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Ruth Christine Hilderman (Cherland)

September 22, 1951 - December 6, 2022


In the early hours of Tuesday December 6, 2022 Ruth Christine Hilderman quietly passed to be with her Lord and Saviour. Ruth, aged 71, had fought bravely for the last two years but lost this second battle with Cancer. Ruth was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, teacher and child of God.

An avid family historian, Ruth often told stories of the various family curiosities in her china cabinet. She contributed to her own family history by instilling traditions and recipes that will forever connect her to the family that survives her. Every family wedding was supplied a Kransekake lovingly made and decorated by Ruth. As the family grew and dietary needs changed she would provide Kransekake to meet all the needs of her family: nut free or gluten free, no culinary challenge was too big!

Many people benefited from Ruth’s hospitality and her table was always open. It wasn’t unusual to have a motley crew of people around the table to share in a meal and fellowship. The table was always lovingly decorated with seasonal linens and well curated meals. Even on her final day in hospital Ruth wanted to know if her daughter had eaten and knew where there was a fridge she could use. That was Ruth. Always wanted to make sure others were welcome and felt comfortable.

Traditions were important to Ruth. From the seasonal family fudge and plethora of snowmen candles at Christmas time or the Easter egg hunt in the Spring, Ruth marked every occasion with a joyful celebration: watermelon decorations to mark the joy of summer weather and gingerbread man decorations in the Christmas season.

The joy of teaching greatly impacted Ruth’s life. Upon receiving her first teaching contract there was a celebration and a picture. Ruth worked tirelessly to provide good lessons for her students and she was proud to contribute as a teacher. Much of her teaching career she spent as a Home Economics Teacher at Rick Hansen Secondary School. She was a teacher when that school opened and was one of the last remaining original staff members there when she retired. She touched many lives there as a teacher and colleague.

As both a pastor’s child and later a pastor’s wife, the Church was central in Ruth’s life. She volunteered in many capacities and supported many groups like the LWML, the Lutheran Pastor’s wives association as well as various quilting groups where she created quilts that were given away as charity.

There are many things her family will miss about Ruth–her kindness and generosity, her stalwart dependability, her dedication to all things family. There are also many things we will giggle about that will help ease our grief: the way she knew how many left turns were in every route home, or how many stop lights on each route, the way she made sure everything was fair: each grandchild getting the exact same amount of chocolate chips. Ruth’s sense of humor even on her last most serious of days was visible as she joked there was going to be an extra gift at the Christmas gift exchange now that she wouldn’t be there. Ruth will be very missed by all her family and friends. We are so blessed to have been able to spend this time with you and we look forward to meeting again in our Heavenly Kingdom.


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From: Wiebe and Jeske Funeral Home

Wiebe and Jeske Funeral Home Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Diane Hoffstedt
Relation: First cousin

Cousin Renee and I decided in 2018 that we’d like to visit our five Canadian cousins. In typical Ruth-fashion, she said, “I’ll drive you!” so Renee and I traveled from Colorado and Minnesota via Seattle to Canada. Ruth was our enthusiastic, knowledgeable tour guide from Surrey, British Columbia to Saskatchewan — and back. Ruth organized our overnight stops enroute and provided area history as we drove. We made special stops at Lake Louise, Banff, Calgary and with Ruth’s siblings in Saskatoon, Yorkton and Regina. What a wonderful adventure traveling together on a 14-day road trip! It was 2293 miles of FUN, praising God for family and the beautiful scenery. Thanks, Ruth…we love you.

From: Sharon Relkey
Relation: friend, colleague, family

My warmest thoughts to Ruths family. I will always remember Ruth. The first day I met Ruth at the Teacher Ed program, at UBC I said – I think we might be related, I am related to Hildermans. Ruth replied that they didnt have any relatives in BC. Later when I was looking at an Esslinger Family book, I saw a photo of Ruth, David, Davids parents and
the children. I told Ruth that we were related. And from then on- I was family. Ruth was a good friend and fellow home economist, and fellow teacher. She was always happy to chat. Although I have not seen much of Ruth in the last few years, we did chat a few times. I am grateful for our friendship, and being welcomed into her family. I will always think of Ruth warmly.
My condolences to David, Mat., Nathan, Hannah and their families. I will be watching the live stream.

From: Mary Koenig
Relation: Friend

Our condolence to the family.Ruth was an amazing person, teacher,mentor she will be dearly missed.

From: Margrit Bowler
Relation: Friend from St Luke

My condolences to Pastor Dave and her loved ones. It was a joy to know her, even though for such a short time at St Luke.

From: Joel Cherland
Relation: Nephew

I wanted to let everyone know that I was her favourite. Now before your immediate reaction goes too far, let me qualify that notion by adding it had nothing to do with me and everything to do with who I understand my Aunt Ruth to be. I mean, it’s a sad reality that I can probably count the number of times in my life where I was in the same space as my Aunt Ruth and I don’t hesitate to call her closest and dearest family. But with that understanding, how can I feel like a favourite person to her? As I said, let me qualify. Whenever I saw her, since i was a gangly little kid, she would tell me to ‘get over here’ and give her a hug and a kiss on the cheek immediately. She’d then look at me with eyes that said, “I know you’re up to something… and I can’t wait to be laughing about it soon.” She made me feel special, important, valued, appreciated, and… her favourite. From ensuring I got my butt over to greet her to her ensuring my gluten free needs were met in any baking done over the years of family gatherings. That was Ruth’s way, wasn’t it. We were all her favourites: everyone she knew. We were all her favourite friends, colleagues, students, cousins, nieces and nephews, kids, grandkids, sisters and brothers, and loving husband. So where I’m going with all of this is here: that when I say, “I was her favourite”… i know you all know exactly how I feel. Thanks for making me feel like your favourite little nephew. Thanks for making us all your favourites, Auntie. I love you too.

From: Ruth & Paul Eifert
Relation: Friends

Dear Dave & family, We just learned of Ruth’s death today and want to extend our sympathy to you. Though we haven’t seen Ruth, or you, Dave in years, we have many happy memories of shared times when we both lived in Castle Downs in Edmonton. Ruth especially remembers sharing recipes and love of cooking and entertaining with your Ruth. May you all find comfort and strength in God’s presence as you feel the loss of Ruth. And may you find joy in knowing that your Ruth is now experiencing the fullness of joy in the presence of God

Service Schedule

  Celebration of Life

Date & Time:
December 15, 2022
Beginning at 2:00pm

Trinity Lutheran Church
3845 Trinity Lutheran Church
Abbotsford, BC Canada

This service will be livestreamed at:

Wiebe & Jeske

3845 Trinity Lutheran Church
Abbotsford, BC Canada

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The family has not designated a preferred charity at this time.

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