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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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December 3, 2022

9/23/2022 5:29:00 AM
Gary Thomas Hildebrand

Gary Thomas Hildebrand of Edina, Minn. passed away unexpectedly Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. He was 74.

Gary was born Feb. 12, 1948, in Milwaukee, to the late Thomas and Helen (Swenson) Hildebrand. He grew up in Rhinelander, and graduated from Rhinelander High School in 1966. He excelled in high school sports and was active in many other school organizations and activities. He earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1971. After graduating, he entered the Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Ga., where he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He served in the Army until 1974. Gary later earned a law degree from Hamline University.

In the mid-1970s, Gary moved to the Twin Cities where he met the love of his life, Debbi Miller. Gary and Debbi were married in Fort Wayne, Ind., on Sept. 15, 1979. They lived in Edina where they raised their sons, Greg and Brad. Gary was an attorney by training but spent most of his career as a successful entrepreneur. He founded and participated in many business ventures. Above all, he was a loving husband and father. He enjoyed following and supporting his sons' activities and coached his sons and many of their friends in numerous youth sports. Gary had a warm and engaging personality and had a knack for making people feel good. He enjoyed golfing and participating in milestone events of his extended family.

Gary dealt with a major setback in his life when Debbi passed away in October 2006 after an extended battle with multiple myeloma.

Gary is survived by his two sons and daughters-in-law: Greg and Maggie of Edina and Brad and Lauren of Chicago; and three grandchildren, Max, Hadley, and Chase of Edina. He also is survived by two brothers, Kurt Hildebrand of Rhinelander, and Scott Hildebrand of Fitchburg, and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his loving wife Debbi and his parents.

Visitation will be Monday, Sept. 26 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. at St. Patrick's Catholic Church of Edina, followed by a funeral service at 10:30 a.m. Family and friends also are welcome to gather for a luncheon at Braemar Golf Course in Edina from noon to 3 p.m. Monday.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Gary's name to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation ( or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation ( are appreciated.

Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, September 23, 2022
Article comment by: don combs

Gary was a classmate and well liked by others. My condolences to his family.

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