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.


  1. I met Mary while working at the Eau Claire Area School District. There was a group of us that went out regularly for many years. We did so many fun activities together like bowling for Big Brothers Big Sisters. No one could ever forget Mary’s smile and laugh and her sense of humor. She was sunshine! She will be sorely missed. Mary’s children and family are in my thoughts and prayers. I wish you peace.

  2. We were good friends in high school. Many wonderful times on the cheerleading squad. My prayers to her family. Her angel arms will be forever around you.

  3. I am a former classmate of Mary’s from North High School. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to see her and spend some time with her during several Memorial Day weekends at my neighbor’s deck parties. She was such a delight and we had some good laughs together. She will be missed. My condolences to her family and friends.

  4. So sorry to hear of Mary’s passing. I met Mary through the Eau Claire Archery Club. We participated in many Archery tournaments. Mary was in the fingers class and I was in the mechanical release class. Mary was an excellent archer and took 1st place many times in her class. I have many great memories of Mary. She was a very nice person with a beautiful smile!

  5. To the family of Mary: I worked with Mary at the Central Office for many years. Mary was smart, dependable, and efficient in her job. She was unassuming about the talents and skills she had. Mary was always a valued employee. I want her family to know she was held in high esteem and my heart is heavy knowing you will miss her presence in your lives. God Bless you all.

  6. Mary was very sweet and fun to be with. We were cheerleaders in high school. I’m so very sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to her whole family and all who loved her. She was a beautiful person.

  7. Mary and I went to kindergarten together, then met up again in 9th grade at North High School. I had many fun sleepovers at her house and got to know her family. She was a sweet gal who was a perfectionist at everything she tried. I recently tried to find her on Facebook, with no luck. I do wish I could’ve talked to her one last time?. R.I.P. sweet Friend??

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