Donald G. Hilbelink, 80, of Oostburg died Tuesday morning, July 1, 2014, at St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan.

Donald was born March 16, 1934, in the town of Holland, son of the late Edward and Wilma (Hesselink) Hilbelink. He attended Gibbsville Grade School, was a 1952 graduate of Oostburg High School and then attended Sheboygan County Normal School.

Donald served in the U.S. Army from 1956-58.

On June 7, 1957, Donald married Marlys Heinen in Gibbsville. Marlys passed away July 31, 2007. On April 13, 2013, he married Shirley (Smies) Vander Waal in Oostburg.

Donald was a tool and die maker at Tecumseh Die Cast in Sheboygan Falls for 38 years before his retirement in 1996. Prior to his work at Tecumseh Die Cast, he taught school for several years at Beaver Creek School in the town of Holland.

Donald was a lifelong member at Gibbsville Reformed Church up until his recent marriage to Shirley. He then joined Bethel Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Oostburg. While a member at Gibbsville Reformed Church, he was a deacon, elder,

Sunday school teacher for 60 years, VBS teacher, choir member and groundskeeper.

Donald was also a member of the Pine Haven Men’s Chorus since 1952 and the recording secretary of the Local 459 UAW for 25 years.

Donald enjoyed bowling, gardening, reading, playing sheepshead, crossword puzzles, board games, and music. He had a fond appreciation of children.

Donald is survived by his wife Shirley; five daughters, Diane (Leon) Hartman of Newton, Deborah (Doug) Ten- Haken of Oostburg, Darlene (Wayne) Meives of Sheboygan Falls, Denise (Steve) Gumieny of Sheboygan and Donna (Steve) Wilinski of Pulaski; one son, Dean (friend Diane) Hilbelink of Elkhart Lake; 14 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; two sisters, Marion Rismeyer of Belgium and Doris (Herbert) Neils of Oostburg; five brothers, Orville (Mary) of Sheboygan, Clarence (Rosemarie) of Elkhart Lake, Harley (Jeanne) of Oostburg, Leslie (Bonnie) of Oostburg and Galen (Laura) Hilbelink of Lakewood; several sisters-in-law and brothers-inlaw, many nieces and nephews. Donald is also survived by Shirley’s children: Sue (Glenn) Frier of Oostburg, Nancy (John) DeGroff of Waldo, David (Carol) Vander Waal of Oostburg and Bob Vander Waal of Caseyville, Ill.; her 14 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Donald was preceded in death by his first wife, Marlys; a daughter-in-law, Wendy Hilbelink; a sister-in-law, Marcia Hilbelink; and a brother-in-law, Clifford Rismeyer.

Family and friends will gather at the Gibbsville Reformed Church on Thursday, July 3, from 2-6 p.m.

A funeral to celebrate Donald’s life will take place at the Gibbsville Reformed Church at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 3, with the Revs. John Tinsley and David Veldhorst officiating. A family service will precede in the choir room at 5:45 p.m. Burial will take place at Sunrise Memorial Gardens in the town of Wilson.

For online condolences and additional information, please visit

A memorial fund is being established in Donald’s memory for Pine Haven Christian Communities and the Gibbsville Reformed Church.

The staff of the Wenig Funeral Home in Oostburg (920-564-2771) is serving the Hilbelink family.

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