Victoria Hildebrandt

Obituary of Victoria Louise Hildebrandt

Victoria (Vicky) Hildebrandt (nee Toews)

March 20, 1927 – May 7, 2024

Vicky was born on March 20, 1927 on a farm near Herschel Saskatchewan. She was the middle child of three children born to Anna and Gerhard  (George)Toews. Vicky had an older brother Vern and a younger sister Mary Anne. They were a Mennonite family and from an early age, Vicky was raised with a strong Christian faith. 

Vicky’s early years were spent on the farm and she told us stories about what a wonderful life it was.   Many of their aunts and uncles lived with them and Vicky loved them all so much. Vicky’s father spent much of his time writing and published several books, which were later published and served as a reminder of the experiences of many Mennonites in a German community in Ukraine. 

Vicky’s memories come alive in the Life Story she wrote in 2011. Life on the farm was difficult so in 1936, the family moved to Saskatoon. It was a happy time.  In 1939, life drastically changed for the family when it was decided they would move to Germany pursue better job opportunity for Gerhard as translator and interpreter for the Harbour authorities .  It was intended to be a short length of time, but then the Second World War broke out.   The family ended up staying in Germany for 10 years in Wilhelmshaven . Home was now an apartment.  They missed their family in Canada dreadfully.  Air raid sirens were common and the family had to go to bomb shelter sometimes several times a night. The children were eventually sent to boarding school in Bavaria to be kept safer.  Vicky thrived in this boarding school and absolutely loved it.  She told us stories of this very often. Vicky described herself as “a confident and out-going girl who had lots of friends. At school, I took on positions of leadership and liked to make sure things were done.”  These characteristics were in strong evidence her entire life.

When the war was over in 1945, schools were closed for awhile and Vicky got the rest of her education through private tutoring and learned Latin, as well as secretarial skills. Vicky writes that she would have liked to go to university and study law and then perhaps become a teacher. Universities were closed and so she went to work in a doctor’s office as an assistant; it was the beginning of a new career.  In 1949, Vicky and her brother Vern ended up leaving Germany and going back to North America prior to the rest of the family. They went to their father’s cousin in Minnesota .They travelled on the Queen Elizabeth ship from England to the US where Vicky worked in a medical clinic again as a medical assistant, which she loved, and continued in this field until she became a mother in 1956.

In 1951, Vicky moved to St. Catharines and re-united with her sister and parents.  Vicky met the love of her life Henry Hildebrandt and they married in 1954.  Vicky and Henry would have 3 children, Elizabeth (Betty) , Paul and James (Jim). Tragically, Paul died of congenital heart disease at the age of 3 months.    

Early married life was happy and busy and very social. Vicky and Henry enjoyed spending times at Club Heidelberg at dances and parties with a particularly close group of friends.

Vicky enjoyed travelling, crafts, hobbies (making cards using dried flowers, crocheting afghans),  cooking and entertaining friends and family. Many happy years followed, with Vicky fulfilling her dreams.  She served in church as leader of Girls Club, Sunday School teacher, deacon and mentor to many young girls that she witnessed for at baptism.  She remained in touch with all of those girls throughout their lives.  Vicky’s smiles and special ability to connect and listen to people of all ages drew everyone to her.

Her greatest achievement (in her own words) was co-founding the Partnerettes organization in St. Catharines, a group of women who mentored young girls who needed extra support and guidance.

In 1992, Vicky endured the sudden tragic loss of her sister Mary Anne and 6 months later, her first grandchild Vanessa, born to Betty and Bill Longlade, died in infancy. Happy years followed as Vicky and Henry welcomed 3 more grandchildren born to Jim and Stacey; Serena, Nicholas and Luke. Vicky loved them with all her heart and watched them develop into fine young adults.  This was one of her greatest pleasures.

Vicky and Henry travelled to Australia, Hong Kong and China to visit Jim and Stacey and their 3 grandchildren as well as many other places, including cruises with their friends.

In 2002, the family enjoyed a reunion with mom’s extended family to celebrate mom’s 75th birthday and presented her with a personal quilt made by all.

Vicky and Henry celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2004 and sadly Henry died a few years later in 2008.  Vicky stayed alone in the big house on Lakeshore for 6 years. Vicky decided to move to an apartment in Ina Grafton Village in 2014 and then on to Tabor Manor in 2018, where she stayed until her death on May 7, 2024. All the staff at both places loved Vicky and her winning smile, cheerful, positive and inquisitive nature.

The family wishes to extend their gratitude to Dr. Matt Greenway and the staff of Radiant Care Tabor Manor (4th floor) for the kind and respectful care Vicky was given in the last few years of her life. 


Funeral services will be held at the Tallman Funeral Homes 3277 King St., Vineland, on Wednesday, May 15 at 12 Noon with reception to follow.  Private family burial will take place prior to funeral.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Mennonite Central Committee, Radiant Care Tabor Manor or a charity of your choice.

To view the livesteam of the funeral service - PLEASE CLICK HERE

A Memorial Tree was planted for Victoria
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Tallman Funeral Homes - Vineland
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