FAIRMONT - Funeral service for John Curtis Hillestad, 75, of Fairmont, Minn., will be 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Fairmont with interment in Lakeside Cemetery in Fairmont.
Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, at Lakeview Funeral Home in Fairmont, and will continue one hour prior to the service at the church Thursday. John passed away Oct. 7, 2012, at Valley Vue Care Center in Armstrong, Iowa.
Memorials are preferred to American Heart and American Stroke Association.
John was born Nov. 28, 1936, in Owatonna, Minn., the son of Hazel (Johnson) and Maurice Hillestad. He moved to Fairmont as a young boy in 1946, when his father started Hillestad Drug Store in downtown Fairmont. He graduated from Fairmont High School in 1954 and then from the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy in 1959.
He married Donna Dietrich of Merrill, Wis., on July 18, 1959. Soon afterward, he was commissioned as a pharmacist for the U.S. Public Health Service and was stationed in Washington, D.C., from 1959 until 1961, when he moved back to Fairmont to join his dad at Hillestad Drug Store. Father and son worked together until they sold the store in 1974. John then worked as a relief pharmacist in neighboring towns until the mid-1980s and was the pharmacist at Fairmont Community Hospital until he retired in 1997.
He held an advanced amateur radio license for many years and enjoyed talking to people all over the world via his station, WB0LBB. He was a bowler, an avid golfer who scored two holes in one throughout his golfing career, and a University of Minnesota Gopher football fan. He attended nearly every home Gopher football game between 1961 and 1999, when he suffered a debilitating stroke and was unable to make the trip anymore. He was active in Exchange Club and Fair Shares, of which he was a founding member, in Fairmont. He was also active in Scandinavian Club, Community Club, amateur radio club, and the Young at Heart group at Lake Wales Lutheran Church in Lake Wales, Fla., where he and his wife spent winters after he retired. He and Donna took many trips, both before and after they retired, visiting all 50 states and many European countries. The highlight was seeing the family homestead in Hafslo, Norway, which is still owned by Hillestads today.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Hazel and Maurice Hillestad; and in-laws, Edna and Martin Dietrich.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife Donna; daughter, Dori Butler (Robert) of Coralville, Iowa; son, David Hillestad of Burnsville, Minn.; and grandsons, Benjamin Butler of Bellevue, Wash., and Andrew Butler of Coralville, Iowa.