Gerald “Butch” Trevor Hilgendorff, of Neustadt, passed away in hospital on Saturday, January 28, 2023. He was 82.
Born on June 24, 1940 in Neustadt to the late Christian and Mary (nee Zimmerman) Hilgendorff. Gerry, better known as “Butch” to everyone in Neustadt, was a well-respected police sergeant in Essex and Goderich. In early years of his career, he was commended for saving a life. He had a great sense of humour and his volunteering was unmatched, leading to being awarded a Queen's Platinum Jubilee Coin this past summer. Many did not know that he was instrumental in establishing the first shelter for abused women in Huron County, organized the Marine Heritage Festival, a tall ships event that was one of Goderich's most successful events and chaired the committee that oversaw the building of the Neustadt Community Center. He revitalized Goderich's Christmas decorating program and brought his love of Christmas back to Neustadt where he retired and built a giant and well-loved Christmas display. He enjoyed recent trips to Tennessee. In the photo, he is about to walk the Gatlinburg Skybridge, the last item on his bucket list.
Survived by son Scott Hilgendorff, formerly of Goderich, now of Tennessee. He was the last surviving member of the family. Dear brother in law of Helen Hilgendorff of Neustadt. He will be missed by many nieces, nephews and their families. Predeceased by his parents, brother Ken Hilgendorff and by his sisters Burnette “Nettie” (Ron) Emke and Joanne Hilgendorff. To honour his wishes, cremation has taken place and a family inurnment of ashes in the family plot will be held at a later date in St. Paul's Lutheran Cemetery, Neustadt. There will be a Memorial Service to celebrate his life at the Trail of Dreams in Neustadt to be announced for this spring. He built the trail as a labour of love to leave behind to his community.
Memorial donations to Gerry's son, Scott's non-profit work with Cowboys of the Cross (online at https://www.lifesongfamily.org/ ) would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.
Dear Scott, I've been praying for you both and I'm sorry that your father passed away under such care. Thank you for sharing in your story and your fathers obituary. He seems to have built a lasting legacy that has touched his community, and even though I know your strength comes from Christ, you obviously have qualities of your father and it shows in the work you do in the name of The Lord. God Bless you Scott.- Steven Prince
So sorry for your loss Scott- McQuillan Amy
We are so sorry about your Dad.s passing. Even more sorry of the medical and health care problems he and you encountered.
Sending prayers for you to deal with this.
May peace find you and Jesus love sustain you.
John and Diane Slaats