Hildegarde Esther Wells (née Deike)

February 27, 2024


May 29, 1933 - February 27, 2024

In Loving Memory ~

Hildegarde Esther Wells (née Deike), 90, of Port Coquitlam, BC, passed away peacefully on February 27, 2024, her son Ralph and her niece and goddaughter Marta at her side.

She is survived by her two sons, Ralph (Lana) and David; grandchildren Nissa (Kevin) and Eli; sister Elsie; and several nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews.

Her husband, Walter Wells, predeceased her in 2014.

Born May 29, 1933, to Max and Hedwig Deike, Hillie grew up in Freeport, Illinois. Not long after graduating high school, she took an ocean liner to Heidelberg, Germany, where her sweetheart Walter was stationed with the U.S. Army. They were married in Heidelberg on June 2, 1953.

Hillie and Walter welcomed sons Ralph and David a few years after returning to Freeport, and in 1961 they moved their young family to Mendocino, California. Over the next decade, they created an organic farming collective with likeminded free thinkers and co-founded the countercultural underground newspaper The Illustrated Paper.

Concerns over the Vietnam War caused them to move to Nakusp, BC, in 1970, where Hillie worked in administration at the Arrow Lakes Hospital. By the late 1990s, they were living in Silverton, where they opened the Bonanza Creek Gallery and Hillie served on the municipal council.

Their last move was to Port Coquitlam in 2008 to be nearer to health services and family, including their two grandchildren, Nissa and Eli.

Throughout her life, Hillie was generous, kind, musical, young at heart, and always game for a little adventure. She was a person who took stock of whatever life threw at her, then got to work to make things better. She also fully embraced the practice of gratitude, and she gave us all so much to be grateful for too.

Family and friends will gather to celebrate Hillie's life on June 2, 2024, in Port Coquitlam, with a portion of the event to be livestreamed for guests unable to attend in person.

If you would like to participate, please email [email protected].

A longer tribute to Hillie's life can be found at https://bit.ly/hillie-COL.

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