Carl Jean Hilgenberg

POYNETTE – Carl Jean Hilgenberg entered his eternal journey in his own bed at the family home in Poynette, WI, on March 27, 2018, when he passed away after a long illness at the age of 94 years.

Carl was born January 17, 1924, in Kaukauna, WI, the first child of Charles William and Jennette (McIntyre) Hilgenberg. He lived in Kaukauna until he attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison, after graduating from high school. In February 1943, he was compelled to join the Army Air Force and served for three years on many bases throughout the states, gaining college credits at several universities along the way. He was honorably discharged February 1946. After his discharge, he completed his Bachelor of Science degree with honors in Agriculture at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

On January 20, 1945, he married Marian “Dood” Seymour in Sioux Falls, SD, and together they were blessed with seven children: Carla Peterson, Sue (Larry) Aagaard, Kay DeWaide, Jean Hilgenberg, Sara Hilgenberg (deceased), Chuck (Cindra) Hilgenberg, and Amy (Jeffrey) Grinde. They raised their family and lived for many years in Poynette. Carl served on the Poynette Village Board in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. He worked as a manager in a dairy plant, making ice cream mix until that shop closed in the late sixties. He continued working as a manager with canning factories in Poynette, Waunakee and Sun Prairie. Dood, his wife of 35 years, passed away from heart failure at the age of 55 years in March of 1981.

Carl was fortunate to find love and companionship for the second time and on September 26, 1981, he married Virginia “Ginna” Karls in Arlington, WI. Ginna’s five children were welcomed into his family. Michael (Krysann) Karls, Daniel (Patty) Karls, Timothy (Brenda) Karls, Beverly (Tom) Blankenship, and Christopher (Cyndy) Karls. Carl and Ginna made their family home in Poynette and celebrated 36 years of marriage last year.

Carl was preceded in death by his parents, Charles William and Jennette Hilgenberg, his wife, Dood Hilgenberg; his daughter, Sara Hilgenberg and Ginna’s infant daughter, Judy; his infant granddaughter, Kerry Frye; his sister, Ann Heindel; brother-in-laws, Harold Bohne and Dick Cooley; and sister-in-law, Patricia Cooley.

Carl is survived by his wife, Ginna; his sisters, Claire Schneider, Kaukauna; Sally Tarala, Neenah; his brother-in-law, Duane Heindel, Kaukauna, Buck (Mary Anne) Bohne; his sister-in-law, Jackie Bohne; his children, Carla Peterson, Verona; Sue Aagaard, Tucson, AZ; Kay DeWaide, Poynette; Jean Hilgenberg, Poynette; Chuck Hilgenberg, DeForest; and Amy Grinde, Ripon; his step-children, Michael Karls, Marshall; Daniel Karls, Marshall; Timothy Karls, Cottage Grove; Beverly Blankenship, Madison; and Christopher Karls, Waterloo; nieces, nephews, many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, other relatives and many friends.

Carl will be sadly missed by all who love him. He was a kind, quiet man, except for the occasional outburst. He had a fine sense of humor and he liked to be working on something constantly. He loved his garden, growing a huge bounty of vegetables each summer until his 92nd year. He loved his white pigeons and plethora of chickens.

Each fall, along with Ginna, he gathered hickory nuts and spent the winter cracking them and harvesting the nut meats. He was an avid reader up until a few years ago and still subscribed to three newspapers, which he read daily. Carl volunteered with Ginna at the Poynette Food Pantry; he worked at the polls; he enjoyed watching the wildlife in his large yard: birds of all kinds, squirrels, rabbits, deer meandering past and the occasional raccoon and opossum.

Carl was an excellent cook, loved good food and especially daughter Jean’s lemon meringue pie. He liked to have coffee and reminisce with old stories from when he was a child catching stray pigeons under bridge rafters in Kaukauna, going to dances in Wrightstown and ushering at the movie theater for twenty-five cents a week when he was in school.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m., on Monday, April 2, 2018, at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Poynette, WI, with Fr. Balaraju Eturi and Fr. Ray Dischler concelebrating. Inurnment will be private. Visitation will be held at the church from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service. Military honors will be provided by the Poynette Legion Honor Guard following the service.

Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home in Poynette is assisting the family.  

For information please call 608 742-2126 (Portage, WI) or 608 635-2763 (Poynette, WI)