Harriet Lorene Hillesland died peacefully in the Sidney Extended Care on Sunday, August 6, 2017, in Sidney, Mont., at the age of 86.
Harriet was born on January 26, 1931, in Florence, S.D. She graduated from Watertown High school in 1949. She married Alton Hillesland in 1954. They lived many places in North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Montana, most recently in Culbertson and Watford City before settling and retiring in Sidney, Mont.
Harriet served in many capacities in the churches where Alton was pastor, including women’s Bible study groups, quilting groups, Vacation Bible School, and her favorite: directing choirs, especially children’s choirs.
Harriet excelled at keeping their home warm and inviting, complete with the wonderful aromas of fresh-baked bread and supper simmering on the stove, along with a freezer filled with assorted homemade cookies, pies and bars so that expected or unexpected visitors would be well-fed. She enjoyed creating new recipes and won awards in recipe competitions with her most favored recipe being Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls.
She was known for her abilities as a seamstress, willing to tackle anything, from men’s suits to living room draperies to prom dresses, not to mention the majority of clothing for her children and herself.
Harriet made time to share her cooking, baking and sewing skills with countless women and girls. Her sharing culminated in the creation of a cookbook entitled, “Clean Your Plate & Kiss the Cook” which included over 450 recipes. All proceeds from sales of the cookbooks were contributed to the building of water wells in African villages. Through Harriet’s efforts, 3 wells were drilled in Africa, providing clean water for hundreds of families.
Harriet, daughter of Christian and Hilda Ohnstad, was the youngest of 9 children and is survived by her husband, Alton and four children, Tom (Marie) Hillesland, Helena, Mont.; Jeff (Sally) Hillesland, LaCrosse, Wis.; Chris (Billie) Hillesland, Sidney, Mont.; Sana (Ken) Keller, Phoenix, Ariz.; 12 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren; and two sisters, Wilma Lien and Gladys Bates.
She is preceded in death by two brothers, four sisters and one grandson, Jade.
Funeral Services for Harriet were held at 3:00 P.M., Wednesday, August 9, 2017, at the Pella Lutheran Church, Sidney, Mont. Cremation followed funeral services under the direction of the Fulkerson-Stevenson Funeral Home of Sidney, Mont. Remembrances, condolences and pictures may be shared with the family at www.fulkersons.com. The family prefers memorials be directed to Lutheran World Relief-Water Wells.