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1938 Nancy 2023

Nancy Hilty

April 23, 1938 — December 30, 2023

North Newton

Nancy Gross (Wismer) Hilty died at Newton Medical Center on December 30, 2023, surrounded and loved by her family.  She was born April 23, 1938, to Norman and Laura Wismer in Abington, Pennsylvania.  Some of her most vivid childhood memories included her dad’s trips into Philadelphia to sell produce, her parents’ care for foster children, and the visit to her family’s home by famed author Pearl Buck.

Nancy majored in organ and earned a BA in music from Bluffton College (Ohio) in 1960.  She later attended Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Indiana.  As a student she volunteered with the Mennonite Central Committee at Fergus Falls State Mental Hospital in Minnesota, the Wichita Institute of Logopedics in Kansas, and additional work after graduation in Gulfport, Mississippi.  She was also employed for 7 years with the Oaklawn Psychiatric Center in Elkhart, Indiana.

Nancy married Peter Hilty on August 16, 1969.  At that time she moved to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, where Peter was a professor of English at Southeast Missouri State University.  In Cape Girardeau she was the vice president of Saint Francis Hospital Auxiliary, and worked at the Boy Scouts of America office for 15 years.

Nancy and Peter had a son, Daniel Peter, in 1973.  She was proud, loving, and supportive not only of Daniel, but also of her daughter-in-law Kristen (married to Daniel in 1996) and her grandchildren Elijah and Maggie (born 2001 and 2004 respectively).  Nancy and Peter were married for almost 40 years until his death on November 20, 2008.

Nancy served as organist at various churches since age 17, the last being Centenary United Methodist Church in Cape Girardeau for 20 years.  More recently, she continued as substitute organist at Bethel College Mennonite Church.  She enjoyed participating in bell choirs, bell ensembles, and women’s groups both in Cape Girardeau and at Bethel College Mennonite Church.

Nancy loved to play organ and piano, to sing in choirs, to volunteer, to be a caregiver, and to play games.  Most important to her was being with her family.

Survivors include:  son Daniel and his wife Kristen; grandson Elijah and granddaughter Magdalena (Maggie); sister-in-law Sue Hoadley; Wismer nieces and nephews Cherie (Dennis) Thiessen, Ken (Lynn) Friesen, Karen (Al) Stobbe, Becky (Dan) Unger, Chris (Scott Swearingen) Wismer, Cathy (Mark Epp) Wismer, Sue Wismer, Galen (Rachel) Kaufman, Kendra Kaufman, Nathan (Jill) Kaufman; and many beloved nieces and nephews on Peter’s side.

Nancy was preceded in death by her parents Norman and Laura, her husband Peter, her sisters Jean Friesen and Eleanor Kaufman, and her brothers Earl Wismer and Don Wismer.

Due to inclement weather and family health concerns, the memorial service and celebration of life will be 11:00 a.m. March 9, 2024 at Bethel College Mennonite Church in North Newton, Kansas with a light lunch to follow..  Memorial contributions may be made to Bethel College Mennonite Church, Kidron Bethel Village Benevolent Fund, or a charity of your choice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Nancy Hilty, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, March 9, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Bethel College Mennonite Church

2600 College Ave, North Newton, KS 67117

A light lunch to follow.

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