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Sep 8, 1957 - Oct 18, 2023
Saturday, October 28, 2023
A memorial service will be held at the Rocky Mtn. Alliance Church (5304 – 57th Street) on Saturday, October 28th, at 1:00 p.m.
Pine Grove Cemetery
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to ELWA (Eternal Love Winning Africa Hospital in Liberia) Hospital Benevolence Fund at: https://donations.sim.ca/projects/elwa-hospital-benevolence-fund; or Haiti Arise Children’s village at haitiarise.org. The work of both organizations were meaningful to John.
1957 to 2023
It is with heavy hearts we announce the sudden passing of John Roger Hildebrand on October 18, 2023 near Debolt, Alberta.
John was born to Susan and Peter Hildebrand in Long Point, Ontario on September 8, 1957. He grew up on the family farm across the road from Lake Erie among many cousins and friends. John found a relationship with Jesus at an early age and his faith in God was his motivating force and anchor throughout his life. One highlight of his youth was a motorbike trip with a friend—one summer they biked to the West coast and another summer to the East coast. After graduation from Valley Heights High School he completed a three-year degree at Bethany Bible College in Saskatchewan. He spent the following year in Whitehorse, Yukon working in construction and enjoying many camping and fishing adventures with friends. John worked construction in Northern BC and Alberta gradually moving south until, as he always said, “I stopped at the tree line.”
John married Cheryl Doerksen on August 22, 1981 in Gem, Alberta—a decision he always considered to be one of the best of his life. They moved to Rocky Mountain House where they established a network of good friends and lasting relationships. Through the Rocky Mtn. Alliance Church, John and a friend began a club for middle school boys that eventually turned into a youth ministry. He and Cheryl considered it a privilege to be involved with a remarkable group of kids for over 10 years. Together they shared a love for hospitality and were pleased to host many get-togethers, barbecues, games nights and overnight guests.
John and Cheryl enjoyed many opportunities to travel, highlights being a visit with Doreen’s family in Zaire and Kenya, a mission’s trip to Thailand and Vietnam and the band trip to China. John travelled with some friends to Haiti to assist, through Haiti Arise, with home building after Hurricane “Matthew”.
John and Cheryl were thrilled to welcome sons Brett (1991) and Jay (1995). They were so grateful for the wonderful dimension they added to their lives. John instilled in his boys an incredible work ethic, a desire to trust in Jesus, a willingness to help others and an appreciation for a good laugh. He demonstrated daily how to be a loving husband and father. John was immensely proud of his sons and the responsible young men, husbands and fathers they have become.
John also loved the daughters his sons gave him when they married. He considered becoming a Grandpa one of the greatest privileges of his life. John took every opportunity to spend time with his grandkids—finding the things they most enjoyed and doing it with them. As soon as they were old enough to hold a fishing rod, he started them fishing for the big ones in his pond.
John enjoyed his work in the oil and gas industry for 40 years. He developed a pressure release safety tool as a millennial project and received an award of merit for innovation in the work place in 2005 from Work Safe Alberta.
John loved the outdoors. One of the things he enjoyed about his job was the animals he would encounter in the remote areas he travelled. Sometimes we had to look hard to recognize which species the small black dot was in the pictures he sent. He was an avid fisherman and hunter—mostly because of the friends who participated with him. He loved to take people fishing on his pond and many of them, young and old, caught their first fish with his help. He was so pleased to be on several three-generation bird hunts this Fall with Brett and William. He spent a wonderful final week among friends in Debolt, renewing acquaintances, sharing stories and hunting. He was excited to harvest an elk the evening before he passed away.
John leaves a legacy of significant and influential relationships in the many involvements of his life. Work was important but people were always his priority. His optimistic outlook, generous spirit, legendary patience, warm sense of humor and kind heart left an impression wherever he went.
John had many plans and dreams for retirement. We grieve deeply the weight of this loss for us, but we find comfort in the assurance that John is with the Savior we love.
John is survived by his loving wife and partner Cheryl; son Brett (Nikki), their children William and Magnolia; son Jay (Rebecca), their children Micah, Timothy, Hannah and baby anticipated in April; his sister Ruth (Ron) Teigrob; brother Paul (Val) and sister Doreen (Gary) Toews; in-laws Ken (Sharon) Doerksen, Arno (Wanda) Doerksen, Gerry (Alison) Doerksen, Tim (Yvonne) Doerksen, dear friends Laura and Andrew Thompson, and many well-loved nieces and nephews and friends.
