Robert Hilgert, 87, of Bird Island died surrounded by his family Tuesday, July 4, 2017 at RC Hospital in Olivia. Mass of Christian Burial was Friday, July 7 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Bird Island with Rev. George Schmit as celebrant. Burial followed in the church cemetery. Military rites were by the Bird Island American Legion. Arrangements were with Dirks-Blem Funeral Service of Olivia. Robert George Hilgert was born June 4, 1930 in Bird Island to John and Fleta (Hill) Hilgert. He grew up at Bird Island and graduated from St. Mary’s High School in 1947. Bob served his country in the U.S. Army, Third Infantry Division, from 1954-56. After his discharge he returned home to the family farm. Bob married Rita Frank November 6, 1954 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Bechyn, and they were blessed with three children. Bob farmed for many years, retiring in 1993.... but not really as he had a great passion to be on the farm and continued to help his son, John, until health issues in recent years. Bob and Rita moved into Bird Island in 2000. He was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and the Bird Island American Legion. Bob had enjoyed fishing, golfing, deer hunting, traveling, all kinds of card games and a few casino trips. Bob’s greatest love was for his family and grandchildren. Bob is survived by his wife Rita of Bird Island; his three children: John (and Sue) Hilgert of Bird Island, Pam (and Jim) Gauer of Willmar and Lori (and Brian) Hansel of Atwater; his grandchildren: Jenna (and Matt) Jones of Bedford, Texas, Jordan Hansel of Little Falls, Dana (and Matt) Carmody of Madison, Kaley (and Scott) Gregg of Otsego, Andrea (and James) Olmscheid of Carver, Abby (and Joel) Schendel of Minneapolis, Tara (and Sam) Steffel of Waseca and Maggie Gauer of Willmar. Bob was preceded in death by his parents; his sister Betty Syverson and several in-laws. Bob was so very appreciative of friends and family who took the time to call and visit him during his illness. He was amazed at all the love and support and this truly meant the world to him. His family also extends a special thank you to Dr. Kemp and the staff at RC Hospital and Hospice as they have all made the journey a bit easier. Blessed be his memory.