Hilda Heidebrecht was the 4th of 10 children born to Peter and Elizabeth Heidebrecht May 4, 1928 in Linden, Alberta. She lived a happy childhood and was an excellent student. After graduating from High School in l947, the family moved from Linden to Coaldale, Alberta, where Peter Heidebrecht was employed as janitor of the M.B. Church. She attended the Coaldale Bible School, then worked as secretary and book keeper in the local Cheese Factory and attended Prairie Bible Institute for a year. In l951 she decided to pursue a teaching career, attending the University of Calgary for the next year.
She began her career in 1952 as teacher in the Sunnyside School east of Coaldale. In 1956 she transferred to Coaldale and taught in the Baker and Davidson schools until l968. She upgraded her education by attending summer sessions in Edmonton and evening classes in Lethbridge. She earned a Bachelor of Education degree and became an excellent math teacher.
In l968, Hilda decided to join Harry and Margaret Heidebrecht who were moving to Fresno, California to study at the M.B. Biblical Seminary. She enjoyed interacting with students and faculty and graduated with an M.A. in Biblical Studies in l970.
Hilda always had a heart for missions and, following graduation, accepted a call to teach in the American School in Medellin, Columbia. She taught there for 2 !/2 years and at the same time also improving her skills in speaking Spanish. While in Columbia, she became friends with a German couple, who urged her to apply for a teaching position in the Heimschule in Weierhof, Germany. Her application was accepted and for the next 3 years she taught mathematics in the German language at the Weierhof school. She said it was challenging, “I was in the midst of intellectual giants.” The staff, however, was kind and encouraging. During this time, she also traced down some of our long-lost Heidebrecht relatives, who had recently emigrated from Russia.
Hilda returned to Canada in l979. She planned a trip to Europe with her father, Peter Heidebrecht, in l980. When the time came to leave, father was too ill to travel, so she went alone. Peter Heidebrecht died while she was gone, August 26, l980. She arrived home in time for his funeral.
After returning to Canada from Germany, Hilda accepted a teaching position in Buffalo Head Prairie in Northern Alberta. She taught in a predominantly Mennonite community and
was very active in the LaCrete Christian Fellowship. These were among her most enjoyable years of teaching. She was also active in the community and developed lasting friendships with parents and students. She taught there for 11 1/2 years. She returned to Coaldale in l990, to assist Rudy and Mary Heidebrecht in caring for our mother, whose health was failing. Elizabeth Heidebrecht passed away May 31, l991 at the age of 90 years.
After Mother's death, Hilda purchased a newly constructed Cottonwood Place condo, where she lived for the next 23 years. During this time she remained active both in the church and community – singing in care homes and hospitals, teaching English as a second language, and being an amiable neighbour and friend to many. Through her many contacts, she unofficially adopted 8 grandchildren and was a frequent guest in the Wall family home, whom she had also taught ESL.
Due to declining health, she accepted Herb and Linda Heidebrecht's invitation to move to the Linden Lodge in Linden, Alberta. She moved to Linden on May 4, l916. On her 90th birthday, 2 years later, the large extended Heidebrecht family met in Linden to celebrate this important milestone. It was a festive event with many tributes from siblings, nieces and nephews and much celebrating. Hilda was a loving and generous person, helping many of us as students and in times of financial need. She did not teach in order to make a living, but taught in order to serve others. Requiring more personal care, she moved to the Westview Care Community on October 25, 2019. Herb and Linda lived nearby and were able to visit her regularly. She often expressed her gratitude for the care she received at her Westview home. Hilda passed away quietly on Wednesday, June 30, exchanging her temporary home on earth for her eternal home in heaven.
Left to mourn her passing, are her siblings Rudy Heidebrecht, Harry Heiebrecht and wife Margaret, Herb Heidebrecht and wife Linda, Betty Hall and husband Wayne, as well as her nieces, nephews and their families. She was predeceased by her parents, Peter and Elizabeth Heidebrecht, sisters Erica, Lillian and Anne, and brothers John and Victor.
“Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on...
they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”
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