Obituary of Gerard Hilbig
Deacon Gerard “Gary” Hilbig
Gary Hilbig passed away on January 10th after a valiant battle with brain cancer. He was a well-loved man of service – giving of his time and talent to family, friends, and his Church community.
On November 16, 1950, Gary was the second of five children born to Emil and Anne Hilbig in San Antonio, TX. He grew up surrounded by the love and faith of his parents and a large extended family of HIlbigs and Cullinanes. This faith and family sustained him throughout his entire life.
Gary met his wife of 43 years, Mary “Ann” Comar Hilbig, on a blind date in 1976. After long distance dating for about 15 months, they married in Ann’s hometown of New Orleans on August 6, 1977. They lived in Houston where they raised their loving children, Michael and Emily – of whom he was incredibly proud.
He studied architecture at the University of Houston and practiced his trade for more than 30 years. He loved art and design and enjoyed creating brightly-colored and whimsical paintings. He shared this hobby with a group of dear friends – the Dead Painters Society – for more than 25 years. He had very eclectic tastes in art as well as in sports, music, reading, and travel destinations.
In 2003, Gary was ordained as a permanent Deacon in the Archdiocese of Galveston Houston. He served his beloved faith community, All Saints Catholic Church, for 16 years until his illness prevented him from continuing. In 2013, he was hired to lead the Clergy Pastoral Outreach Ministry for the Archdiocese – providing pastoral care for retired priests and deacons – a ministry to which he was truly devoted for six years until his retirement.
Gary is preceded in death by his parents, Emil and Anne Hilbig and brother James of San Antonio. He is survived by his wife Ann, children Michael (Leslie) and Emily (Mark) of Houston; siblings Bill (Beth) of Palm City, FL, Mary Salazar (Carlos) of Sutherland Springs, TX, and Linda Gonzales of La Vernia, TX; numerous cousins, nieces and nephews, great nieces, and great great niece and nephew.
Visitation will take place on Friday, January 15, beginning at 6:00 p.m., with a vigil service and rosary beginning at 7:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, January 16, 2021. Both services will take place at All Saints Church, 215 East 10th Street in Houston, Texas.
We will follow safety protocols with limited seating available after family and close friends are accommodated (150 attendees in total). Masks and physical distancing are required. The funeral Mass will also be livestreamed at the All Saints Facebook page: @AllSaintsHouston.
The family understands that there are many who would like to be present but are unable to travel or attend due to pandemic-related concerns. Sometime later this year, when gatherings are permitted without undue fears or restrictions, a memorial mass will be scheduled followed by a barbecue dinner where family and friends can come together to celebrate Gary’s life and share stories. Information about this event will be shared widely in multiple ways.
Ann, Michael, and Emily wish to thank their many family members and friends who were so very attentive during the 20 months of Gary’s illness. Especially important have been his sister, Linda, who spent the last 2½ months with us as a caregiver and companion, the couples in our Teams of Our Lady marriage enrichment group, the hospice staff of Vitas Healthcare, and the doctors and staff at Baylor College of Medicine and CHI St. Luke’s Hospital. Anyone wishing to make a memorial donation should do so to All Saints Catholic Church, 215 E. 10th St., Houston, TX 77008 or donate online at HERE.