Clifford Joseph Hilden was born October 29, 1926 at home in Red Wing, Minnesota. He passed away peacefully on June 2, 2016 at Christian Community Home in Hudson, Wisconsin.
Cliff was the first born of Joseph and Helga (Swanson) Hilden. He has one sister, Lillian (Peterson). They were nicknamed Bud and Babes by their parents. Cliff was baptized at United Methodist Church in Red Wing. He went to school and graduated from Ellsworth High School, class of 1944, third in his class with a GPA of 91.2. Cliff belonged to the Civil Air Patrol. He took the written exam before the Aviation Cadet Board passed, thus becoming a member of the Air Corps Enlistees Reserves at the age of 17. After High School, Cliff entered the USAF Reserve Training program and was stationed at the Michigan College of Mining and Technology in Houghton, Michigan. He was on the honor roll the entire time of his assignment there and was awarded the Blue Star Award for Military Excellence. Cliff was honorably discharged on November 10, 1945 and started college at UW-Madison.
Cliff worked in a variety of jobs throughout his life from heavy equipment operator, insurance salesman, owning his own real estate agency (Hilden Realty), to his last job as test project engineer at TORO. Cliff was a member of Ezekiel Lutheran Church in River Falls, and member of the River Falls F & AM Masonic Lodge, serving as a Senior Steward in 1969.
Cliff had a wide range of interest and activities that he pursued over the course of his life. He was a licensed ham radio operator, and built and flew radio controlled airplanes. Cliff was an avid fisherman, photographer, loved music, dancing, and playing the guitar. He was a passionate lifelong Green Bay Packer fan, always in his Packer hat and coat. Cliff also had a tender spot for his four legged friend, Skipper.
Cliff and Arlene Cudd were married June 18, 1949 and had three children. Alan (wife Diana), Cynthia (husband Jimmy Gregor) and Larry (wife Cory). The family lived in Clear Lake and River Falls. They were divorced in 1974.
Cliff then married the love of his life, Patricia Russell on April 2, 1977 with his sister Lillian and Marlin Peterson as attendants. Cliff and Patti raised her children, Jeff (wife Debbie) Russell, Randy (wife Patti) Russell, and Teresa (husband Mark Bierbrauer). Together they have 12 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Cliff is preceded in death by his parents Joseph Hilden, Helga (Hilden) Couch, Step-Father Lloyd Couch, Arlene Hilden, his wife Patricia, daughter-in-law Debbie Russell and granddaughter Samantha Bierbrauer.
Cliff loved to spend time with his family and friends. He had a very kind heart and quick wit. He will be dearly missed by all who know and loved him. GO PACKERS!
A Celebration of Cliff’s Life will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home, 520 S. 11th St., Hudson, followed by military honors. A Gathering of Friends and Family will begin afterwards, from 4-7 p.m., at the funeral home.