Shirley A. Hilbert-Hansen

Shirley A. Hilbert-Hansen, age 86, of Willmar and formerly of Redwood Falls, passed away on Sunday, June 30, 2024, at her daughter’s home in Minnetonka, MN. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 6, 2024, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Redwood Falls with burial to follow in the Redwood Falls Cemetery in Redwood Falls. Visitation will be held one hour prior to her service, from 1 p.m. until 2 p.m. also at the church.

Arrangements are with Nelson-Hillestad Funeral and Cremation Service of Redwood Falls and Morgan. E-mail condolences may be sent via<>

Shirley was born on Halloween, October 31, 1937, in her Grandmother Rosa Hilbert’s farmhouse 1 mile SE of Redwood Falls.  She was Given to God and Baptized on February 27, 1938, in the First Presbyterian Church in Redwood Falls by Rev J L Coates, Minister. She was confirmed into faith as a member in the First Presbyterian Church April 10, 1949, by Rev. Henry Chase, Pastor. She also was confirmed as a member of Bethany Lutheran Church on September 4, 1960, Gilfillan near Morgan, MN by Rev. Wesley M. Anderson when she married. She also became a confirmed member of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Redwood Falls on October 31, 2010, by Pastor Rollen Halvorson and Pastor Scott Grorud.

Shirley lived with her parents, Harold and Delorias Hilbert, and her brother Daryl, and sisters, Joyce and Donna Mae, the beginning of her life on farms southeast of Redwood Falls. She was a strong, hardworking daughter, helping her father in the fields, feeding chickens, feeding her prize hogs she raised in 12 years in 4-H. She enjoyed shampooing and training her hogs for pets and prizes in Redwood County and MN State Fair exhibits. She also drove the tractor for her father in the fields, raking hay, straw, baling hay, and spraying beans. She also drove tractors and trailers, especially in the 4-H Queen of the Furrow contests, which she won for three years in a row. She then participated in the Regional and State Queen of the Furrow Contests. Her mother trained her well as a cook and baker, and #1 house cleaner, organizer and ironing clothes.  Gramma Rosa taught her to sew prize winning clothes she took to the Redwood County and MN State Fair.

Shirley loved life despite difficult obstacles but conquered them all with her infectious smile and jubilant laugh that will be etched in our hearts forever. She loved her family unconditionally. The love she showered her mother, father, grandparents, husband, grandchildren, step-grandchildren, brother, sisters and friends was without limits. She had many friends from near and far plus all her Facebook friends she contacted that were even previous students, relatives she hadn’t seen in many years…

Shirley attended all 12 years of school in Redwood Falls and graduated from Redwood Falls High School in 1955. Shirley’s love for children became evident when she taught Sunday School in the Presbyterian Church. Also, her special love for her little sister contributed to a teaching career when she taught piano lessons to Donna Mae during weekends when attending Mankato State Teachers College. She also had a first-grade teacher Mildred Wilson Kennedy she adored and influenced her in her teaching career. She graduated from Mankato State Teachers College in 1958 with a major in elementary education. Her 4-H Hog projects paid for her college degree. On March 22, 1959, Shirley married her 4-year roller skating partner, Allan Hansen, at the First Presbyterian Church in Redwood Falls. They were united in marriage for 35 years and gave birth to two lovely children, Todd Allan and Trisha Ann Hansen. Shirley worked very diligently during her marriage giving loving care foremost to her two children and husband, giving professional skills to teaching school and Good Samaritan, laboring in the fields doing plowing, disking, dragging, operating tractors and corn picker, walking and spraying beanfields; sorting, feeding and loading hogs, sorting, feeding cattle and chickens and numerous jobs on the farm while married. She was known as a “Superwoman” by her doctor.

Shirley began her 1958-59 teaching career in second grade at Hector Public School. She adored the children she had in her classes. She still had their friendships and acquaintances in future years. Shirley was a very kind and patient teacher, a firm disciplinarian who strived to make the students the best that they could be. She also taught her own children and grandchildren the same motto. Loving children of all ages, she taught all the grades, Kindergarten-Grade 8 in her 45 years as a teacher. Through the years she continued her teaching career in Hector, Morgan Public and St. Michaels, Sunnyside Elementary, Redwood Falls, and Clements Public School.     She organized, developed, and taught the first Spring Primary Kindergarten Class in Clements for five years where she was honored to teach her own son, Todd Hansen. Later after retiring from teaching, she continued to substitute teacher.

