John Hilger

  • Died: April 7, 2017
  • Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana

D O McComb and Sons - Pine Valley

1320 East Dupont Rd.
Fort Wayne, IN 46825

Tel. (260) 426-9494

Tribute & Message From The Family


John Henry Hilger, 70, passed away Friday, April 7, 2017 in Amsterdam while on vacation. He was a native and lifetime resident of Fort Wayne, IN. John graduated from Arcola HS in1964 and earned his Bachelors in Horticulture in 1968 at Purdue University. He was a loving husband, father, and grandpa devoted to the Catholic Church. John was a Deacon and a member of Queen of Angels Catholic Church. He was the co-owner of Hilger's Farm Market and Restaurant. John never new a stranger and was a giving and compassionate man in all aspects of his life. John was involved in the community as a member of NACS School Board, Allen County Community Harvest Food Bank, Associated Churches, Arcola Lions Club, Congressional AG Council, and State Vegetable Board of Indiana. Surviving are his loving wife, of 40 years, Mary Hilger of Fort Wayne, IN: daughters, Jennifer (Stephen) Wilson of Weston, FL; Maryann (Nick) Lake of Fishers, IN; Sally (Iain) James of Zionsville, IN; Kathleen (Brian) Miletic of Mt. Vernon, OH; Michelle (Zach) Kelhi of Navarre, FL; Laura Hilger of Indianapolis, IN; siblings, Irene (Nick) Reith, Ed (Charlene) Hilger, Kathy (Tom) Richards, Joe (Elaine) Hilger, Jane (Mike) DeRose, Joan (Marc) Davenriner all of Fort Wayne, IN and 14 grandchildren . John was preceded in death by his parents Henry and Sally Hilger. Mass of Christian Burial is 11:00 am. Tuesday, April 18, 2017, at St Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church 10700 Aboite Center Road, Fort Wayne, IN with calling one hour prior, Bishop Kevin Rhoades officiating. Calling also Monday, April 17, 2017 from 2 - 9 pm at D.O. McComb & Sons Pine Valley Park Funeral Home. Burial in Catholic Cemetery, in lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Parkinson Foundation or Queen of Angels Catholic Church. To sign the online guest book, go to www.domccombandsons.com


Services


Condolence & Memory Journal

I was traveling and just learned upon my return home of John's passing. I am so sorry for your loss. John's obituary summed up the person John was. I lived with him in the same house for four years at Purdue. I would agree that he never knew a stranger. He was a gentle soul that always went out of his way to help others. My wife and I stopped at the restaurant in 2004 to see John. He was very gracious in taking some time to sit and chat with us even though he was very busy. But, that was John as I remember him.

Posted by Scott Glasgow - Pottsville, AR - Friend   April 30, 2017

We were honored to know John, a fine man in the produce industry. He was a friend and co-laborer. We will miss his friendship, talks at the Hort Convention and hearty handshakes. May God be with you, Joe, Mary and the entire family. <br /><br />Love from,<br />Chuck and Tami Mohler, Sammy Mohler and family and Dan<br />Sweet Corn Charlie Produce, LLC

Posted by Chuck Mohler - Syracuse, IN - friend   April 23, 2017

Dave and I are saddened to hear of John's passing. We love you and will lift you up in prayer. John was a great man and he will be missed. God bless you Mary and the entire Hilger family.❤

Posted by Dave and Angie Deppisch - Greenbrier, TN   April 18, 2017

So sorry for your loss, you are in our prayers.

Posted by Len and Kathy Melton - Zionsville, IN - Friend   April 17, 2017

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Uncle John, a man of big dreams, who spread much laughter and never met a stranger. Big John possessed an imposing figure, but what made him Big John was the scope of his dreams and imagination. His grand visions were only limited by his inability to fathom anything less then the best. The lives of family and friends who worked to help realize these dreams were not made easier because of them but they were certainly enriched with their pursuit. God has a mission and calling for all of us, and he gives us each gifts that provide a small glimpse of the joys of heaven. In heaven there are NO strangers, only family. John's ability to see persons he just met not as strangers but family was not a talent he mastered; it was a gift given through him by God to tell those he encounters that they are strangers no morethey are family. Only one man has ever walked this earth blameless and without fault, Big John was not him, but by their fruits you will know their hearts.
John was farmer, and he knew well the toil, patience, and dedication it took to bring fourth good fruit from the earth, but as talented as he was at bringing fourth a harvest from the sometimes stubborn soil, what he and Mary cultivated in the hearts of their family are what truly defines them. Poor John living in a house with ALL those girls, Lord have mercy on him. Laughter I am sure was the only way to maintain sanity. But what beautiful women they have become, with hearts of mercy, generosity and compassion. The truest measure of a man, even more so than what he does, is what he gives, and John has given us much.
Auf Weidersehen
how fitting for his last trip to Germany for it does not mean good by but until we meet again

Posted by Patrick Hilger - Fort Wayne, IN - Family   April 17, 2017

How Uncle John got us started raising chickens.

