Hilda Mae was born to Charles F. and Agnes J. (Zhorne) Kesl on Feb. 27, 1915, in Elberon. Charles died in the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918 and Agnes returned to her parents’ home south of Tama with her two children. In 1920, she married Joseph C. Krezek, an old friend and neighbor. Together they raised her two children and the two daughters of their own.
Hilda attended Columbia #2 country school, Tama Junior High and graduated from Tama High School in 1932.
On Feb. 4, 1937, Hilda was joined in marriage to John H. Lenhart, a life-long acquaintance. They started life together on the J.C. Krezek farm which was to be their home for 62 years. To this union were born two daughters, Sharlene and Rosemary. In 1999, they sold the farm and moved to Iowa City to live with Sharlene.
Hilda loved her life on the farm. She helped Johnnie in all the farm activities and community work educating their daughters. She enjoyed raising food for her family, her thriving poultry flock, extensive gardens and orchard, and caring for their comfortable homestead. Her life was busy with cooking, canning and caring for her home and family. She enjoyed helping Johnnie in his woodworking and other carpentry projects. T
hroughout her life, she was a great believer in education and especially enjoyed reading, learning and experiencing new things. Her church work was very important in her life. The great joy of her life was her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 69 years, Johnnie; her father, Charles Kesl, her mother and step-father, Agnes and Joseph Krezek; one brother and his wife, Leon (Edna) Kesl; two half-sisters and their husbands, Beatrice (E.J) Bru and Emily (Kenny) Custer; parents-in-law, Joseph and Alvina Lenhart; two brothers-in-law, Clifford and Donald Lenhart; sister-in-law and her husband, Bernice (Lyle) Pagel.
She is survived by two daughters, Sharlene of Iowa City and Rosemary (John L.) Gildea of Lilburn, Ga.; four grandchildren, Joe (Carrie) Gildea of Smyrna, Ga., Dawn (B.J.) Kinard of Murell’s Inlet, S.C., Ruth (John) Taylor of Lawrenceville, Ga. and Karen Gildea of Lilburn, Ga.; four great-grandchildren, Samantha and Gavin Kinard of Murell’s Inlet, S.C. and Elise and Jay Gildea of Smyrna, Ga.; three sisters-in-law, Joan Yanda of Maquoketa, Dorothy Lenhart of Tama and Rita Lenhart of Tama; and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Iowa City Hospice or a charity of your choice.
Hilda Mae Lenhart