John was predeceased by his parents Peter and Susan, brother and sister-in-law Peter and Wilma, Cheryl’s parents, Jake and Anne Doerksen, sister-in-law Donna Doerksen and great niece Madison Rose Doerksen.
A memorial service will be held at the Rocky Mtn. Alliance Church (5304 – 57th Street) on Saturday, October 28th, at 1:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to ELWA (Eternal Love Winning Africa Hospital in Liberia) Hospital Benevolence Fund at: https://donations.sim.ca/projects/elwa-hospital-benevolence-fund; or
Haiti Arise Children’s village at haitiarise.org.
The work of both organizations were meaningful to John.
Rocky and Sylvan Lake Funeral Homes and Crematorium, your Golden Rule Funeral Homes, entrusted with the arrangements, 403 845 2626
Joe and Heather Baker:
Hello Cheryl and hello to your boys,
Really sad to hear of John's passing. We both have wonderful memories of John and yourself, your kindness, hospitality and your dedication to the church you attended and to the community you live in.
May you be blessed in the time ahead with an abundance of peace and grace. One day at a time my friend, one day at a time.
Sending you much love and big hugs from both of us.
Cheryl, Brett, Jay and families....I am deeply sorry to hear the news. You were the best next door neighbors a gal could have. I am glad that John could meet and spend time with his grandchildren.
Please know that my thoughts are with you all. Carol
Brett (and family),
I’m so sorry to hear of the passing of your father. I remember him coming on some of the band trips in school with us. My sincere sympathies.
David and Shirley Wiens:
Oh my Jay and Rebecca . Love them when you can cause you do not know when they will be gone. Our love and sincere sympathies for you. May God carry you through.
Melinda & Kerry Rozon :
Dear Cheryl, Brett, Jay and families we are very sorry to hear of John’s passing. Sending our deepest sympathies to you all at such a sad time.
Melinda (Michelle King’s Sister)
Dear Cheryl, Brett, Jay and families,
May God surround you with His love and comfort. May He guide you in the days to come. Love to you all.
Jim & Sharon Foster:
We cannot express how much you and John have meant to us over the years. We will miss John deeply. We pray for God's sincere comfort to you Cheryl, Brett and Jay and your families. We are so sad to have missed this day to say our goodbyes in person, but it will seem like a short time before we are all reunited in glory. Looking forward to another fishing or hunting trip with John then! Love you Cheryl so much.
Len & Lori Reimer:
Dear Cheryl - we were so saddened & shocked to hear about your loss. We have such fond memories of our time with you in Rocky Mountain House. We will continue to uphold you in prayer as you and your family navigate through your grief. Such a blessing to know John is with the Lord.
Eric de Larminat:
It is with great sadness that I hear of the sudden passing of a John. I had gotten to know John and Cheryl through the Alliance Church and more so after the tragic loss of my spouse. John always had availability to listen and to comfort a hurt Soul. He was so compassionate and filled with empathy. His wisdom often made a mark in the Bible study group they welcomed me to be part of. I will keep these genuine memories close to me. You'll be missed, my friend, by many.
I am certain you'll continue to accomplish your work alongside Jesus, your savior.
My sincere and deepest condolences goes to Cheryl, family and close friends, as you now have to endure the heavy weight of a sudden loss of a pilar in the family. My thoughts and prayers will be with you today.
Pat and Karo Simper:
Oh gosh Pat and I are shocked and devastated to hear this very sad news . John was just such a nice , friendly congenial fellow and we both enjoyed chatting with him. Many hugs Cheryl Brett Jay and families . Pat and Karo Simper
I still remember the first time I met John and Cheryl. The love that U2 shared was amazing. John was really dear person and he will be missed.
Cheryl, I am so very sorry for this immense loss. You and John have stayed in my heart since our time together. I was witness to the love John had for you and it stayed with me. Know you are held in my heart and prayers as you walk the grief, all while knowing that he waits for you in paradise.
Death Cheryl and family.
I'm so sorry for your loss. Although I didn't know John well when I was a guest in your home it was obvious he was one who loved the Lord and could make this Ontatio visitor feel at ease.
If there is joy to be found at this time it's in our hope of meeting John again in the presence of Jesus. Prayers for all of you.
