Hildegard Elisabeth (Bausch) Hood died Saturday, July 7, 2018, her hand held by her loving husband Walter, as her spirit peacefully slipped the bonds of this earth and made its way to God. She leaves behind her two children, Gary (Debbie) and Christine, as well as three grandchildren Nicholas, Austin, and Giselle.
Hildegard was born June 14, 1935, in Süßen, Germany. A child growing up in Germany during World War II, she witnessed firsthand at an early, impressionable age, the ravages and turmoil of war. The oldest of three children, she often went without so that her younger siblings could have what was scarce in that country in those days. This formative experience cemented the person she would become as a wife and mother – going without so that her family, and her children in particular, had what they needed.
An adventurous spirit, at the young age of 26, she left the comfort and security of her parents, family, and all things home, and made her way to the United States. Travelling alone to Rochester, New York, she worked as a cook and nanny for several years. Undaunted despite not knowing the language or culture, she embraced head-on the challenge of a new country. As she later went on to become a mother, Hildegard made sure to instill her fearless spirit and sense of world adventure in her children.
It was on a return trip “home” to Germany, in 1963, that she met her future husband Walter who was stationed at the time in nearby Göppingen and serving in the United States Army. After an exciting but brief courtship, Hildegard and Walter were married – twice – the first in a civil ceremony on January 29th, 1965, and the second one week later in a traditional church ceremony on February 4, 1965. Not long after, on Walt’s discharge from the Army, Hildegard and Walt made their way back to the United States.
She spent a brief few years in Pullman, Washington, while her husband finished his degree at Washington State University. During this time she gave birth to her son Gary, and worked as a layout/paste-up specialist at the University’s newspaper. Upon Walt’s graduation, she and her husband eventually settled with their son in Kent, Washington, where she and Walt soon thereafter welcomed their daughter Christine. Hildegard resided in that same home, where she embraced motherhood and raised her children, for nearly 50 years, until her death.
A natural in the kitchen, her rouladen and spätzle became the things of legend among family and friends. She thoroughly enjoyed political debate, and so embraced her adopted nation that she studied for and became a naturalized citizen in 1994.
Hildegard enjoyed the outdoors, whether camping or skiing – and, rejecting what at the time was yet another societal barrier, embraced big game hunting so that she could spend more time outdoors and with her husband. She also loved fishing, traveling many times to Westport to outfish her family on charter adventures. She and Walt also spent countless hours trekking across the West Coast by motorhome to be with their children at a multitude of swim meets. In later years, she enjoyed frequent trips to the Washington and Oregon coasts, and driving and train excursions throughout the United States to visit her children and grandchildren.
Despite many health challenges in later years, she lived life to the fullest. She made a final trek to her hometown in Germany in 2015, celebrating her 80th birthday and 50th wedding anniversary surrounded by family and friends who made the trip as well to celebrate, together. True to form, she danced the night away.
A Memorial Service will be held at King of King’s Lutheran Church in Renton, Washington, at 11am on Saturday, July 28, 2018. Interment will follow on a later date at Tahoma National Cemetery.