Michael E. Hilger, 48, Stewartville, Minn., died Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, unexpectedly of natural causes in Stewartville.

He was born March 4, 1970, in Sheboygen, Wisc., to Thomas and Karen (Dotzert) Hilger. The Hilger Family moved to Hays where Michael attended Hays High School, graduating in 1988. He then attended Fort Hays State University for three years where he majored in music. He attended Central Bible College in Springfield, Mo.m earning a 4-year degree in Bible Studies.

He married Crystal R. Bangle on June 24, 1989, in Hays. They later divorced. He was a youth pastor in Lewiston, Maine, senior pastor in Leroy, and pastor of River of Life Assembly of God Church, Stewartville, until 2008. He was then employed by Kwik Trip Co. He attended services at Zion Lutheran Church and had recently become keyboardist and music leader at their Saturday evening service.

He helped chaperone many Stewartville marching band trips, parades and competitions. He also volunteered with Rochester Area Youth for Christ, Paws and Claws, and the Robotics Team at Austin High School. In addition, he coached his kids’ soccer teams. He also enjoyed photography and LED lights. He was a collector of “things” and followed the Kansas City Chiefs. His children were his everything and he loved time spent with his family.

He is survived by his children, Gabriel of Eagle Lake, Minn.; Brooke of Stewartville; KyAnne of Springfield, Mo., and Nathanael of Stewartville; his fiancée, Franny Madison of Austin, Minn., and her children, Joshua, Gregory and Aaron; his father, Rev. Tom Hilger, Stewartville; sister – Debbie (Julio) Blanco of Louisville, Colo.; two brothers, Steven (Sherry) Hilger of Lee’s Summit, Mo., and David (Jen) Hilger of Norman, Okla.; nieces and nephews Anna Blanco, Max Blanco and Shannon Blanco, Kathryn Hilger, Jake Hilger and Matthew Hilger. He was preceded in death by his mother and two infants who died prior to birth, Grace and Christopher.

Services will be 11 a.m. Friday at Zion Lutheran Church, Stwartville, Minn., with Reve. Byron Meline officiating. Vsitation will be 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the church and one hour prior to service at the church Friday. A private family burial will take place at a later date. Arrangements are with Griffin-Gray Funeral Home in Stewartville. Online condolences and memories are welcome at www.griffin-gray.com