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Hillard M. Mathews

Hillard Maynard Mathews, age 80, of Lester Prairie, owner and operator of “Mathews Well Company,” passed away peacefully Monday, Jan. 5, 2009, at Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia.

He was born to Reinhold and Pauline (Tonn) Mathews Aug. 17, 1928, in Helen Township, Glencoe, one of 10 siblings. Hillard was baptized Sept. 9, 1928, at First Lutheran Church in Glencoe by the Rev. Ernest Kolbe; and confirmed March 29, 1942.

Hillard was schooled in the Glencoe School District and shortly after, started drilling wells with his brother, Eldor, in the Glencoe area.

He was united in marriage to Elizabeth (Litzau) Nov. 26, 1950, by the Rev. Alfred Streufert, also at First Lutheran Church. They were blessed with two daughters.

He moved to Lester Prairie in 1951, and started his own well drilling business, working there until the present time. There were a lot of odd days and hours spent making sure the local people had water. He enjoyed the daily work that went into his well drilling business and the people he met, and was a lifetime member of the Minnesota Water Well Association.

In 1966, Elizabeth passed away and Hillard had to raise their two daughters alone.

One of Hillard’s biggest enjoyments was spending time with his grandson, Anthony, and visiting family and friends. He was an avid fan of Minneapolis Moline tractors and enjoyed the shows and especially, Farm Fest. In his early days, he enjoyed playing the accordion.

In addition to his wife, Elizabeth, Hillard was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Earl, Orville, Marvin, Eldor, and Ray; sister Alice Debner; sister-in-law,Veldora Mathews; and brothers-in-law Carl Ehrke, John, Allen, Donald, Darrell and David Litzau.

He is survived by his daughters, LuAnn Priebe, and Debbie Mathews and special friend Ron Koester; grandson Anthony Priebe; sister Lorna Ehrke; brothers Norman Mathews and Erwin (Ruth) Mathews; sisters-in-law Willardine Mathews, Myrtle Mathews, Anna Mathews, Janet Litzau, Sharon (Alan) Mielke, Donna Litzau and Audrey Litzau; brothers-in-law Gene (Wanda) Litzau and Richard (Sharon) Litzau; and many nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.

The funeral service took place Thursday, Jan. 8 at 2 p.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie. The Rev. Eric Nelson officiated, and Jane Holasek played the organ. “Amazing Grace,” “How Great Thou Art,” and the old version of “The Lord is My Shepard” were sung. Interment was at St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery.

Visitation was Wednesday, Jan. 7 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the church, and continued Thursday for one hour prior to the service.

The pallbearers were Randy Mathews, Darian Litzau, Duane Litzau, Jason Mielke, Allan Debner, and Paul Rohde. Honorary pallbearer was Hillard’s grandson, Anthony Priebe.

The Chilson Funeral Home served the family.