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Rudolph ‘Rudy’ Hillig

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Rudolph “Rudy” H. Hillig, 87, of Brainerd died on Thursday, May 31, 2012, at his home. Funeral services for Rudy will be held on Tuesday, June 5, 2012, at 11 a.m. at Zion Lutheran Church in Brainerd. Visitation will be one hour prior to services at the church. Interment will be in Sebeka, Minn.

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Rudy was born on June 29, 1924, in a log cabin to Richard and Minnie (Hennen) Hillig North of Wadena, five miles south of Sebeka, Minn. He attended a one-room country school, Dist. 23, and Sebeka High School. While helping on the family farm, he also worked at the Potter chicken farm and started a nursery and green house in Wadena. In 1944 at the age of 20, Rudy enrolled at the U of M, earning is B.A. in Horticulture, in 1947. Rudy continued with research at the U of M, while being involved in floral retail and wholesale and floral design schooling. Rudy received his M.A. degree in 1957. In 1965 he came to Brainerd to teach Retail Floral design, at Brainerd Vo-tech and a new course in Nursery Landscaping. In the early 1970s he operated the Pequot nursery in Baxter. In 1975 Rudy opened and managed the Paul Bunyan Arboretum, (now known as the Northland Arboretum). In 1993, he opened the Nature Learning Center in Baxter, and retired from there in 2003. A large part of the trees and landscaping in the Brainerd-Baxter area, are of Rudy’s labor and design.

Rudy was the youngest of six children of Richard and Minnie Hillig. He was preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Minnie; sisters, Lily Butzin, Elsie Riley, Bertha Hemphill and Clara Lenimen; and brother, Charles. He is survived by his nieces and nephews. Arrangements have been entrusted to Brenny Funeral Chapel in Baxter.

Brenny Funeral Chapel and Cremation Services

www.brenny.com

(800) 824-5051

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