Melvin Elmer Hildebrand was born November 14, 1915 at Platte, SD to William and Emma (Gropper) Hildebrand. He attended rural school and graduated from Platte High School. He and his father operated a pool hall in Marion, SD. On June 6, 1938 he married Mary Petula at Kimball. He entered the US Army January 22, 1945 and served in the 198th Field Artillery and the 726th MP’s in the South Pacific and Okinawa, where he managed a Japanese POW Camp. Following his discharge on December 13, 1946, he attended trade school in Omaha. In 1949 he opened Hildebrand Hardware Store in Mount Vernon and later started Hildebrand Plumbing and Heating, a plumbing, heating and electrical service in Mount Vernon. He retired in 2003 and moved to Countryside Living in Mitchell. He was a member of St. Michaels Catholic Church, American Legion Post 210, served twenty-one years with the Mount Vernon Fire Department and served on the Mount Vernon School Board and the Mount Vernon City Council.
He is survived by his wife, Mary; one son, Jim Hildebrand and wife, Janeen of Austin, TX; one daughter, Pat Wieczorek and husband, John of Mount Vernon; five grandchildren: Travis, Justin and Josh Hildebrand and Sarah and Lindsay Wieczorek and five great-grandchildren: Chance, Dax, Vale, Kyla, and Ian Hildebrand. He was preceded in death by two brothers, Martin and Elmer.