Cover photo for Robert J. Hiltner's Obituary
Robert J. Hiltner Profile Photo
1949 Bob 2023

Robert J. Hiltner

December 2, 1949 — September 30, 2023

Robert “Bob” Joseph Hiltner passed away peacefully on September 30, 2023 after a long, courageous battle with advanced Parkinson’s disease. 

Bob was born December 2, 1949 in Melrose, Minnesota to Lawrence P. and Rose Marie (Moening) Hiltner. He grew up in Freeport, Minnesota and graduated from Melrose High School in 1967, where he fondly remembered playing and winning the baseball consolation championship in the Minnesota State High School Tournament.  After high school, Bob attended St. Cloud State University and the University of Minnesota. 

He spent most of his career in the hospitality and sales industry in the Twin Cities before retiring to Foxboro, Wisconsin and later, Lino Lakes, Minnesota.  Bob was an avid outdoorsman and expert waterfowler.  He spent countless hours setting duck decoys each fall and sitting in a blind with his flat-coat retrievers, pheasant hunting, deer hunting, camping, and fishing – all with family and good friends.  Bob also enjoyed golfing, watching and attending sporting events, and was a dedicated Gophers, Twins, and Vikings fan.  His favorite place was the Gunflint Trail in Minnesota’s Northwoods for annual Thanksgiving dinners with his family and friends and where he spent many years walleye fishing on Saganaga and Seagull lakes, including with his lifelong best friend, Ron Berg, with whom he also shared a passion for gourmet cooking and duck hunting. He later enjoyed spending Christmas holidays along the North Shore of Lake Superior with his children and grandchildren. Bob genuinely enjoyed socializing with family and friends over a good meal, fine glass of wine, and occasional cigar.  He will be remembered for his wonderful sense of humor, enjoyable conversation, and being a good friend to all.

Bob is survived by his three children; daughter, Andrea (Manuel) Garcia of Valencia, Spain; twin sons, Michael (Kari) Hiltner of Waconia, and Reed (Kirsti) Hiltner of Centerville; his children’s mother and his former wife, Cheryl (Salk) Ellingson of St. Cloud; grandchildren, Marcos, Emma, Owen, Emmett, Isla, Henrik, and Kaija. Brothers and sisters include John Hiltner of Hickory Hills, Illinois; Judy (Dave) Stueve of Albany; Katie (Steven) Peschel of Victoria; Louie Hiltner of Wayzata; Darlene (Dennis) Gruenke, of Kerrick; and Tom (Pat) Hiltner of Freeport; sisters-in-law, Rita Hiltner of Circle Pines, and Amy Hiltner of Richmond.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Daniel Hiltner and Paul Hiltner; and sister-in-law Terese Hiltner.

There will be a private inurnment for family on Saturday, October 14 at Sacred Heart Parish Cemetery, Freeport.  Family and friends are invited to a Celebration of Life at The Park Event Center, 500 Division St., Waite Park, MN, on Saturday October 14 from 12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Lunch will be served.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Parkinson’s Disease Research in Neurology Fund, c/o University of Minnesota Foundation, 200 Oak Street SE, Suite 500, Minneapolis MN, 55455-2010 or the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department, 7401 Gunflint Trail, Grand Marais, MN 55604.

Bob requested that his favorite poem be shared in his obituary:

The Hunter by Ogden Nash

The hunter crouches in his blind

‘Neath camouflage of every kind

And conjures up a quacking noise

To lend allure to his decoys

This grown-up man, with pluck and luck

is hoping to outwit a duck

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert J. Hiltner, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, October 14, 2023

12:30 - 4:00 pm (Central time)

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