Yvonne Mary Hillestad, 68, of Eau Claire, WI, passed away on April 22, 2021 at Mayo Clinic in Eau Claire.
“Mary,” as she was known to the many that knew and loved her, was born October 24, 1952 in Eau Claire, to Ronald and Deloras Hillestad. After being raised mostly in Eau Claire, Mary graduated from North High School and worked most of her adult life as a secretary for the Eau Claire School District.
Mary was first wed to William Solie of Eau Claire from 1972 to 1994, with whom she had three children that will miss her dearly (Matthew, Andrew, Amanda). During this time she came to enjoy many outdoor activities, becoming particularly adept at archery and bow-hunting. As a mother, Mary poured herself into supporting every endeavor of her three children, with school and youth sports being the most prominent of those.
Later wed to David Siebenshuh of Eau Claire from 1996 to 2011, Mary came to love traveling, especially on their Harley – always dressing the part in a way only she could for their motorcycle trips to events such as the well-known Sturgis rally. While always a meticulous lover of arts and crafts, Mary became a prolific amateur greeting card maker during this time and retained this as her primary hobby until very late in her life.
From the time they began arriving in 2004, Mary’s six grandchildren were the center of her universe. Caring for them, cooking for them, baking for them, supporting them in their athletic and artistic activities, and showering them with gifts became her second profession.
Mary is survived by her sons Matthew (Erin) Solie of Anoka, MN and Andrew Solie (Shari Durch) of Hudson, WI, daughter Amanda Solie-Klisiewicz of Stanley, WI, her 6 grandchildren: Julia, Aidan, and Annika Solie, Dylan, Layla, and Landon Klisiewicz, sisters Pamela (Terry) Hayden and Linda (Peter) Henderson of Eau Claire, brothers Terry Hillestad of Menomonie and David (Margarita) Hillestad of Bakersfield, CA, nephews Cory Hayden (Katelynn Williams) of Madison, WI and Scott Hayden of Eau Claire, nieces and nephews Cassandra, Karina, and Adriana Hillestad and Alyssa, Joe, and Ben Kroll of Bakersfield, CA, her uncle Stan Hillestad of Eau Claire, several cousins and numerous other extended family, including her ex-husbands and their extended families (such as brothers and sisters-in law that would always speak of her fondly, and nieces and nephews that still call her “Auntie Mary”).
Mary was preceded in death by her parents Ronald and Deloras Hillestad of Eau Claire, her aunts and uncles Yvonne and John Benedict and Yvonne Hillestad of Eau Claire, and Donald and Mary Bye of Green Bay, WI, her cousins Mark (Karla) Hillestad and Daniel (Robin) Hillestad of Eau Claire, and her nephews John Lassek of Red Wing, MN and Daniel Solie of Crystal, MN.
Visitation and funeral service will be held April 30, 2021, at Hope Lutheran Church in Eau Claire (visitation 9 AM to 1 PM; service to immediately follow – funeral services are being provided through Smith Funeral Chapel in Eau Claire). Memorials can be made to Mental Health America (MHA), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) or similar.