Jack L. Hildreth, 77, of Seymour, passed away Friday, May 26, 2017, at Lutheran Community Home, with his loving family at his side.
Jack was born Aug. 30, 1939, in Seymour, the son of the late Jesse “Bud” and Jessie C. Ruddick Hildreth. On Aug. 28, 1965, Jack married Jean Peterson in Lacrosse, Wisconsin, at Our Savior Lutheran Church.
Jack graduated from Shields High School in 1957. During his youth, he was affectionately nicknamed “Sticks” for his musical talents as a drummer, band leader and instructor in the Seymour area. He attended Butler University at the Jordan College of Music and earned a degree in music education. He also attended Indiana State University and received a Master of Fine Arts degree. He taught band for more than 15 years, with his teaching career ending at Henryville High School. He then returned to Seymour to take over Hildreth’s Liquor Mart, like his dad and his dad’s dad. He retired many years later as the owner of Hildreth’s.
His passion in life were his children and grandchildren, closely followed by his love of aviation. He met his wife in French Lick at a Civil Air Patrol (CAP) convention. He was a lifetime member of CAP, and he reached the rank of a full colonel. He also served on the CAP National Headquarters staff. As an amateur pilot, he loved to fly his Cessna all around the country. From Wisconsin to Florida, he took many family trips and excursions. He also would take friends, family and even the occasional stranger on flights, especially if they had never flown before. He was known to take people to “lunch,” surprising them when it involved a short flight to the restaurant. He was a founding member of the Freeman Field Army Air Museum and served on the museum board. He was also a member of Zion Lutheran Church, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Fraternal Order of Police, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and CAP. He volunteered for many years at the EAA Oshkosh Airventure Airshow.
Jack will be missed by his wife, Jean; three sons, Mike Hildreth, Joe (Jennifer) Hildreth and Sean (Sara) Hildreth; and seven grandchildren, Brady, Kayla, Emily, Abby, Luke, Jonas and Jude. He also leaves behind one brother, Charles W. “Chuck” (Kelly) Hildreth and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his daughter, Renee Annette Hildreth.
Family and friends may gather from 3 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Voss and Sons Funeral Service and from 10 a.m. until time of service Wednesday at Zion Lutheran Church (1501 Gaiser Dr., Seymour). The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the church with the Rev. Jeffrey Stuckwisch officiating. Burial will follow at Riverview Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to Freeman Field Army Air Museum and the Renee Hildreth Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Online condolences may be made on the funeral home’s website at vossfuneralservice.com.