Alexander Hildebrand passed away on January 23, 2012. He was preceded in death by his parents, Joel and Emily Hildebrand, sister Louise Hildebrand Klein, sister-in-law Viola Hildebrand, and brother-in-law Stuart Fitch. He is survived by his devoted wife of 63 years, Barbara Fitch Hildebrand, and by his loving daughters Harriet Hildebrand Patton (Lewis), Janet Hildebrand, and Mary Kathleen Hildebrand, granddaughters Linda Class (Mark Krajcar) and Kathleen Class, grandson David Class, and great granddaughters Ashley Class and Kayla Class, brothers Milton Hildebrand and Roger Hildebrand (Jane), sister-in-law Nancy Fitch, and many cherished nieces and nephews, great nieces and great nephews.
Alex was born and raised in the Berkeley Hills. He raised animals and rode horses, working from a young age for the Bruno Cattle Ranch. He graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a degree in Physics and Chemistry and became an engineer for Standard Oil of California, eventually becoming the head of a large research laboratory in southern California. During World War II, after a stint in the Navy Reserves, he served the war effort as chief engineer at an oil refinery on Bahrain Island in the Persian Gulf, and upon returning home he purchased farmland southwest of Manteca on the San Joaquin River. In 1962 he took an early retirement from Standard Oil and moved his family to the farm. For almost fifty years he farmed his land and served as the consulting engineer to the South Delta Water Agency (SDWA). He worked tirelessly to protect the Delta and the agriculture of the region. In addition to SDWA he served on many boards and committees including the San Joaquin Farm Bureau board and the California Farm Bureau Water Committee, the Delta Water Users Board, the Water Education Foundation Advisory Board, the California Central Valley Flood Control Association Board, and with several others created the San Joaquin River Flood Control Association. He was appointed by Governor Wilson to the CalFed Bay Delta Oversight Committee and then the CalFed Bay Delta Advisory Committee. He served as president of the McMullin Reclamation District and his local irrigation district for many years. He was outspoken and persistent in his advocacy of Delta water and agriculture, but treated others with respect and always appreciated a good debate.
He was warm and loving and caring to his family and was an inspiration to many. He will be greatly missed by those whose lives he touched.
Arrangements for Mr. Hildebrand are under the direction of P.L. Fry and Son Funeral Home, 290 North Union Road, Manteca. Services will be held in private. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to the SJFB Foundation for Agricultural Education, 3290 N. Ad Art Rd., Stockton, CA 95215 or to Restore the Delta, 10100 Trinity Parkway, Suite 120, Stockton, CA 95219, www.restorethedelta.org . For condolences to the family please visit our website at www.plfryandson.com (search obituaries)
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Wednesday, January 25, 2012