Verneta Mathilda Elizabeth Hilderbrand


    Verneta Mathilda Elizabeth (nee Mertz) Hilderbrand of St. James, Missouri was born in Pine Lawn, Missouri on March 29, 1932 to Oscar C. and Mary Elizabeth (nee Fuzner) Mertz and passed away on Saturday, June 4, 2022 at the age of 90 years and 67 days.


    She graduated from Normandy High School in 1951. Her first job was working at McDonald Douglas as an IBM Key Punch Operator.
    On September 29, 1951 she married Howard E. Hilderbrand in St. Louis, Missouri. Days after their marriage her husband was drafted into the army to serve in the Korean War.
    Verneta became a stay-at-home mom while her children were young at their home in Ferguson, Missouri. During that time, she would babysit neighboring children to earn some extra money.
    In 1970, Howard, Verneta and their family moved to St. James, Missouri.
    Verneta started working for the Head Start Program as a Teacher’s Aide in the Preschool Program. Later in her working career she got a job working as a Dispatch Operator for the St. James Police Department. After a few years, she had an opportunity to start a long career with JC Penney. She retired in 1995.
    Verneta loved her flowers in her yard, to be able to decorate inside and out for all the holidays, feed her fish in her pond, and pick blackberries and blueberries in her yard up until recently.  
    She was preceded in death by her parents, Oscar and Mary Mertz; parents-in-law, James and Mary Hilderbrand; husband, Howard Hilderbrand; brother, Irvin Mertz; sister, Rea (Mertz) Barro; and sons-in-law, Carl Auten, Wilburn Barnett and Deon Hollandsworth.
    She is survived by her children, Mary Hutchison (Vern) of Vienna, Missouri, Patricia Dressendofer (Glenn) of Vichy, Missouri, Susan Hilderbrand of St. James, Missouri, Judy Auten (John) of Brandon, Florida, James Hilderbrand (Belinda) of St. James, Missouri, Debra Firestine (Kent “Sam”) of St. James, Missouri and Christine Mahaney (Sam “Bo”) of Eureka, Missouri; 12 grandchildren, Lucas Barnett (Crystal) of St. James, Missouri, Carolyn Harmon (Tony) of Rolla, Missouri, Sarah Buschmann of St. James, Missouri, Brian Auten (Abbey) of St. James, Missouri, Kate Helton (Matt) of Vienna, Missouri, Heather Clark (Justin) of St. James, Missouri, Mark Davis (Heather) of Edgar Springs, Missouri, Daniel Friede (Cynthia) of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, Drew Friede of Rolla, Missouri, Jessica Pohl (Brian), Samuel Mahaney (Megan) of Mebane, North Carolina and Abby Waller (Travis) of Louisville, Kentucky; 31 great grandchildren plus one due later this summer; brother-in-law, Bill Hilderbrand (Bunny) in Columbia, Illinois; other relatives and friends.
    Visitation was held from 10-11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 7, 2020 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in St. James, Missouri.
    Funeral Mass was held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 7, 2022, at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in St. James, Missouri with Father Brendan Griffey officiating.
    Pallbearers were Ethan Barnett, Lucas Barnett, Daniel Friede, Brian Auten, Mark Davis and Drew Friede.
    Burial was in the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Cemetery in St. James, Missouri.
    Arrangements under the direction of the Jones Funeral Home in St. James, Missouri.