Hilda Leona Kiest was born on June 10, 1920, near Goodrich, North Dakota. She and her twin sister were the last of six children, all girls, of John and Elizabeth Kiest, farmers in the rural areas of North Dakota. Hilda grew up on the farm where she and her twin sister, Helen, played with their horse, attended Baptist Church, played with the rabbits their dad bought for them, and caught gophers. Hilda and her sisters were educated through the eighth grade. Hilda was determined to move away from North Dakota, so she worked as a waitress in Bismarck and Minneapolis to save enough money to move to California at the age of 20. She settled in Lodi, California, working as a waitress at the Cosmopolitan Restaurant for 20 years. It was in Lodi that Hilda met Warren Mantz with whom she was acquainted in North Dakota. They married in June of 1946, and were married for 54 years at the time of Warren's death in September, 2000. Hilda loved to sing and for many years sang with the "Sweet Adelines". She was a happy person and often said, "It doesn't pay to carry a grudge." She loved people and would reach out to others in many situations. She left cookies for the mailman and took hot chocolate out to people working on the road. Animals were also her friends, especially her pet Chihuahua, Penny. She loved and cared about everyone and much of God's creation. Hilda was a faithful member of the Lodi Fairmont Seventh-day Adventist Church. As Hilda's health grew poorer, she resided in a convalescent facility. It is there that she peacefully rested her life in God's care on August 21, at the age of 92 years. Hilda was preceded in death by her parents and four of her sisters: Tillie, Kathryn, Clara, and her dear twin sister, Helen. In her death she leaves her sister, Marie, in Bismarck, North Dakota, her dear friend, Norman Knoll, four nieces, sixteen nephews, and many very dear friends. Friends are invited to visit Friday from 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. at Lodi Funeral Home. A chapel service will be held at the funeral home on Sunday, August 26, at 10 a.m. with committal to follow at Cherokee Memorial Park. A virtual register book may www.lodifuneralhome.com where memories can be shared. Lodi Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.
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Lodi Funeral Home
725 South Fairmont Lodi, CA 95240
Published in Lodi News-Sentinel from Aug. 24 to Sept. 1, 2012