Gerhard H. Hillebrand Jr.

Gerhard H. Hillebrand Jr. Gerhard H. Hillebrand Jr. passed away July 20, 2013, at home in Ridgecrest with his wife Josephine Jan Hillebrand at his side. He was 86.

Public viewing will be at H.K. Holland Memorial Chapel from 5 to 7 p.m. on Aug. 1, with a military service at Riverside National Cemetery on Aug. 2 at 10 a.m. He will rest next to Barbara, his life companion, first wife and mother of his children.

Gerhard was born in Louisville, Ky., on Feb. 23, 1927, to Gerhard H. Hillebrand Sr. and Mary Callahan Hillebrand. He and his brother John grew up in Louisville.

Gerhard enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served on U.S.S. Burleigh as a seaman first class until 1946. He met and married Barbara Lou Constantine that year. Both were in the Navy. They were married 58 years and produced four children, Linda, Gerhard III, Mary and Edgar. They were a close and loving family. Barbara passed away in 2004 and is buried in Riverside National Cemetery.

Gerhard moved his family to Ridgecrest in 1961, when he was employed as a machinist at the Naval Ordnance Test Station, China Lake. He retired from the Naval Weapons Center in 1981 as a supervisor. He and Barbara enjoyed many trips in the U.S. and Mexico and several cruises to the Hawaiian and Caribbean islands and Alaska.

A good amateur photographer, he leaves many albums of memories as his legacy. He was a self-taught computer master and enjoyed many hours each day at the keyboard.

He was a scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts of America Troop #35 and was awarded the Silver Beaver Award for his many years of service to the youth of Ridgecrest. He was also awarded the Boy Scouts of America Century Club Award from the Southern Sierra Council.

As a life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 748, Gerhard enjoyed helping with dinners and parties at the club. He was also a member of the China Lake Museum Foundation and the Samuel R. Mudd Society, Inc., as well as a past president of NARFE 748, of which he was an active member until his final illness.

Gerhard and Josephine Jan Moulton were married in 2006. She resides at home with his beloved Pomeranian, Lily. Our many thanks to Hospice for the loving care they gave him in his last illness.

Gerhard is survived by his wife, Josephine Jan Hillebrand; sons Gerhard H. Hillebrand III of Tyler, Texas, and Edgar G. Gillebrand of Ridgecrest; daughters Linda Chermside and Mary Catherine Van De Sande, both of Richmond, Va.; nine grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren and brother John Hillebrand of San Diego.

Submitted by the family of Gerhard Hillebrand

Story First Published: 2013-07-31