One spring day my family was at "The" restaurant eating and visiting. Uncle John came up to see our oldest son Henry who was about 3 years old at the time. Henry was a little scared of Uncle John and hid behind Carrie's leg. John laughed; he stretched out his hand and said "Would you like to see some chickens and chicks?" Henry then peeked his head around mom's leg and sad "What? He then cautiously walked toward Uncle John and took his hand and walk outside. About 30 minutes to an hour later Carrie and I ran into Uncle John and Henry in front of the restaurant with a box. Yes, the box had a chick in it. Henry told us how they walked around the pond, how they looked at all the chickens, eggs and chicks and how they caught a chick. Uncle John took a little scared boy and made a friend for life. That little boy then continually bugged his parent to get more chickens so we could have eggs to eat and raise more chickens. We did get more chickens. To this day we still raise chickens.

We love you Uncle John and will miss you!

Posted by Phil and Carrie Hilger - Spencerville, IN - Family   April 17, 2017

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My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Mary. May God's strength continue to carry you through this, as he has through everything in your life. Mere words can't express the depth of sorrow we all feel for you and your family, and will continue to pray for John and you.
May God Bless you!

Posted by Carla Trabert - Columbia City, IN   April 17, 2017

Mary and girls, So sorry for your loss. We got to know John (and Mary) when our daughters played basketball together. I still remember John telling the stories about the German POW's who were brought to Fort Wayne to work on the farm. May God be with your family as you deal with his loss.

Posted by Mike & Debbie Winger - Columbia City, IN - acquaintance   April 17, 2017

John was my dads cousin, so sorry for your loss my prayers and thought are with everyone in the family!!

Posted by Dianne (Miller) Heidenreich - Fort wayne, IN - Family   April 16, 2017

I just want to offer our condolences on John's passing to all the family. Be assured you are all in our prayers during the difficult time .God's grace be with you Your cousin--lw9ic Barb Fenker Juhasz

Posted by Barbara (Fenker) juhasz - Edon, OH - Family   April 16, 2017

Mary and family,
John was a friend and mentor to me. I always appreciated his smile and warm greetings where ever and whenever I saw him. I am deeply saddened by his passing and will miss his encouraging words. May the Load Bless and keep you in His peace.
Bill Etzler

Posted by A friend   April 16, 2017

The last time I talked to John was at 5 points gas station he ask me for directions so i just had him follow me.

Posted by Rod Delagrange - Woodburn, IN - friend   April 16, 2017

My condolences to the family. He was a good man. May God bless the whole family.

Posted by Darlene Miller - Fort Wayne, IN - family   April 16, 2017

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Dear Mary and family,
I am so sorry to hear of Johns passing. You have my deepest sympathy and I will keep you all in my prayers.

Posted by Jody Nix-Young - Warren, MI - Friend   April 16, 2017

John was a great person and it was a pleasure to get to know both Mary and him and his daughters. I remember the party he had at the restaurant for the graduating 8th graders. He was very kind to some of the foreign priests and others whose lives crossed his path. I will miss him.

Posted by John klein - Fort Wayne, IN - friend   April 16, 2017

We will always be grateful that John, Mary, and their beautiful family came into our lives. Your unconditional love and friendship and incredibly generous heart made us feel like family. John, you lived life to its fullest and in doing so inspired everyone else to enjoy what God gave us with cheerfulness and great humor. Your large strong hands showed a man who not only worked very hard all his life but also one who was always prepared to lift up and support others through your diaconate ministry. May your love be felt through the great continued works and blessings of your loving and beautiful large family, and may we all follow in your footsteps of a God centered life well lived.

