George H. Hilts II, MD, 87, died Tuesday, Aug. 28, at Altru Medical Center in Grand Forks. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, Sept. 3, 2012, at 11 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Cando, with Father Joseph D'Aco, celebrant. Burial will be in Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery, Cando.
Visitation will be at the Dunnigan-Dix Funeral Home, Cando, today, Sept. 2, from 5 to 7 p.m., with a rosary at 7 p.m. Visitation on Monday will be for one hour prior to the service at the church. Military honors will be provided by the Hal Parker Post # 79 Cando American Legion and North Dakota Military Funeral Honors.
Dr. George Hilts II was born Jan. 4, 1925, in Bowbells, to Dr. George H. and Alma L. (Dorsey) Hilts. He was the youngest of four boys. He graduated from Bowbells High School, served in the Navy, and attended school at the University of North Dakota for his undergraduate degree, attended medical school at the University of Iowa, and completed his residency training at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Lafayette, Ind.
He married Flora E. Koch on Nov. 17, 1946, and together they raised 15 children: three sons, Dr. George "Rocky" (Jean), of Bismarck; Hal of Bend, Ore.; John "Bill" (Holly), of Bellingham, Wash.; 12 daughters, Sheila (Keith) Tang, of Kronenwetter, Wis.; Brandy (Randall) Kumagai, of Peoria, Ariz.; Leigh Porter, of Atascadero, Calif.; Cassie (Terry DeMars) of Grand Forks; Lisa Hilts, of St. Paul, Minn.; Nan Hilts, of Grand Forks, Tina Hilts, of Dania Beach, Fla.; Mauri (James Olsen) of Cando; Toni Hilts, of Denver, Colo.; Georgia (Scott) Knoke, of Devils Lake; Marci Hilts, of Grand Forks, and Monica (Dave) Ferrera, of Cota DeCasa, Calif.
He was an amateur radio operator for 73 years with his initial call sign of WODAO and then later he was known by WOJW. While in the Navy he boxed in fleet competitions and prior to that boxed in Golden Gloves amateur boxing. An avid golfer, he played regularly at the Cando Golf Course, and for the past few years volunteered his time helping to maintain the golf course and the clubhouse. Travel was another passion of his, which he generously shared with his family. He hosted many family trips, making sure to include all his children and grandchildren. Planning these trips and seeing them to fruition was one of his greatest joys.
He was a family practice medical doctor at the Palmer Clinic for 37 years before his retirement in 1991. He was active in the North Dakota Medical Association, serving as president, chairman of the local district and was on the legislative committee. He also served on the North Daakota Blue Cross/Blue Shield Advisory Board. He was an avid supporter of the Cando Cubs athletic teams and received an honorary letterman jacket from them. He had a dry sense of humor and enjoyed telling jokes to brighten the day for those around him. His sense of humor will be missed. He was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Cando.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Flora, who passed on Oct. 29, 1992; four grandsons, Kevin Tang, Bryan McCormick, Steven Kumagai and Peder Hilts; and daughter-in-law, Donna Kay Hilts (Braun); and brothers, Wilfred, Frederick and William.
He is survived by: 15 children; 30 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. An online guestbook is available at (www.dunnigandix.com).
Dunnigan-Dix Funeral Home, of Cando, is in charge of arrangements.