In Memory of

Martin D. Hildreth

December 18, 1933 - October 20, 2023
From: Rockwell City, IA

Rockwell City - Martin Dale Hildreth, 89, life-long resident of Rockwell City passed away on October 20, 2023 at Accura HealthCare of Lake City.  Memorial Services will be 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023 at St. Francis Catholic Church, Rockwell City, with Father Brian Feller officiating at the Mass of Christian Burial.  Visitation will be 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24, at the Palmer & Swank Funeral Home, Rockwell City.  Private Family Burial will be at Rosehill Cemetery, Rockwell City, with Military Rites by the Amvets Post #41 of Rockwell City.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be left to the South Central Calhoun Elementary School.

     The Funeral Mass will be Live Streamed on our Palmer & Swank Funeral Home Face Book Page.

     Martin was born on December 18, 1933, the youngest child of Ben Hildreth and Lillian Barkmeier Hildreth.  He graduated from Rockwell City High School class of 1951 and attended Westmar College in LeMars where he excelled on the football field. As his draft number drew closer, he enlisted in the United States Army in support of the Korean Conflict.   While in LeMars, he would meet his future wife, Kathleen Newman.  They would marry on May 15, 1954 in Texas.  Kathy passed away in 1997.  In 1999, Martin was united in marriage to Peggy Lange.

     Upon the end of Korean hostilities and his discharge from the Army, Martin and Kathy returned to Rockwell City to raise their family.  Joining them were three of Kathy’s sisters (Shirley, Bernice, and Arlene) whom they raised until they graduated high school.  Martin and his father Ben operated Hildreth Mobile Oil and Hildreth Super Service. Upon leaving the petroleum industry, Martin founded Martin Hildreth Company, Inc.; a multi-faceted underground construction company which remains in the family today.

     Martin was an avid horseman, taking a particular interest in Hackney Ponies.  He bred and showed these prized animals all over the country for more than 50 years.  He is a long-time member of the Iowa Draft Pony Hitch Association, where he is also a member of their Hall of Fame.

     Second only to the love he had of his family was the love that he had of his hometown of Rockwell City.  Martin was always involved in community betterment in one aspect or another and it would be impossible to quantify all that he did for the town.  He was instrumental in the creation of the Rockwell City RV Park and Featherstone Campground at Twin Lakes, served on the Rockwell City City Council, the Rockwell City-Lytton School Board, was the Chair of the RAGBRAI Committee when Rockwell City last hosted, and in 1996 spearheaded the Calhoun County Wagon Train from Calhoun County to Polk County for Iowa’s Sesquicentennial. 

     Preceding Martin in death were his parents, Ben and Lillian Hildreth, first wife Kathleen Hildreth, four infant brothers, and his sister Joyce Reynolds and her husband Don.

     Those left to cherish his memory are his wife, Peggy of Rockwell City; sons Michael (Marilyn) Hildreth of Brookings, SD and Tom (Theresa) Hildreth of Rockwell City; surrogate son Randy (Becky) Hildreth of Rockwell City; step-son Rod (Lori) Lange of Sheldon; step-daughter Melissa (Al) Schumann of Ankeny; thirteen grandchildren, Chad Hildreth, Jasey (Kevin) Bratek; Ryan (Sandra) Hildreth; Michele (Kyle) Peterson; Karrie (Micah) Ramthun, Sara (Jeremy) Powell; Matt (Anne) Hildreth; David (Holly) Hildreth, Anne (John) Nisley; Nick (Amanda) Klatt; Nichole (Zach) DeHaan; Alex (Jessica) Lange; and Madison (Sam) Thielen; 21 great-grandchildren: Kayla, Connor, Hailey, Kathleen, Collin, Liam, Emmersyn, Quinn, Nora, Caleb, Gracyn, Isaac, Eli, Harper, Estella, Elliana, Lee, William, Willamina, Daphne, and Raelynn.

