Jerome Charles Hillebrand
CROSS PLAINS – Jerome Charles Hillebrand, age 94, died on Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012, at Agrace HospiceCare in Fitchburg. He was surrounded by his family and friends during his last days. Jerome was born on March 14, 1918, in Cross Plains, the son of John I. Hillebrand and Ida Schulenburg. He grew up on the Hillebrand farm on the edge of Cross Plains, now Bourban Road. He attended the new St. Francis School beginning in 1925, the very first year it opened. Jerome took part in the CCC program for 18 months from 1935 until 1936. He was in a camp near Fairchild. Their job was to build roads, dams and to plant trees. He was able to attend classes and received his eighth grade diploma from the Neilsville School District. On May 23, 1939, he married Cora Dresen. They spent their married life and raised their children in Cross Plains. Jerome worked at the Badger Ordinance Plant (Powder Plant) during World War II. While working shifts at the plant he took classes at MATC studying electrical work. The rest of his working life was as an electrician. Many of us will remember Jerome as “The Bird Man of Sherwood Forest”. He is known across the United States for his knowledge of birds, both exotic and common. His wife, Cora, passed away in February 2009 at Heartland Country Village in Black Earth. Jerome has also lived there since June 2011.
Jerome and Cora were blessed with six children. He is survived by, Diana (Bernard) Long of Waunakee, James (Verna) Hillebrand of Cross Plains, Judy Sveum of Madison, Kenneth (Janice) Hillebrand of Cross Plains, Randall (Annette) Hillebrand of Kiev, Ukraine; five grandchildren, Diana, James, Judy, Kenneth and Randall; 19 grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; brother, Edward (Elizabeth) of Cross Plains; sisters-in-Law, Jeanne Hillebrand and Ginny Hillebrand both of Cross Plains. He was preceded in death by his wife; his parents; and sons-in-law, Ronald Hillebrand and Kenneth Sveum.
Jerome will be missed and fondly remembered for his knowledge of the history of Cross Plains. The family would like to thank Heartland Country Village for the loving care given to Jerome and to Cora during their stay. Many thanks go to Father Thomas Kelley and to Sister John Rose for their spiritual care during their last years.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at ST. FRANCIS XAVIER CATHOLIC CHURCH, 2947 Thinnes Street, Cross Plains at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 20, 2012, with Father Thomas Kelley presiding. Burial will be at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Cemetery. Visitation will be held at the church from 9:00 a.m. until the time of the service on Monday.