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Gilbert Hiebel, 95

Gilbert Hiebel, 95, Alexandria, died Thursday, January 2, 2014 at Bethany Ecumen.

Gilbert was born October 14, 1918 to Louis and Louise (Prchal) Hiebel on the family farm in Lake Mary Township. He had one older sister, Helen.

He attended Country School District 13 until the 8th grade. After his education, he helped his parents on the farm.

Gilbert married Irene Kalina on October 7, 1940 at First Lutheran Church in Alexandria. They settled down on his parents farm, where they worked side by side in the field and milking cows. They had two daughters, Janice and Elsie.

Gilbert and Irene loved doing many things together: visiting and playing cards with friends and relatives, square dancing in homes and with the Alex Round Squares Club. They loved fishing together on the boat in summer and in the fish house in the winter. After selling the cows and renting out the land, he enjoyed mowing lawn as a pastime. He also took pleasure digging in the soil and planting a big garden with Irene.

In December 2009, two years after Irene passed away, he moved into Bethel Manor Assisted Living. It was something he didnt want to do after being born, raised and making a home for his family on the same place for 90 years. However, he made new friends and socialized out in the lobby, which got him the name of "The Greeter."

In July 2012, he needed more help with health issues and was placed in Bethany Ecumen Long Term. At first he disliked that idea, but after a few weeks he called it home and enjoyed visiting with all the nurses and administration. He made some very special friendships. He loved to talk, especially about fishing, farming, his two girls and the grandchildren. He had a special spot in his heart for the great-grandchildren and enjoyed when they came to visit him.

Gilbert is survived by his daughters, Janice Yanda of Alexandria, and Elsie (Henry) Revering of Garfield; sister, Helen (Allan) Blair of Peaceful Bliss in Alexandria; sister-in-law, Lilly Ann (Joe) Marusak of Alexandria; seven grandchildren, Mavis Yanda, Les (Angie) Yanda, Steve Yanda, Gail (Dean) Beck, Carla Gill, Lisa (Bob) Hagedorn, and Jerry (Stephanie) Revering; 13 great-grandchildren; and two step-great-grandsons.

Gilbert was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years, Irene; his parents; son-in-law, Robert Yanda; grandson-in-law, Andrew Gill; sister-in-law, Helen (Henry) Trousil; brother-in-law, Howard Hvezda; a stillborn granddaughter; and three stillborn great-grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held Friday, January 10 at 11 a.m. at First Lutheran Church in Alexandria. The Rev. Greg Billberg will officiate. Interment will follow at Independent Bohemian Cemetery.

Casket bearers are Gilberts nephews, Dale Marusak, Duane Marusak, David Marusak, Donald Trousil, Archie Trousil and David Hvezda. Honorary casket bearers are his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be held 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, January 9 at Anderson Funeral Home.

Arrangements are with Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria;