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12/19/1925 - 10/31/2012
Kenneth Eugene Hilbert died peacefully at Kindred Hospital in Tulsa, Okla., at the age of 86. Kenneth was born in Payne County, Oklahoma on December 19,1925 to Ernest B. and Ida Jane Sturgill-Hilbert, the fifth child of six children.
At the age of 16, Kenneth left Oklahoma for Northern California. In 1943 he enlisted in the United States Navy to serve his country during World War II. From October 11, 1943 to December 19, 1946 he served as a Gunner on naval carrier war ships: USS Kearsarge (CV-33); The Clarence King and Wilfred Grenfall. Kenneth was extremely proud of having served in the Navy. Honorably discharged with a Victory medal, he returned to Northern California, in 1947 and married Nora M. Heibner (1928-1990). He spent the next 32 years raising his family near Colfax, Calif. During this time, Kenneth worked for the North Western Pacific Railroad as a Brakeman and Conductor from 1954-1960. He then went on to work for Southern Pacific Railroad as an equipment operator from 1960-1980.
After his retirement from the Railroad in 1980, he met and married Watha Loftis Ross (1928-2012) and returned to Yale, Okla. There he lived enjoying his retirement spending his Summer's in the Colorado Mountains and traveling back to Northern California Mountains (where he always called home) spending time with his children and grandchildren. Kenneth was preceeded in death by his parents Ernest B. Hilbert (1894-1973) and Ida J. Hilbert (1895-1973) near Colfax, Calif. Siblings Walter (1914-1915) Ingalls, Okla. Earl A. (1916-1997) Cushing, Okla. Harold (1918-1968) Colfax, Calif. Allen L. (1929-1994) Seminole, Okla. And his only sister, Violet E. Hilbert-Dawes (1920-2010) Colfax, Calif. His oldest son, Robert E. Hilbert (1951-1996) Colfax, CA. He leaves behind, Carol J. Maynard (Michael), JoAnn Lorang (Michael)of Colfax, Calif.; son William E. Hilbert of Roseville, Calif.; and daughter-in-law, Lois Barstow-Hilbert of Rocklin, Calif. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren: Carol C Lorang-Davis, Anthony J (Tony) Lorang, Charles W (Charlie) Lorang, Bonnie A Lorang-Foucek, Joel T Hilbert, Matthew J (Matt) Lorang, Lisa A Hilbert-Kearfott, Loralea Hilbert, Justin J Hilbert, Lynn W Hilbert all in California; and 16 great-grandchildren; many cousins, nieces and nephews and In Payne County, Okla., he leaves behind his extended families and friends.
May he rest in peace and his memory live on with all who knew and loved him.
A private family gathering will be held at a later date.
Published in Gold Country Media Newspapers on Nov. 15, 2012