Mass of Christian Burial
11:00 a.m. - Wednesday
October 25, 2023
St. Francis Catholic Church
Rockwell City, Iowa
Father Brian Feller
4:00 to 7:00 p.m. - Tuesday
October 24, 2023
Palmer & Swank Funeral Home
Rockwell City, Iowa
Cantor:  Diane Sommerfeld
Private Family Graveside Rites
Rosehill Cemetery
Rockwell City, Iowa
Military Rites by 
Amvets Post #41
of Rockwell City


Tuesday, October 31, 2023 at 9:17 AM
“Peg, will be keeping you and the family in our thoughts and prayers. He was a dedicated and hardworking person. ”
- Duf & Marty Buttolph

Friday, October 27, 2023 at 9:37 AM
“Peggy, Tom, Theresa & Family- Our thoughts & prayers are with you with the Passing of Martin . Always enjoyed visiting with your DAD. Martin was Martin..”
- Sharon & Ed Ludwig

Wednesday, October 25, 2023 at 4:14 PM
“I'm so sorry to hear of Martin's passing. Thoughts for comfort to your whole family. He will be missed. ”
- Carolyn Sexton

Wednesday, October 25, 2023 at 10:38 AM
“My grandparents were Lowell and Dorothy Hildreth. We always loved coming to Martins home there was always an animal to pet or something really cool to see on his property. As I grew up and had kids my kids got to fish in his pond and ride on a golf cart around his yard. He was always fun to look up and find at the Iowa State Fair. I have many memories of Martin. God rest his soul. ”
- Missy Shepherd

Tuesday, October 24, 2023 at 3:18 PM
“Sending sympathy to all the Hildreth family . May God give you comfort and peace at this difficult time. Martin was a awesome brother in law and put me through 4 years of high school. Kathy and him took 3 teenagers and put them through school so we could be together. What a special couple they were and they will always be in my heart. My prayers to all the family
- Arlene Jones

Tuesday, October 24, 2023 at 11:41 AM
“Dear Hildreth Family,
I was saddened to hear of Martin's passing…….a flood of wonderful memories of time spent with all of you. Martin had a way of warming your heart, as he always seemed so happy to see me. Such a good story teller ( a few we still repeat) I will remember him and his smile fondly. Thinking of you all during this time. May good memories also bring smiles to you.
My sincere condolences,
Michele Maguire Beck
- Michele Maguire Beck

Tuesday, October 24, 2023 at 11:10 AM
“My thoughts and prayers are with Martins family and community. It was my honor and privilege to care for and serve him. ”
- Fr. Brian J. Danner

Tuesday, October 24, 2023 at 10:43 AM
“Sorry for your loss. ”
- Duane and Carol Bangtson

Tuesday, October 24, 2023 at 9:30 AM
“Hildreth family, so sorry for your loss.
Martin was such a huge supporter of Rockwell City and the school. He always had a quick comeback with any remark too! 😉”
- Joseph Feld

Sunday, October 22, 2023 at 5:57 PM
“Peggy and Hildreth Family - our sympathies are with you all. Martin was an ‘institution’ in RC and was always ready — and willing to help. RIP our friend. ”
- Greg & Dee Lange

Sunday, October 22, 2023 at 5:02 PM
“So very sorry for your loss. God bless Martin. ”
- Mel and Margaret Molitor

Sunday, October 22, 2023 at 12:00 PM
“Uncle Martin was unique. He could be blunt yet owned a great sense of humor and a kind heart. We always loved our visits with him. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mike, Tom, Peg and the family. Martin will be greatly missed.”
- Dave and Linda Reynolds

Saturday, October 21, 2023 at 9:17 PM
“Peggy, and all family, my condolence. Martin was such a special man. Rockwell City will not be the same without him. RIP Martin.”
- Tina Willams

Saturday, October 21, 2023 at 8:00 PM
“Sorry to hear we have lost another cousin, Martin was one of my favorites!
He was Grandpa Barkmeier’s little Pony Boy.”
- Boyd Hildreth

