Dorothy Bildner, 79, passed away from cancer Nov. 14, 2012, after a long life of loving her family and caring for her community.
Bildner served on the Senior Center board, the County Fair board, the United Way board, the Salvation Army board, the Community Action agency, and on the city council in Hillsdale, Mich.
Born in 1933, Bildner was raised on a farm in Coldwater, Mich., and her family lived off the land.
She attended Michigan State University and graduated with a home economics degree in 1955. After college, she worked for the Michigan State University Extension in Hillsdale as a home economist instructor for approximately 35 years.
“Growing up, my brother and I both learned how to cook, bake, and can,” said her son Doug Bildner.
In 1957, Dorothy Bildner married Donald Bildner from Hillsdale and the couple lived in the same house on West Street the rest of their lives.
When her husband died of cancer in 1998 before his term on city council expired, Dorothy Bildner assumed his role. She continued to serve additional terms until Nov. 19, 2007.
“It was a privilege to have known Dorothy,” said Hillsdale City Manager Linda Brown. “She was a very nice lady and certainly community oriented.”
Even after her retirement from the MSU Extension and city council, Dorothy Bildner always stayed busy.
“She got on all these committees because she couldn’t sit still,” Doug Bildner said.
The commitment Dorothy Bildner enjoyed most was the county fair. Since Doug Bildner was a child, he always remembers going to the fair.
“Mom loved fair,” he said. “When fair week came around, that’s where we were.”
Dorothy Bildner’s expertise in home economics, specifically in the kitchen, spilled over into her passion for 4-H and the local county fairs. She was in charge of the 4-H kitchen during fair week and would also judge the different food contests.
Walking into Dorothy Bildner’s house, her love for cooking was apparent as two complete bookcases are filled with nothing but cookbooks. And every Christmas, the women in the family received cookbooks, Doug Bildner said.
“To this day, I don’t know if she went through every single cookbook,” he said.
Apart from cooking and the fair, Doug Bildner remembers his mother as kind and forgiving woman who never said anything rude or unkind about anyone.
“She also cared a lot about her family and cared a lot about her community,” he said. “She just cared a lot about people. And every family holiday, everybody got together.”
Bildner is survived by her sons Keith and Doug Bildner, as well as five grandchildren. firstname.lastname@example.org