starks logo
Margaret Hilbink

Margaret Hilbink

August 23rd, 1934 - October 25th, 2021

Margaret's Obituary

In memory of Margaret Hilbink

I, Margaret Hilbink, passed away on Monday, October 25, 2021 after an eight-year battle with Alzheimer's disease. I'd like to say goodbye to my friends and acquaintances, and especially to my husband and our families. I loved my life on earth and I encourage everyone to show your love to each other and enjoy each day that God gives you.

I would especially like to say goodbye to our close friends and their families. We spent spring break vacations, holidays, camping trips, golfing and other activities together, supporting each other in sickness and in health.

I was born to Clarence and Cloteal Hadley on August 23, 1934 at Mercy Hospital in Benton Harbor. My family moved many times within Benton Harbor, and I also lived in Watervliet. Our last move was to Golfview Road in Fairplain, which is right next to the former site of Berrien Hills Country Club. We spent time looking for golf balls and sledding down the hills, trying not to get caught.

I attended Fairplain elementary schools and then Benton Harbor High School (Go Tigers!). I then attended Western Michigan College where I studied Elementary Education, receiving my teaching certificate. To pay for my schooling I worked summers at the Michigan Bell Phone Company as a switchboard operator (yes - I said switchboard operator - which may be a foreign concept to some people).

After college I taught in Toledo, Ohio, and Pier and Eaman schools in Benton Harbor, which were north of town. I dearly loved children and teaching. Because of that love of children, I decided to be a full-time, stay-at-home mother. I also worked with Beverly (Linn) Hollowell's estate sale business after my children were grown.

In 1963, I met Dave Hilbink in the lounge at Blossom Lanes Bowling while listening to a comedy act. When I was leaving the lounge I noticed there was lots of snow outside, and I was concerned with finding my car. Along came Dave. He not only helped me find my car, but helped me brush the snow off so I could get home safely. The rest is history as we married on March 28, 1964 at the Fairplain Presbyterian Church on Napier Avenue.

My father, Clarence Hadley, was blessed with a wonderful tenor singing voice, and this is how· I learned to appreciate music. We would harmonize in the bathroom while he was shaving in the morning. His life was affected by numerous strokes, and he passed away at the age of 55. My mother was a teacher in the Fairplain school system, and passed on her love for teaching. Her maiden name was Kranich, and she was born and raised in Goshen, Indiana. I was blessed with a sister, Jane (Ron) Daisy, and a brother LeRoy, both of whom are deceased.

I am survived by my husband Dave of 57 years and my children Paul (Debra) of Denver, Colorado, Kristin (Torry) Malsch of Benton Harbor, and Jennifer (John) Lehner of St. Joseph. I have four grandchildren - Fritz and Ingrid Hilbink in Denver, Colorado, Matthew Dolphy Clark of Bridgman, and Erik Clark, who is stationed in Spokane, Washington with the U.S. Air Force.
Also survived is my brother-in-law Richard (Mary) Hilbink, sister-in-law Barbara (Edward) Schaap, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A private service will be held with no visitation due to COVID-19. I was a member of the First Congregational Church of St. Joseph. Any memorial contributions may be made to the First Congregational Church, 2001 Niles Avenue, St. Joseph. Those wishing to leave online condolences may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com. Arrangements have been entrusted to Starks & Menchinger Chapel and Cremation Services.

Service Details

View the current service details below. Sign up for email or text updates to receive notifications of any changes to service schedules or important information.

Sign up for schedule updates