Marland “Skip” Allan Hildebrandt, age 81, of St. Bonifacius, passed away after a valiant battle with leukemia, Saturday May 14, 2016, at Lake Minnetonka Shores in Spring Park.
He was born July 5, 1934, in Brokaw, WI, the son of Richard and Molly (Anholzer) Hildebrandt.
Marland attended grade school in Brokaw, and graduated from Wausau High School in Wausau, WI, while he pursued his trade in tool and die at the local vocational and technical college.
He enjoyed the great outdoors on his Harley Davidson motorcycle as a member of the Rib Mountain Riders Club.
Marland was united in marriage with Shirley Feltz Feb. 27, 1954, at St. Peter Catholic Church in Stevens Point, WI. This union of 62 years was blessed with “three-and-a half- dozen” children (three boys, and a half-dozen girls), as follows: Marland, Cathy, Linda, Louise, Dennis, Julie, Randy, Sue, and Connie.
Marland worked for Marathon Electric in Wausau for 14 years. In 1968, he was recruited by Honeywell and relocated to the family farmstead in St. Bonifacius. Along with learning to farm, he also began working for Pro-Aut in Waconia, and was instrumental in developing 3-D measuring equipment that was later acquired by the Zeiss Company.
Marland’s tireless work ethic served him well as he operated a farm in St. Bonifacius during his manufacturing career. He never wavered from an opportunity of the challenge to create, re-design, or repair anything. Skip’s perfectionist skills transcended from the workplace to the daily operations of home, agricultural, flooring, and hospitality businesses.
Working together as a team, Skip and Shirley operated a flooring business, All Floors & More, from 1987 to 1995 in Crystal and Monticello.
In 1982, they acquired the Beach Resort on the south shore of Lake Superior, followed by the Beachway Cabins on scenic route 61 on the north shore of Lake Superior, which they continued to operate to the present. Skip loved hosting travelers from all over the world, greeted each with a warm welcome, and referred to his guests as his “extended family.”
His passion for photography captured the unique beauty and awe of many sunrises and sunsets over his beloved Lake Superior, and recorded many special memories, from talented musicians to the North Shore marathoners.
In addition, Skip’s stories were as entertaining and colorful as his “magical” campfires.
A faithful Christian, Marland served as a Eucharistic minister, and gave without reservation to those less fortunate a selfless man who led by example. He was also a past member of the St. Bonifacius Lions Club and the Knights of Columbus.
Marland enjoyed winter vacations with family to Mexico, where he looked forward to a cold beer, of which he always gave Shirley the first sip. He will be remembered for being a devoted family man who cherished time spent with family.
Marland was preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Molly Hildebrandt; sisters Lucille, Venita, Priscilla and Shirley; brother Val; and sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law Cecilia and Al Retzke, Leonard and Annette Feltz, Clifford Feltz.
He is survived by his loving family: wife Shirley Hildebrandt of St. Bonifacius; children Marland Hildebrandt of Blairsville, PA, Cathy Hildebrandt of St. Paul, Linda (Jerry) Pickle of Eden Prairie, Louise (Joe) Gallus of Minnetrista, Dennis (Kelly) Hildebrandt of Mound, Julie Hildebrandt (Greg Hoehn) of Independence, Randy (Tracy) Hildebrandt of Maplewood, Sue (Dean) Garoutte of Muscoda, WI, and Connie (Lee) Gorres of Dassel; 16 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Marland is further survived by two sisters, Faye (Kurt) Kohnhorst of Sonoma, CA, and Virgine (Don) Mattice of Wausau, WI; sisters-in-law Esther Hildebrandt, and Joyce Feltz; nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.
A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial took place Friday, May 20 at 11 a.m. at St. Boniface Catholic Church in St. Bonifacius, celebrated by Fr. Jim Livingston, priest and personal friend.
There was a gathering of family and friends from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the Mass at the church.
Arrangements were with the Johnson Funeral Home, Waconia; www.johnsonfh.com.