country to fish. Life didn’t get much better than doing exactly what he loved and then returning home to host large fish fries! When it came time for relaxation, Bob savored his quiet time at his lot in Three Rivers. Described as outgoing, loving, and always willing to lend a helping hand, there is no doubt that Bob will be deeply missed and fondly remembered by his many special friends and family.
Robert “Bob” Hildebrand, of Vicksburg, Michigan, passed away on Wednesday, July 31, 2019, at the age of 80. Bob is survived by his wife of 61 years, Joyce; their son, Rick Hildebrand, of Vicksburg; two granddaughters: Jodie (Chad) Ostertag, of Portage; Jessica (Jim) Cutshaw, of Vicksburg; three great-grandchildren: Kyllie Zeller, Jim Cutshaw, and Aaden Ostertag. He is also survived by his siblings: Ron (Marylou) Hildebrand, of Vicksburg; Virginia Bogema, of Schoolcraft; Ruth Fritz, of PA; and Margaret (Dick) Fifer, of Scotts. He was preceded in death by his brother Howard Hildebrand. The family will receive friends on Sunday from 2 to 4 pm at the McCowen & Secord Family Funeral Home, Rupert-Durham Chapel, 409 S. Main, Vicksburg (269-649-1697). The funeral service will be held on Monday at 11 am at the funeral home. The burial will be at Mount Ever-Rest Memorial Park. Please visit Bob’s webpage at www.mccowensecord.com where you can sign the guestbook and share a memory with the family. Those who wish may make contributions to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. www.hospiceswmi.org/give/