Shirley had many skills and talents. She devoted herself to caregiving for elderly people, especially her mother. Her concern and love for others was again her higher calling. She then became employed by Good Samaritan in Redwood Falls where she worked 15 years as Therapeutic Recreation Director, Volunteer and Spiritual Care Coordinators, plus Certified Nursing Assistant. She played the organ and sang for Devotions regularly, danced with residents during special events, was advisor for Sunwood Auxiliary, directed Christmas Programs, Oktoberfest Polka Parties and Dinners for relatives and friends, Craft Fairs, New Years Eve, St Patrick’s Day, Valentines Day Parties. She had patience, kindness and a loving heart, making everyone happy.

Our lives have been enriched by having Shirley with us all these years and will miss her endless compassion, humor, thoughtfulness, love, respect, and kindness to others. She always was eternally grateful for support from her loving God, her family, many good friends and pastors. Among those she devoted her life and love to be her mother and father, and especially her grandmothers, her children and grandchildren and great grandchild. She had absolute love for her children, Todd and Trisha, grandchildren, Tessa, Hannah, Chloe, and Cayden plus her great grandchild, Emmett. She always encouraged and supported them in doing the very best they could do in maintaining their grades, A and B Honor Rolls, and degrees in college, and sporting events. She devoted herself to them by teaching them to read, playing school games, playing golf, spectating wrestling, baseball, tennis, basketball, and football. She took Granddaughter, Tessa on a Jamaican trip plus giving Hannah, Chloe and Cayden, their special gift for their graduations. They all spent numerous days together sharing their love for each other.

Shirley was an animal lover in her lifetime, especially her poodles, Lecy, Nibs, Pierre and Brownie who went before her to doggie heaven. She finally resorted to doggie sitting, Petunia Rose and Buddy for her children. She enjoyed fishing and deer hunting as well. Catching walleyes, crappies, and bagged three does she was proud of.

Among her special activities she loved was dancing polkas, waltzes, schottisches, country, and new time music at the Willmar Senior Community Center and other ballrooms. She was a member of the P.O.L.K. of A. Polka Lovers Klub of America. When not dancing she liked playing golf with her grandson, Cayden, walking daily, knitting Afghans for grandkids, sewing, baking, reading, playing piano, scrapbooking, flower gardens, going out with friends, traveling with daughter, Trisha. They traveled for 15 years to various countries and states. Among their travels were Hawaii, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Dominion Republic, St. Croix, Las Vegas, NV, California, New York and New England States. Shirley also cruised to Alaska and the West Caribbean with her mother, sister and brother and toured Europe in 2009.  She continues to travel mainly to see her sister in California and brother in Missouri.

Shirley was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, Bethany Lutheran Church, and Gloria Dei Lutheran Church.  She served as Secretary to Gloria Dei Church Council, Lector, Choir, Sunday School Teacher at Presbyterian and Gloria Dei,  Sunday School and Bible School Superintendent and Teacher many years at Bethany, Secretary of ALCW at Bethany, Member of Mn Federated Teachers, Veritas Women’s Club, Redwood Falls, Clements Federated Women’s Club, Retired Education Teachers Association, Cheerleading and Dance line Advisor in Morgan many years,” Grandma Shirley” Volunteer at Kennedy Elementary School, Willmar for Chloe’s and Cayden’s classes for 6 years.

Shirley is survived by her two children, Todd Allan Hansen, daughter in law {Lori} from Willmar and Trisha Ann Severson, son in law {Chad} from Minnetonka and Grandchildren, Tessa Engler {Nick} from Becker, Mn Hannah Hansen {Jordan} from Fargo, ND. Chloe Hansen Moorhead, Mn and Cayden Hansen, St. Cloud, Mn. Step grandchildren, Ethan Severson, Janaya Severson, Faribault, Jo Severson, Jordan, Nicolas Severson, Indiana, Genna Severson, Northfield, Derrek Garfield, St. Paul, Aaron Goff, Faribault. Great Grandsons, Emmett Engler, Isaiah Shellum, Great granddaughter Sharlotte, God- children, Sarah Seifert, Morgan, Nanci Hilbert Jacobs, NJ, Keith Schultz Co.  Also, a very special friend, Linda Birkemeyer, Las Vegas, Nv.  One special[deceased} brother, Daryl Dean Hilbert, St. Louis, Mo, sisters Joyce Delorias Larson, Blaine, Mn, Donna Mae Roberts, Valley Center, Ca, four nieces, Kimberly {Josh} Hilbert, Revie, Buchheidt, Traci Auger {Russ} Tara, {Dan} O’Brian Tina, {Eric} Bro; three nephews Michael, {Laura} Roberts, Troy {Dawn} Roberts, Bret, {Megan} Hilbert and many cousins and friends. Also, Shirley’s deceased parents, Harold and Delorias Hilbert and stepfather, Milton Brandt, her brother, Daryl Dean Hilbert, brother-in-law Daniel Larson, Grandparents, Christ and Rosa Hilbert, William and Irene Knigge, her children’s grandparents, Percy and Emily Hansen
May God Bless Shirley’s Memory