Kenneth J. Hillestad, 81 of Eau Claire passed away Sunday, December 13, 2015 at Mayo Clinic Health System-Chippewa Valley in Bloomer, Wisconsin.

Ken was born to James and Annette Hillestad in Eau Claire. Ken graduated from Eau Claire Senior High School in 1952. He lived his whole life in Eau Claire. Ken owned and operated Hillestad Gas Station for many years on the corner of Birch Street and Starr Avenue. He was also a Reserve Deputy for the Eau Claire County Sherriff’s Department. Ken served in the Wisconsin Army National Guard. He was a crossing guard for the Eau Claire School District and also worked for the parking program at Chippewa Valley Technical College. Ken was a member of the Eau Claire Rod and Gun Club where he enjoyed shooting trap. Ken enjoyed the company of his friends at The Labor Temple on Birch Street and was an avid Packer Fan. Ken was known to his friends and neighbors as “a really nice guy.”Kenneth Hillestad 2

Ken is survived by his sisters, Yvonne (Robert) Field and Elizabeth House; nephews, Gary (Kathy) Field, Tom (Inna) Field, and Mitchell (Luann) House; nieces, Marcy (Paul) Zurn, Bonita (Kevin) Roach; and many great nieces and great nephews.

Ken was preceded in death by his parents; brother-in-law, Gerald House; nephew, Newell House; and nieces, Cheryl Thomas and Brenda Capozzi.

The family would like to give a special thanks to the Mayo Clinic Home Health & Hospice for all of their care.

Visitation will be on Saturday, December 19, 2015 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm at Smith Funeral Chapel. Burial will follow the visitation at Lutheran Cemetery.


  1. Ken was one of the nicest people in the world. He was a good friend who always had a smile and time to stop and chat a bit. He gave my son Mike a nickname, Pup, which has stuck with him all his life. R.I.P., Kack; you will be remembered fondly.

  2. I was saddened to hear of the passing of Ken. I grew up in the neighborhood and when ever any of us kids had problems with our bikes we would take them over to the gas station so Ken could fix them for us. A lot of the time at no cost. I always admired Ken for his kindness and the way he treated all of us neighborhood kids. My deepest sympathy to the Hillestad family. Jim Moore

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