Obit: Hillert, Richard (1923 - 2010)
Contact: Dolores Mohr Kenyon
Surnames: Hillert, Trimberger, Bonnin,
----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI.) March 3, 2010
Hillert, Richard (14 March 1923 - 18
Richard Hillert, 86, noted composer of
church music and former resident of Granton, died at his home in
Melrose Park, IL, Feb. 18, 2010.
Funeral services were held Monday, March
1, 2010 at 7 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest,
Hillert was born in Granton, March 14,
1923. He attended parochial and public schools and worked on
the family farm near Granton until age 27. His parents were
Richard and Amelia (Trimberger) Hillert.
In 1947, Hillert enrolled at Concordia
Teachers College in River Forest (now Concordia University
Chicago), where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in
Education. He served as a teacher and music director for
parishes in St. Louis, MO, Wausau, WI, Chicago, IL, and
Hillert received a Master of Music (1955)
and a Doctor of Music (1968) in composition from Northwestern
University in Evanston, IL. He also studied composition with
Italian composer, Goffredo Petrassi, at Aaron Copland’s
Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood, MA.
Hillert’s career as a teacher at
Concordia spanned four decades from 1959 to 1993. During this
time, he taught classes in music theory and composition, music
literature, 20th century music, orchestration, keyboard
instruction, comparative arts and liturgical worship.
Richard met Gloria Bonnin in 1959, when
both became professors at Concordia. They were married Aug. 20,
1960. They lived in Melrose Park, IL, and have three
children: Kathryn (Brewer) of Oak Park, IL, Virginia Hillert of
River Grove, IL, and Jonathan Hillert of Houston, TX. They
have five grandchildren.
Richard and Gloria traveled widely,
including cruises and vacations to all seven continents. As Richard
traveled the world, so has his music. People throughout the
world have been blessed by his quiet witness and his music, which
reaches many more people than he ever expected. His influence
continues through the multitudes of students, musicians and
worshiping Christians with whom he shared his gifts.
An entire generation of worshiping
Christians has expressed its faith and sung its praise through the
music of Hillert. His gift of singable music enables
worshippers to find their voice so they, singing with all the
people of God, may ‘join in the hymn of all
Memorials may be given to the Richard Hillert Award in Composition Fund, Concordia University Chicago, 7400 Augusta Street, River Forest, IL 60305 or the Richard Hillert Memorial for the Grace Lutheran Church & School Music Endowment Fund. Grace Lutheran Church & School, 7300 Division Street, River Forest, IL 60305
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