The Reverend Hobart Ross Hildyard, 88, of Oak Harbor, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017.
He was born in Hutchinson, Kan. on Nov. 18, 1928 to Joseph and Erma Hildyard, and spent his early years there involved in the local Methodist Church and the Boy Scouts where he earned his Eagle Scout badge.
Hobart graduated from Hutchinson High School and attended Southern Methodist University before graduating with a Master’s in Divinity. At SMU he met his wife Virginia and they married in 1953. Over the next 40 years, he shared his calling with churches in Texas and Kansas including Dallas, Hiawatha, Independence, Topeka, Pittsburg and Overland Park, as well as district responsibilities for the Kansas East Conference.
Hobart also served as secretary of the Kansas East Conference for many years, was the chairman of the council on finance and administration of the Kansas East conference and on the secretarial staff of the general conference of the United Methodist Church for several quadrennium. As a very young pastor he was invited by the bishop to be part of a small group of pastors to tour Europe and visit The Holy Land (1956). As a pastor, Hobart knew how to bring life and drama to the spoken word.
Hobart and Virginia’s love of travel and different cultures took them around the world, but they were particularly fond of Great Britain, which included a pastoral home exchange in Sidmouth, Devon where they met many new friends. He also was a talented flautist and singer, loved choral music and hymns, the ballet and all the performing arts. After Hobart retired in 1992, he and Virginia moved to Whidbey Island. They loved the beauty of the island and all that it offered. They were also active house traders, swapping houses with people in Switzerland, England, Scotland and even Flagstaff, Ariz.
Hobart continued with his pastoral calling by supporting the Methodist congregations on the island in Oak Harbor, Coupeville and Langley.
Hobart was preceded in death by his wife Virginia and sister Josephine. Hobart was extremely loving and proud of his three children Brent, Wendy and Wesley. Besides his children, Hobart is survived by his grandchildren Carly, Brock, Torrey, Tate, Reed and Lily; nieces Angie, Pam, Lacey and his beloved companion Nancy Kinser.
A remembrance and celebration of Hobart’s life will be held on Whidbey Island at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017 at the Coupeville United Methodist Church, 608 N. Main St., Coupeville. Arrangements were entrusted to Whidbey Memorial, 746 NE Midway Blvd., Oak Harbor. More information and online comments may be made at www.whidbeymemorial.com (Hobart Hildyard).
An additional service and inurnment of Hobart’s cremated remains will be announced and held in Hutchinson, Kan. at a future date and anyone is welcome. No flowers please, but a contribution to one of the following organizations would be deeply appreciated: Public Radio International, local radio station through npr.org; Alzheimers Association through alz.org.