Memorials in Honor of Margaret F. Hiler

Obituary for Margaret F. Hiler

Margaret Frances Hiler – Fran to most everybody – was born and died at home. Over 97 years separated those two days, as did a lifetime of significant experiences, encounters, friendships, shared plans and shared values. Fran grew up during the Great Depression, lived through the events of World War II, married the love of her life, raised four children, and adored her ten grandchildren and five great grandsons.

Fran was born August 11, 1920, in a classic two flat in Chicago. Her parents, Patrick and Lucy (Pendergast) Malloy, were Irish immigrants who passed through the gates of Ellis Island with hopes and dreams of a better life in America. Patrick worked as a Chicago street car motorman while Lucy raised three young daughters – Fran and her sisters, Mary and Patty.

Growing up in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, Fran attended parochial school, spending her elementary years at St. Carthage before graduating from Loretto High School in 1939. She met Bob Hiler – a handsome young engineer – on a blind date arranged by a dear friend shortly after graduation. They married in Chicago on October 31, 1942. Sensing opportunity, the couple moved from Chicago to Walkerton, Indiana in 1953, with their three young sons in tow. Bob joined his father and brother at Charles O. Hiler & Son Foundry, and for sixteen years Fran grew accustomed to small town life while raising the boys and their little sister.

In 1969, the Hiler family moved to La Porte, Indiana, where Fran made her home for the next 48 years. She and Bob embraced their new community and found many opportunities to provide both time and treasure to area charitable organizations. They formed special friendships, embarked on travels, and enjoyed bridge clubs, supper clubs – as well as numerous political dinners and functions during their son John’s time in office.

Fran shared her every thought, feeling, and plan with her husband Bob for nearly fifty years. When he suddenly passed away January 21, 1992, the landscape of Fran’s existence changed dramatically, but she ably adapted to her new life. Fran delved deeper into her philanthropic pursuits, shepherded her growing family, and continued to spend winters at her home in Naples, Florida. In these latter years came moments of great joy and times of deep loss and sadness. Fran welcomed more grandchildren and great grandchildren into her family, just as she lost many close friends and family members, including her son Bob.

Fran enjoyed life. She cherished her family, delighted in her friendships, and found fulfillment in her service to others. Fran loved cooking, bridge, crosswords, music, reading, and balancing her checkbook. She was congenial, fun-loving, generous and kind. Fran had a wonderful sense of humor and truly loved a good laugh (as well as a good cry from time to time). She was proud of her Irish heritage and true to her Catholic faith.

Fran is preceded in death by her parents, her sister Mary Murray, her beloved husband Bob, and her eldest son Bob Jr. She leaves her children Larry (Janet), John (Catherine), Tricia (Dan Luck), and her grandchildren Laura (Andy Moravej), Virginia (Joe Napoli), Alison, Caitlin (Jake Schott), Morgan, Conor, Haley, Erin, Meagan, Brady, and great grandsons Daniel, Michael, August, Orion, and Cedar.

Her sister Patty Keating, numerous nieces and nephews and their families, and a few devoted friends (the younger ones!) also survive Fran. She loved them all, and she knows they loved her.

Her children extend their sincere appreciation to Fran’s companion and caregiver Sophie Jedrysek and to the staff at the Center for Hospice Care.

The family will host an Irish Wake from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on Wednesday, October 18 at The Brick, 1145 Northside Blvd, South Bend, IN. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 9:30 a.m. (Eastern Time) on Thursday, October 19, 2017 in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. Private interment will be at the family mausoleum at Pine Lake Cemetery, LaPorte. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Unity Foundation of La Porte County, P.O. Box 527, Michigan City, IN 46361; The Women’s Care Center, 512 Maple Avenue, La Porte, IN 46350; or Hospice Foundation, 501 Comfort Place, Mishawaka, IN 46545-5234.

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If you prefer, you can mail your donation to:

Unity Foundation of La Porte County

PO Box 527

Michigan City, IN 46361