Erma Hildahl passed from this life to the unknowable joy prepared for her by her Creator on February 28, 2013. Several illnesses combined to prevent her restoration to health and she passed peacefully in the gentle care of the Hannibal Regional Hospital and Community Loving Care Hospice nurses and staff.
Erma Elizabeth Eggimann was born to Fred and Frieda Storbeck Eggimann on their farm near Elkader, Iowa in May of 1933. She married Kermit J. Hildahl in 1958. He preceded her in death in 2010.
Surviving are their children, spouses and grandchildren: Kirsten Hildahl-Dewey, husband Jim and their son Paul, wife Andrea and great-grandchildren Johnathon and Emery, all of Hannibal and Meagan and great-grandchild Landon of Bowling Green; Heidi McCullough, husband Ed and son Karsten of Kansas City; and Todd Hildahl, wife Beth and daughter Kaleigh of Columbia Missouri. She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Erneva Eggimann of Jefferson, Iowa, as well as nieces and nephews. Mrs. Hildahl was preceded in death by a brother, Ervon Eggimann and his wife Agnes, and brother Elmer Eggimann.
As a little girl, Mrs. Hildahl lived with her maiden aunt who ran a boarding house “in town,” so she could attend the town school. After graduating from high school, Mrs. Hildahl continued her education at Iowa State College, now ISU. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Home Economics.
Mrs. Hildahl hoped to be hired as an Extension Home Economist, and she was, soon after graduating. She was assigned to Howard County, Iowa. It was there that she met a bright young farmer named Kermit Hildahl. They married and moved to his farm.
Though her husband’s education and career took their family several places over the years, Mrs. Hildahl always provided encouragement and support, no matter what the situation. In addition to being a good wife and loving mother, Mrs. Hildahl had other accomplishments. Mrs. Hildahl’s faith was an ever-present quality. She served as president of the church women’s group in each place they lived. She started a prayer group at First Christian Church and is also a former member of the Church Board and an Elder Emeritus. In Iowa she ran vacation Bible schools and Sunday schools.
Mrs. Hildahl was a 4-H leader for many years. She enjoyed her membership in the local Newcomer’s Club. Mrs. Hildahl loved being in plays and was in the very first play that Hannibal Community Theater produced, and she went on to appear in several others over the years. Mrs. Hildahl played the part of Aunt Polly during the hey-day of the Clemens’s Amphitheater.  Her whole family was involved in the production and she was proud to have them all on stage the night she did her 500th performance as Polly. Mrs. Hildahl enjoyed her time reading to the children at First Christian Day Care. She was a Mark Twain Museum docent with Jane Clemens’ Neighbors. She took great pride in helping tourists and telling them about the town of Hannibal, of which she was very fond.
Mrs. Hildahl held several positions in her life, in addition to Extension Home Economist. The one she was proudest of was doing in-home health care. She had earned a CNA license, and she enjoyed caring for her clients with the same kindness, care and attention she treated her own family.
Her family will remember her kindness, love, quirky sense of humor and belief in them. They will miss her laugh, her attention and all the amazing food, baked goods and garden produce she preserved.
A Memorial Service in celebration of the life of Erma Hildahl will be 11 a.m. Saturday, May 18, 2013, at First Christian Church.  Rev. Steve Barker will officiate. Visitation will be on Saturday, May 18, from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m.   Memorials may be made to Mark Twain Museum, or to First Christian Church-Partners in Prayer, in care of Smith Funeral Home & Chapel.  Online condolences to the family may be offered at