Elizabeth Rianhard Hilgenberg, 101

Homemaker, volunteer

August 09, 2007

Elizabeth Rianhard Hilgenberg, a volunteer and homemaker, died Sunday at the Broadmead retirement community. She was 101.

Family members said Mrs. Hilgenberg died while taking a morning nap. She had suffered no final illness and had eaten breakfast in the dining room as usual that day. Her last words before falling asleep were about how she had enjoyed the meal.

"Even while suffering the infirmities of old age, she never complained or lost her good spirits, and she found things to like and appreciate in everyone she met," said a son, John C. Hilgenberg of Stevenson.

Born Elizabeth Lincoln Rianhard on Staten Island, N.Y., she moved to Baltimore in the early 1920s and lived in Poplar Hill. She was a 1925 graduate of Bryn Mawr School and attended Vassar College. She made her debut at the Bachelors Cotillon, and in 1933, she married Carl Hilgenberg, who was vice president of his family's business, Carr Lowrey Glass Co., in the Westport section of Baltimore.

They lived in Manhattan and Mount Kisco, N.Y., before returning to the Baltimore area, first on a family farm in Baltimore County and later in Roland Park and Guilford.

During World War II, she was an aircraft spotter.

Mrs. Hilgenberg volunteered at the League of Women Voters and the YWCA International Center in East Baltimore, where she helped foreign women adapt to life in Baltimore. She also tutored city children.

After Mr. Hilgenberg retired in 1963, the couple made overseas trips, including a trip around the world with many stops and detours, traveling mostly on freighters and cargo liners.

She was a member of the Elkridge Club and a past member of the Hamilton Street and Mount Vernon clubs.

She enjoyed gardening, music and reading. After losing her eyesight 20 years ago, she listened to recorded books, music and public television shows.

In 1979, she and her husband moved to Broadmead, where they were among the first residents. Mr. Hilgenberg died in 1995.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Aug. 16 at Broadmead, 13801 York Road in Cockeysville.

In addition to her son, survivors include another son, Carl George Hilgenberg II of Littleton, N.H.; a daughter, Elizabeth H. Heminway of Baggio, Italy; three grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

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