Virginia (Arduser) Hilkemann was born on Jan. 25, 1925, to George and Fern Arduser in Belden, Neb. She grew up on a farm near Coleridge with siblings Don, Doris and Mary Lou. She loved to play piano and sing with her sister Mary Lou.
In 1939, their father was killed when a tree fell on him. After Virginia graduated from Belden High School, she attended Wayne State College long enough to get a teaching degree.
She taught country schools in the area until she met Henry Hilkemann after he was discharged from the Army in 1945. On Feb. 2, 1947, the snow was so deep that Virginia’s brother had to use a horse and bobsled to get her to the Methodist Church where Henry and Virginia were married. They went to California for their honeymoon with a ‘39 Chevy, wondering if it would make it there and back to their farm near Randolph, Neb. Three children were born to Henry and Virginia: Arlen, Carolyn and Marilyn. Life on the farm was busy, raising corn and cutting hay to feed to their cattle. In the ‘60s, they had over a thousand laying hens, so they sold a lot of eggs until it became unprofitable!
Virginia enjoyed gardening, canning, cooking and cleaning. She played piano for the Methodist Church children’s choir and taught Sunday School there, as well as at the Community Bible Church in Norfolk after they began attending there. Often, she and the girls would gather around the piano to sing while she played the piano. She loved the Lord and led all of her children to trust in Jesus as their Savior.
After attending college, Arlen married Marilyn Heidner and they moved to Montana as missionaries with American Sunday School Union (Later known as American Missionary Fellowship & InFaith). Carolyn married Dan Chamberlain, who worked for General Motors until he died. She married Allen Giddings and live in Oxford, Mich. Marilyn married John Brighton, and they lived many places as an Air Force family, but now reside at Spotsylvania, Va. Henry and Virginia were blessed with 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
In 1986, they sold the farm equipment, leased out the farm and moved to Wausa, Neb., where they attended the Evangelical Covenant Church. Henry passed away in 2000, and Virginia later moved to Montana, living in an apartment at Faith Home before moving to the fullcare section of Faith Home. She often played hymns on the piano there and enjoyed the activities. She was very thankful for the excellent care given to her. Virginia passed away June 22, 2022, at Faith Home.
She was preceded in death by her parents; siblings; her son, Arlen; and granddaughter, Joy Brighton.
On July 1, a viewing will be held at Brockhaus Funeral Home in Wausa, Neb., at 2 p.m. A graveside service will be held at Woodlawn Cemetery, followed by a light lunch at the Evangelical Covenant Church.