Saturday, October 21, 2023 at 4:55 PM
“I’m so sorry to hear this! Martin was such a lovely person, always fun and laughter when you were with him. Such a part of growing up in RC. He will be missed for sure. ”
- Nic Bonnstetter

Saturday, October 21, 2023 at 12:07 PM
“Peggy and Hildreth family, I am so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers ”
- Missy Anderson Maher

Saturday, October 21, 2023 at 11:08 AM
“I am sorry with your loss .May his soul Rest In Peace.”
- Yara Alkappany

Saturday, October 21, 2023 at 9:59 AM
“My sympathy goes out to all of you, Martin's family. Martin has always held a special place in my heart/life. He and Pat shared many good times together. I will keep all of you in my tho'ts and prayers”
- Maureen

Saturday, October 21, 2023 at 8:42 AM
“So very sorry for your loss. Anyone who knew Martin, loved him! Our town will never forget his generosity, RIP, Marty”
- Kim and Amy Courter

Saturday, October 21, 2023 at 6:26 AM
“I loved taking care of Martin and getting to hear his wise advice and funny jokes. He will be deeply missed!”
- Kaitlyn Deyette

Friday, October 20, 2023 at 10:28 PM
“I am sorry for your loss. My condolences to your family, especially Mike ‘73, and Peggy, Melissa and Rod. I have good memories of riding horses from Hildreths even though I didn’t know what I was doing. ”
- Andrea Kuhn

Friday, October 20, 2023 at 10:02 PM
“Becky, Jason and the entire Brand family would like to express our condolences to the entire Hildreth family. Martin raised a family he could be proud of and grandchildren and great grandchildren who loved him and made him proud. He always supported the Rockwell City school/community and, in particular, Wildcat Wrestling. Plus, for many, Martin was a "character"...the terrific personal memories of which will never be forgotten.
Phil Brand”
- Phil Brand

Friday, October 20, 2023 at 9:46 PM
“My deepest sympathy. ”
- Julie Loomer

Friday, October 20, 2023 at 8:12 PM
“Tom and Theresa,
You have my sincere sympathy in your loss of your dad and father-in-law. May Martin rest in peace in the hands of Our Lord! It sounds like he had a very memorable and rewarding life. ”
- Cynthia Loots

Friday, October 20, 2023 at 7:48 PM
“Our deep sympathy to the Hildreth family. He was a good, generous man and his support for Rockwell City didn't go unnoticed.”
- Gerri & Jane McCurdy

Friday, October 20, 2023 at 7:32 PM
“Hildreth family - I am so very sorry for your loss of Martin. Prayers and hugs to all of you. I have many fond memories of Martin when I served as editor of the Advocate and serving him his meals when I works at JOTS. RIP Martin.”
- Lisa Hedman

Friday, October 20, 2023 at 7:31 PM
“I am sorry about Martin. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. I loved giving him a bad time. I really enjoyed talking to him.”
- Vicki Wilken

Friday, October 20, 2023 at 7:21 PM
“Good bye old schoolmate, I have known you since seventh grade”
- Dorothy Zierke

Friday, October 20, 2023 at 6:52 PM
“We are so sorry for your loss. Thinking of all the Hildreth family during this difficult time. Ron and Jeanette ”
- Jeanette Schwartz

Friday, October 20, 2023 at 5:33 PM
“Peggy and family, I’m so sorry for your loss. Martin has been a blessing all his life to family, friends, community, and beyond. May he rest in peace.”
- Karen Krug Osborne

Friday, October 20, 2023 at 5:17 PM
“Peggy and family, i’m so sorry for your loss. Martin has been a blessing all his life to family, friends, community, and beyond. May he rest in peace.”
- Karen Osborne

Friday, October 20, 2023 at 3:40 PM
“Peggy, I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers go out to your family. ❤❤❤”
- Diane Ohrtman

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