Leslie Maurice Hildebrandt was born December 8, 1936, at Aberdeen, SD, to L.L. and Rosetta (Martin) Hildebrandt. He grew up and attended school in Mitchell and graduated from Houghton Prep in Houghton, NY, in 1955. He attended Sterling College in Sterling KS, and graduated from Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, SD, in 1960 with a degree in business. He entered the US Army, where he was in the Signal Corps and served as a cryptographer in Orleans, France. On December 12, 1964, he married Mervela Lidel in Madison, SD. In 1962 he joined the family business, United Auto Parts in Mitchell and from 1962 until 1995, he traveled as a territory salesman. The business was sold to Sturdevants Auto Parts in 1994 and he continued as a local salesman until his retirement in 2005. He also had rental properties in Mitchell.
He attended the Mitchell Wesleyan Church and was an active member of the Mitchell Exchange Club, where he served as president and held various board positions on the local and district levels. He was a volunteer for Meals on Wheels, the Mitchell Food Pantry, and was a member of the American Legion. In 2005, he was honored as the Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo Parade Marshall. He especially enjoyed his round table chats with friends at Jitters.
He is survived by his wife Mervela, two sons, Greg Hildebrandt and wife Lora of Mitchell, Brian Hildebrandt and wife Christine of Mitchell, one sister, Ruth Brane and husband Pierce of Shawnee Mission, KS, and three grandchildren: Jared Hildebrandt, Tristen Hildebrandt and Jamison Hildebrandt. He was preceded in death by one brother, Earl, two sisters, Janis Kinyon and Linda Lloyd, and his parents.