Cornie Hildebrandt

Cornie Hildebrandt

1925 - 2023

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Obituary of Cornie Hildebrandt


Cornelius (Cornie) Hildebrandt age 97, of Niverville, Manitoba - formerly of Ste. Elizabeth, Manitoba - passed away peacefully on Tuesday, April 11, 2023, at the age of 97. 

He was predeceased by his wife Katherine in 2015, as well as his parents, Franz & Helena Hildebrandt, his sister and brother-in-law, Tina & Henry Klassen, and his brother, Frank.

He leaves to mourn two daughters and a son: Verna Hildebrandt; Dorothy (John) Regehr, and Ron (Sherri) Hildebrandt.

He is also survived by 6 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren:

   Lindsay (Geoffrey) Wright and their daughter, Briony

   Hanna (Cait McGinn) Hildebrandt and their children, Sage and Theia

   Jessica (Kevin) Penner and their daughters, Chloe, London, Nova and Adia

   Shannon (Elmer) Abrams and their son, Fynn

   Andrew (Jaclyn) Regehr and their sons, John, Hunter and Edward

   Katrina (David) Schmidt and their daughter, Madison

He is survived as well by his niece and nephew, Edie and Marvin Klassen, as well as some of Mom’s sisters and brothers: Anne, Mya, Ben (Pat), David (Jeannie), two sisters-in-law, Margaret and Mary, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Dad’s parents, Franz & Helena Hildebrandt, immigrated from Russia in the spring of 1925 and Dad was born a few months later on August 13, 1925. They settled in the Ste. Elizabeth area of southern Manitoba, along with other Mennonite families who had also recently immigrated. Dad was baptized upon confession of his faith into the Lichtenau Mennonite Church on June 9, 1946.  

Dad attended the one-room Jerome school until Grade 8, then left school to help his father farm the land. At age 14, in addition to helping his father on the farm, he also worked for some of the farmers in the area. For a year or two he helped load wood or beets for delivery, and manually loaded and unloaded gravel trucks. Then in 1941, when he turned 16 and could legally drive, he graduated from loading trucks to driving the gravel trucks.

Dad’s life changed forever in 1951, when Mom’s family moved into the Ste. Elizabeth area. By the next summer, they were engaged, and then were married on June 28, 1953. They were soon blessed with three children, Verna born in 1954, Dorothy in 1956, and Ron in 1957.

Mom and Dad weren’t able to afford any land of their own when they were first married so, for the next eight years, Dad continued to help work his father’s land. To earn money for his own growing family, he also continued to haul gravel - a job he did for 23 years.

Dad was always an incredibly hard worker and, finally, in 1961 they were able to buy some of their own land. They expanded their farm in 1968 when they bought his parents’ land.  

First and foremost, Dad was a farmer - but he also found time to create wonderful family memories by going fishing with us, boating on the river, honing our skills with a baseball bat and glove, and some wonderful family road trips, mostly to BC. 

Dad had loved curling as a young man and in the mid-1960’s, he and Mom joined the Farmers League, something they thoroughly enjoyed for many years.  

In 1979, they started going south for the winters. Each year they looked forward to reconnecting with the friends they made in Yuma, Arizona. They loved to bring back treasures for their grandchildren - little toys and games and, of course, lots of oranges and grapefruit.

In 1981 they rented out their land and moved to Morris. That same summer, they welcomed their first grandchild. Over the next 15 years, they were blessed with five more grandchildren and the family gatherings became increasingly noisy - but he treasured them all!.

Dad loved being behind the wheel, so with their pickup truck and slide-in camper, they made numerous trips to the Rockies, went to see the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, and drove to Alaska with Mom’s sister and brother-in-law. Later they also drove to Mexico with Mom’s brother and sister-in-law.

As they got older the road trips became fewer and they started to take advantage of the golf course in Morris. If the snow was off the course and it wasn’t raining, they were out there!  

Sadly, in December of 2006, Mom had her first stroke, which made it necessary for them to sell their house in Morris and move into the newly built assisted-living complex in Niverville. They traded their golf cart for a couple of scooters and each summer you could see them cruising around Niverville. Hespeler Park was one of Dad’s favorite stops. It has some outdoor exercise equipment and Dad spent time on each of them.


To Dad’s great sorrow, he lost his life partner of 62 years when Mom passed away on November 4, 2015. Although we tried to visit him often, he found the days lonely. In the fall of 2020 at the age of 95, he went to live with Dorothy and John. This enabled him to be surrounded by family during the Covid pandemic, a fact that we appreciated so much.

Dad loved his family fiercely. He treasured spending time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We will all miss him greatly.

Winters were always long for Dad and, this winter, that was especially true. He was longing for warm weather so he could enjoy the sunshine again on his scooter. Unfortunately, that was not to be.

On April 3, 2023, he fell and broke his hip. He underwent surgery but developed complications in the days that followed.  We are eternally grateful that we were able to spend quality time with him right to the end - and for the excellent care he received at the Grace Hospital in Winnipeg. Just before midnight on Tuesday, April 11, 2023, he passed away peacefully in his sleep.  

He has run the race, his journey here has ended, and he is rejoicing with his Lord and Saviour.

The funeral service will be held on Monday, April 17, 2023, at 2:30 p.m. at Birchwood Funeral Chapel, Steinbach, MB, with viewing prior to the service. Burial at a later date at Lichtenau Mennonite Cemetery, Road 12 East, De Salaberry, MB. 

Donations in memory of Cornie may be made to the Mennonite Central Committee, 134 Plaza Dr., Winnipeg, MB R3T 5K9.

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Funeral Service

2:30 pm
Monday, April 17, 2023
Birchwood Funeral Chapel
162 PTH 52 W
Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada
(204) 346-1030


Lichtenau Cemetery
RM of DeSalaberry
Ste. Elizabeth, Manitoba, Canada