Obituary of Elizabeth May Hillebrand
Elizabeth Hillebrand passed peacefully in the presence of her spouse John of 66 years. Elizabeth made a home for her family around the U.S. over John’s 22 years of U.S. Navy service, settling in the Otay Mesa area of San Diego after tours of duty in Guam, Jacksonville, Alameda, Hawaii, El Centro and San Diego.
Elizabeth was a lifelong Roman Catholic. She had a special fondness for Mary and for Saint Jude, the patron saint of lost causes. After graduating from Presentation Academy and working in for a printing company, she survived tuberculosis as a young adult. She went on to marry, have two children, and make a home in every place she and John were sent by the Navy. She served the local community as a volunteer at the El Centro, Imperial Beach, and North Island Navy Chapels, Finney School library volunteer, PTA President at Sweetwater Junior High, and library volunteer at Montgomery High. During the Vietnam war, as the wife of the leading chief, she kept the squadron wives together with coffee meetings and other events, including strawberry picking. In her community service, she demonstrated the skills of effective organizing, a skill passed on her daughter.
Elizabeth painted as a young woman, and later made ceramics, sewed and crocheted items for her family, and more. She helped her husband get his college degree. She loved being a grandmother to Daniel, Mark, and Ammie. She had a tender heart and a strong pair of hands, and she gave her family unconditional support, love, and the joy of reading. She exemplified dedication to family, hard work, faith and community service.
Elizabeth is survived by her husband John, her sister Shirley, her adult children Michael and Gail, her grandchildren Daniel and Mark, and her nieces Sarah and Amy and their families. She was predeceased by her loving granddaughter Ammie. She is remembered fondly by her children’s spouses Jaquine and Hugh, her grandchildren’s spouses Jenny and Nina, and her sister’s husband Joe.