Willie Hildebrand passed away on March 3, 2023 in Sonora, California. He was born in Turlock, California to Lawrence and Ruby (McLaughlin) Hildebrand on February 16, 1942. Willie was raised on a farm in Delhi and graduated from Livingston High School in 1961. During high school he worked at a service station where he met the love of his life. He later married Lucille Jones on March 16, 1963 at Evangelical Church in Turlock, CA. After their union they welcomed their daughter Connie and five years later their son Michael.
Willie was ambitious and lived his life dedicated to helping others. He owned and operated Hildebrand’s Auto Repair in Turlock from 1976 – 2009. Although he enjoyed repairing automobiles, his true passion was volunteering for the Turlock Fire Department. Willie joined the Volunteer Reserves in 1966. For the next 42 years he served his community as a firefighter/first responder. Willie could often be found around the fire station having his morning coffee, even after he retired as a Reserve Captain in 2009. He enjoyed dressing up as Santa Claus for the local Christmas parades, passing out candy canes from atop a fire engine. Willie was loved by all and he never met a stranger. He would often be seen laughing and conversing with folks, even if they had only met once.
Willie enjoyed many hobbies. He was an avid league bowler for 20 years, from the 1970’s through the 1990’s. He was an active member of his local Ducks Unlimited chapter. He enjoyed hunting and fishing and collected equal amounts of fishing poles and D.U. steins.
Willie’s generosity and commitment was prioritized with his family. He leaves behind his wife Lucy Hildebrand; daughter Connie Hildebrand; son Michael Hildebrand and daughter-in-law, Shannon; six grandchildren: Craig Perez, Cassandra Santos and Grandson-in-law Jacob, Colton Perez and Granddaughter-in-law, Alison, Aubrey Hagstrom and Grandson-in-law, Tanner, Cooper Hildebrand and Molly Hildebrand. He is also survived by five great grandchildren: Krissy, Kayden, Maverick, Walker and Arthur; and his sister Eula Tootie Craig. He is preceded in death by three sisters, three brothers and both of his parents.
A memorial service will be held at 1:00pm on Wednesday, April 5, 2023 at Allen Mortuary, 247 N. Broadway, Turlock, CA.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions can be made to: https://turlock-firefighters-local-number-2434-random-acts-of-kindness.square.site/s/shop