Helen Anita Stiehler Hilger

Published 5:44 pm Monday, June 25, 2012

Helen A. Hilger, 91, died peacefully on June 21 in Charlotte, N.C.
Helen married Tom Vernon Hilger, a Navy man, in 1946. They were married for 57 years and had two daughters, Helene and Susan. Tom preceded Helen in death in 2003.
Born in Queens, N.Y., Helen was an only child. From an early age, it was evident that she enjoyed the gift of a beautiful voice. After she graduated from Andrew Johnson High School, she was accepted at the Julliard School of Music, where she earned a B.A. in voice. She later earned an M.A. in music education from Columbia University and did post-graduate work at the Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J. Helen enjoyed a long career as a music educator in East Meadow, Long Island, N.Y. and in Wayne Township, N.J. public schools. She loved sharing her passion for music with children and engaging young students in chorus performances. Helen also maintained her love for performing, appearing as a soprano soloist and in quartets throughout the region.
Upon retiring, Helen and Tom moved to Columbus to be closer to their children. Helen continued to share her musical gifts in her new community. She was a faithful member of Tryon Presbyterian Church and choir and the Foothills Music Club for many years. She sang in the Community Chorus, with the Gilbert and Sullivan Savoyards and she particularly will be remembered by her grandchildren for her performance as Grandma Tzeitel in “Fiddler on the Roof” at the Tryon Fine Arts Center.
In 2010, Helen moved to Charlotte where she resided at Regency Retirement Village and attended Charlotte Friends Meeting.  She continued to sing and harmonize up until the day before her passing.
Helen is survived by a daughter, Helene Hilger; a son-in-law, Arnie Cann; a daughter, Susan Hilger, and Tim Minkkinen, all of Charlotte, N.C.; and two grandsons, Adam Cann of Lubbock, Texas and Michael Cann of Philadelphia, Pa.
A memorial service will be planned to celebrate Helen’s life. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, 386 Park Ave South, 17th Floor, N.Y., N.Y. 10016.

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