Posted by Kristine and Andre Papillon - Fort Wayne, IN - friend   April 16, 2017

He left a wonderful legacy in his daughters and grand children and his impact on the community will not be forgotten. God bless the Hilger family as they grieve a great loss.

Posted by Jennifer Fray - Fort Wayne, IN - acquaintance   April 15, 2017

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We have attended Queen of Angels Catholic Church for many years which means you knew the Hilger family! John was a gentle soul, be it seeing him at mass or when we dined at Hilgers Restaurant. Watching him with his family, becoming a Deacon at Queen of Angels, sure let us all know he was a man that deeply loved God. It showed throughout his wife, children & his personality.
You are with God now! Rejoice in God!
Our sympathy to the Hilger family,
Earl & Linda Irwin
Dan & Kari(Irwin) Coffey
Fred Behrns

Posted by Linda Irwin - Ft Wayne, IN   April 15, 2017

Dear Family:Everyone at Queen of Angels Church knew John. He extended his hands with blessings to all as he entered or exited the Mass. On a personal note, my daughter Maria Miller and John and Mary's daughter, MaryAnn were great friends at Dwenger. I have been a parishoner for 25 years at Queen and 8 years at St. Jude and am proud to say that both school have enjoyed the benefits of Hilger's Family Farm. Rest in Peace, John. good and faithful servant. Caroline Sheets and Family.

Posted by A friend   April 15, 2017

Dear Mary, you have our deepest sympathy and our prayers that you would sense the love of God surrounding you and embracing you.

May His peace and joy bring you strength, along with your family and friends.

With our love,
Dan and Jan
(from aquatic class on Mondays)

Posted by Dan & Jan Clymer - Fort Wayne, IN - Friend   April 15, 2017

TO MARY AND THE GIRLS OUR GREATEST SYMPATHY AT YOUR LOST. HIS LARGE PRESENT WILL DEARLY BE MISS BUT HIS MEMORIES AND LOVE WILL BE WITH YOU UNTIL YOUR LAST BREATH. I KNOW JOHN SERVED YOU WELL AND WILL BE WITH WERE EVER YOU GO BUT PAIN OF LOST MAKES IT HARD TO SEE THIS AT THIS TIME. OUR PRAYER THAT THE LORD WILL COMFORT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY AS YOU PREPARE TO MOVE FORWARD AS JOHN WOULD HAVE WANTED YOU TO DO.

Posted by WILLIAM EVANS - CHESAPEAKE, VA - Family   April 15, 2017

TO MARY AND THE GIRLS OUR GREATEST SYMPATHY AT YOUR LOST. HIS LARGE PRESENT WILL DEARLY BE MISS BUT HIS MEMORIES AND LOVE WILL BE WITH YOU UNTIL YOUR LAST BREATH. I KNOW JOHN SERVED YOU WELL AND WILL BE WITH WERE EVER YOU GO BUT PAIN OF LOST MAKES IT HARD TO SEE THIS AT THIS TIME. OUR PRAYER THAT THE LORD WILL COMFORT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY AS YOU PREPARE TO MOVE FORWARD AS JOHN WOULD HAVE WANTEDNM YOU TO DO.

Posted by WILLIAM EVANS - CHESAPEAKE, VA - Family   April 15, 2017

Dearest John,

Tom and I will miss your loving friendship, your handshake, your wonderful hugs,your aftershave, (LOL), glasses tucked near your shirt collar, your hospitality in your home and business, your "Blessings" you always gave and your open love for "Our Lord, Jesus Christ"! Mary and you have helped me (Debbie) strengthen my "Catholic Faith" in more ways than I can every count on my fingers and toes..Fly High, John! We love you and and until we meet again, RIP, John!!

Posted by Debbie and Tom Frazier - Fort Wayne, IN - Friend   April 14, 2017

John was a wonderful man and a great businessman. He will definitely be missed.

Posted by Gary and Joan Saalfrank - Fort wayne, IN - acquaintance   April 14, 2017

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Thank you for bringing Hilgers Farm Market to the FT Wayne area. Eating there was such a pleasure. You and your staff ran one of the best Resturants I have ever ate and you always made sure that your guest's dining experience was always memorable. We have missed you Market so much when you closed and the town of Ft Wayne will surly miss you. Thank You John Hilger and may you rest in peace.

Gale Nicodemus
One of your loyal guest's

Posted by Gale Nicodemus - Roanoke, IN - Acquaintance   April 14, 2017


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