Ernie & Marlene Doerksen:
Dear Cheryl, Brett, Jay & families
We were so shocked and saddened to hear the news of John's sudden passing. We remember clearly the night we spent with you at your other home many years ago. Our son, Greg, was with us, and he also recalls the great evening we enjoyed with you. John was a true follower of Jesus, and he leaves a great legacy to all his loved ones and friends. We are grieving with you in this huge loss of a very dear husband, father and grandfather. May you feel the Lord's loving arms around you now and in the months and years ahead.
Much love, Ernie & Marlene
Heartfelt and sincere sympathy to you, Cheryl, and all your families. I only met John once but he impressed me with his Christian attitude -- it shone in him -- and his welcoming charm. I am sad that I was not able to take up his offer of early morning trout fishing in the pond!
Thoughts and prayers with you all for the mysterious comfort of the Holy Spirit to be with you all in the grieving time ahead.
Dear Cheryl and family
My heart broke as I read about John's passing. Such a kind and loving man who walked the life of a true Christian. I admired the example he set for the rest of us and am glad that our paths crossed while he was here. May God grant you the peace and comfort that only he can provide on the loss of your husband, father and grandfather.
Harold Janzen :
Dear Cheryl and family. I was also shocked to here the sudden passing of John. We were friends '77-'78 at Bethany. I'll never forget his first tenor voice in our quartet (4 on the floor). And our Hepburn to Edmonton trip to a barbershop concert together. John was an example who loved the lord. A Friend you could look up too. He was also well liked at BBI and thats where he got the nickname "The Fonz".
Cheryl and family... may the Lord give you peace and comfort in your great loss.
Sandra Chris Moore:
It was very nice to meet you both with our visit to Canada in July
Both Chris and myself are very sorry to hear of John passing we are sending are condolences to you and the family
Sandra & Chris Moore
Faye & Gerry Shaw:
Cheryl & family: No matter your faith, this is still the most difficult journey in your life. Yes your loved one is with the Lord BUT you are left with a huge hole in your heart and your life. We are spiritual beings but also human and you grieve the rest of your earthly life without the love of your life, your family will grieve his absence big time, in family gatherings. I pray the heavy heart will pass quickly and you all will be left with a supernatural peace within, a peace that transcends all understanding. Gerry & I pray this heavy time will be short lived.
Deepest sympathies to you Cheryl and all the family. It is a mighty heartache to bear...He will be missed... So appreciated Johns work with the Youth Group at the Alliance in Rocky. I know he was a good influence on that group for years and I am sure I speak for all the parents there who so appreciated Johns labor of love among those teens.. May Gods Love and Peace carry you all...
Lorelei Berry :
John never missed an opportunity to talk farm ing with me when ever I would run into him. This news saddens me to the core. My condolences to his family and friends may you know that he was a faithful servant of god and he is resting in the loving arms of Jesus.
So sorry for your loss Cheryl and family . John was a lovely man and we remember him fondly.
Gregg and Dot.
Dear Cheryl and family
My Deepest sympathy to you and your family .John was a great guy that i came to know in my two years at Bethany Bible College May your family feel God's love and comfort this time of sorrow.
Jack & Carolyn Leslie:
Cheryl & Family, We are so sorry to hear about John. He was one of the most caring & thoughtful people we have been blessed to know. We know he is in the presence of our Saviour. Our love to all of you.
Sterling and Brenda Kolskog :
Such a sad announcement Cheryl, boys and family!! John truly was the hands and feet of Jesus to us while we lived in Rocky! His servant hood was beyond measure! Such a kind, gentle and generous spirit. A very gifted man of God.
Hold fast to the love of Jesus and your many Blessed memories with your families and friends.
Sterling &Brenda Kolskog
Deepest sympathy for your families loss.
John was a role model for me in my youth in Port Rowan.
The Lord be with your Family.
Hertha Kinash & family:
Dear Cheryl, Brett, Jay & families, our hearts are breaking for you as you face your days without this amazing husband, father and “gwampa.” Our love and prayers are with you.
Cheryl and family, very sorry to hear of Johns passing. Our deepest sympathies, may he rest in peace. Rita Wowk and family
Dear Cheryl, Brett, Jay and families, I’m shocked and so very sorry to see this. My sincere condolences to all of you. My thoughts will be with you in the times to come, Sherri Carpentier and family
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