For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, and I have kept the faith. II Timothy 4:6-7
On April 19th, 1932, Hilda Martha Neidig entered this world as the third daughter born to Alma Brown Kastner and Alfred Kastner. The girls were the apple of their dad’s eye, they were his pride and joy, but it was often wondered, if the thought of having sons, to help him with the farming and the cattle, ever entered his mind. If it did, there was never a deterrence from teaching his daughters about farm life and all that it entailed. There were cows to be fed and some to be milked, chickens to feed, eggs to gather, gardens to plant and harvest, canning, cooking, caring for the family home, and more. There were long days, and some were harder than others, but the work ethic stuck. For those of you that knew Hilda, she was a hard, hard worker, and never complained about it.
Hilda walked many miles over the years to attend school in McDade. There she completed grades one through eight. With the closing of McDade High School, she and her classmates traveled to Elgin for their High School years. She made new friendships and experienced activities she had not previously had the opportunity to be a part of. A new adventure opened to her, and she loved those years at EHS.
In 1948, at the age of 16, Hilda was crowned the very first McDade Watermelon Festival Teenage Queen. She set the bar in her family for royalty, as her daughter and two of her granddaughters were also crowned queens.
Her sophomore year was especially intriguing and played a very big part in her story. There was a particular young man who had his sights set on her; unbeknownst to him, she too had her sights set on him. While changing classes they met on the stairwell, and he very timidly and quickly passed her a note, which was somewhat warm and moist from his nervous hand. Making certain she was out of his view, she quickly opened the note and read "Will you go with me to the football game on Friday?” Not wasting any time, she quickly approached her parents and received their permission to go. The very next day, without hesitation she marched right up to Richard and told him she would love to go to the football game with him. And so it began… From that moment on, Richard picked Hilda up every Friday evening, in his father's Ford Model A Ford, and off to the games they would go. When football season came to an end, their once-a-week date became encompassed a movie at the Eltex Movie Theater in Elgin.
Hilda's Senior year at EHS was an eventful one as well. During lunch, on the campus under the big oak trees, Richard proposed to Hilda. Without consideration for her future plans to attend college, she accepted. Due to Richard's enlistment in the National Guard and keeping up with their education, their time together was limited. But love and the Lord saw them through it all. After graduating high school, the two were married on June 11, 1950, at the McDade First Baptist Church. They purchased a farm from Hilda's father, which they immediately embarked on fixing up an existing home on the property and began their farming and ranching business. In the years of 1951, 1956, and 1959, they were blessed to become the parents of two boys, Richard Lawrence “Larry,” and Terrence Lynn “Terry,” and one daughter Kathleen “Kathy.” Life for them got even busier. Hilda managed to help with the farming and ranching, taking care of the gardening and canning, cooking, and caring for their home and children. And seemingly did so with ease and never complained. Her entire heart and world revolved around her family. She embraced it all and sealed it with a hug, a kiss, and an "I love you" each and every day.
With farming being a seasonal income for the family, Hilda worked away from home and the farm as well. She worked for the Internal Revenue Service, Stop & Go Incorporated, McDade Independent School District, and later the US Postal Service.
Hilda was conditioned in body and spirit to work hard, to love big, and to give a lot. She truly loved the quaint little town where she was born and raised. She loved her community of people, who all watched out and helped one another, and often worked together hand in hand for the good of the town, and through it all found laughter, love and fellowship with one another. She was a member of numerous organizations which were near and dear to her heart: The Home Demonstration Club, the Garden Club, the McDade Historical Association, and the McDade Watermelon Festival Association. And she always managed to be actively involved in her children's school and 4-H activities as well.
Her strength and vitality were hindered in January of 2021, when she fell at home during a very cold and icy winter. By the grace of God and her history of excellent health and a very strong will she pulled through. A little weaker physically, but as strong as ever in spirit. She entered Towers Nursing Home in Smithville, Texas for rehabilitation. Much improvement was made, but her falls continued and each one took their toll. Hilda departed this world in the very early morning hours of Saturday, August the 19th. In her final hours she was surrounded by her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephew, and sister who all loved her so very much.
Hilda is survived by her three children, Larry Neidig and wife Brooke of McDade, Terry Neidig and wife Debbie of McDade, Kathy Gersch and husband Bryan of Giddings; grandchildren, Sherri Neidig and significant other Jody, Trisha Weaver and husband Andy, Shaun Neidig and wife Katie, Tori Howard and husband Allan, Heath Neidig and significant Amamda, Major Neidig and wife Robyn, Christine Mittasch and husband Tim, Josh Boriack and wife Melanie, Bethany Lara and husband Abel, Mary Ann Little and significant Rich, Jerry Little and wife Hailey, Joe Little and wife Lisa, Tony Roberts, Wayne Roberts, Katie Roberts, Shaina Radcliff and husband Ben, Sarah Janda and husband Jacob, Alicia Moreton and Husband Scott; 31 great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, extended family and dear friends.
Heath Neidig, Josh Boriack, Major Neidig. Shaun Neidig, Braydon Irwin, Dalton Irwin., Tony Roberts, and Wayne Roberts
Andrew Weaver, Andy Weaver, Alan Howard, Nathan Howard, Nicholas Howard, Tim Mittasch, Tristan Mittasch, Abel Lara, Mason Lara, Caleb Boriack, Hutson Boriack, Jody Smart, LT Neidig, Optimus Neidig, Mark Neidig, and Richard Walla
Memorial Contributions can be made, in Hilda Kastner Neidig’s Memory, to the McDade Baptist Church.