John Melvin Hilgart, Jr.
April 28, 1931 – Jan. 6, 2015
John Melvin Hilgart, Jr. was born in Park Falls on April 28, 1931 to Alice G. and John M. Hilgart. After graduation from Lincoln High School in Park Falls in 1950, he enlisted in the Army and served in the Korean War. He was captured by the enemy there and spent twenty-eight months as a prisoner of war in North Korea. Upon his discharge from the Army in 1953, John moved back to Park Falls and worked as a machinist at the Flambeau Paper Company. He met the love of his life in Park Falls, and married Ilomay B. Hoffman on September 25, 1954 at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church. John and Ilomay were blessed with four sons whom they raised in Park Falls. John was a life-long member of the American Legion, the VFW, the Disabled American Veterans, and the Knights of Columbus.
John and Ilomay loved to travel, so they sold their home in Park Falls after their sons were grown and John retired from Flambeau Paper Company to make their home in a 5th wheeler RV. Traveling across the country, they settled again in Mission, Texas where it never snows and eventually built another home. There, they were members of St. Paul’s Catholic Church. Time passed and it became important to live closer to their sons, so they moved again to Leander, Texas. They became members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Lago Vista, Texas. John loved working in his yard and shop and always had a new project to invent. He lost Ilomay after a long illness on December 19, 2013.
John joined Ilomay in Heaven after a short illness on January 6, 2015. He will be interred with her this summer in Park Falls in Nola Cemetery where there will be a graveside service.
John is preceded in death by his mother and father, Alice and John Hilgart, and his sisters: Hazel Hanson, Dorothy Pritzl, Donna Lind, and Berniece Yunk. He is survived by brothers: Dennis and Charles (Chuck) Hilgart; and sisters: Annabelle (Annie) Brandt and Linda Abel; his sons, John and wife, Dora, of Point Blank, Texas, Jeffrey and his wife, Karen, of Leander, Texas, Joseph and his wife, Grace, of Montesano, Washington, and James of Leander, Texas; 10 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren, and his beloved German Shepherd, Jake.