Wanda Hilton, 91Wanda Marie Hilton (Fehr) was born on Oct. 16, 1920, in Rock Grove, Ill., and passed away on March 17 at the Christian Community Home in Hudson, Wis., at the age of 91.
Wanda Marie Hilton (Fehr) was born on Oct. 16, 1920, in Rock Grove, Ill., and passed away on March 17 at the Christian Community Home in Hudson, Wis., at the age of 91.
Wanda was the youngest of three children born to Raymond and Effie Fehr (Frankeberger). She married Robert Earl Hilton on Sept. 6, 1941, in Rock Grove, and they were happily married for over 68 years. To this union were born six children: Jeff Hilton (wife Marilyn) of Albuquerque, N.M.; Linda Hilton of New Richmond, Wis.; Cindy Paulson (fiancé Dennis Atkins) of Hudson; Connie Hilton (husband Alan Gardiner) of Thunder Bay, Ontario; Peggy Sempf (husband Ron) of Clear Lake, Wis.; and Jim Hilton (wife Hyon Joo) of Brooklyn Park, Minn.
Wanda is survived by her six children, 15 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren, plus many other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Bob; her parents, Raymond and Effie Fehr; brothers Charles and Raymond Fehr; two infant brothers; and great-grandson Tanner Sempf.
Wanda served as the pianist at the Rock Grove Lutheran Church for many years and later as the organist for the Forest Lutheran Church in Wisconsin. She cared for their two small children (Jeff and Linda) and also worked as a telephone operator in Rock Grove while Bob served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
In December of 1956 Bob and Wanda moved their family from Dakota, Ill., to Clear Lake, Wis., where they purchased a 200-acre dairy farm. They ran the dairy farm and raised their family for several years and then changed to beef cattle when Bob started his own construction company. Wanda worked for Emerald Foods in Emerald, Wis., for many years as a secretary and, being the only woman in the office, was the recipient of many practical jokes by the men she worked with. She was active in St. Croix County Homemakers and the leader of the Pussy Willow 4-H Club for many years. She was a farmer's wife, a wonderful cook, did lots of gardening, canning and freezing of vegetables and fruits, loved to play cards and played the piano and organ. When we were older and went to visit them, Mom would wake us up in the morning by belting out a rousing rendition of Alexander's Rag Time Band on the organ. Throughout the years our family spent many happy times singing while Mom played the organ and our entire family even sang in church on a few occasions.
In 1973, they sold the farm in Clear Lake and moved to Sedona, Ariz., primarily to help ease Bob's arthritis. They lived in Sedona for 15 years and then moved to Los Lunas, N.M., to be near their oldest son, Jeff, where they lived for another 15 years. In 2003, they decided to move back to Clear Lake to be closer to their other five children and lived there until Bob's death in 2010. Since that time, Wanda has been a resident of the Christian Community Home (CCH) in Hudson where she bravely battled Alzheimer's for several years.
Mom had a smile that would light up a room. When we went to visit her she would smile that big smile and her brown eyes would twinkle with happiness. Workers at CCH also commented on her great smile and what a tough lady she was. She went through many difficult times following Bob's death, but she did it with dignity and grace. One of our favorite sayings was when Mom, after a particularly hectic day, sighed and said, "Life is such a mouse chase!" It still makes us laugh every time we think of it. She was a sweet, patient, kind woman who was greatly loved by her family and friends and we will miss her more than we can say.
Services were held on Saturday, March 24, at the United Methodist Church in Clear Lake. Funeral service was at 1 p.m. with visitation 1 hour prior to service. Lunch was served in church Fellowship Hall following the funeral service. Interment at the Clear Lake Cemetery followed lunch.
Scheuermann-Hammer Funeral Home in Clear Lake handled the arrangements.
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