Mary Catherine (Seib) Hilmes

Mary Catherine (Seib) Hilmes, age 86, passed away on April 29, 2021 at Via Christi Village, Hays, Kansas.

She was born on April 25, 1935 in Ness City, Kansas, the daughter of Paul and Mary (Stoecklein) Seib. She was raised on the family farm outside of Ness City with her nine brothers and four sisters. She graduated from Ness City High School in 1953.

On January 23, 1956 Mary entered into marriage with James Lewis Hilmes at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Ness City, Kansas.

Mary and James raised their five children in Great Bend, Kansas and were parishioners of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. In 2000, after retirement, Mary and James moved to Hays, Kansas to be closer to family. There they became parishioners of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. They lived comfortably in Hays and ultimately moved to Via Christi Village in 2016.

Mary began her work career at the Ness County Extension Office shortly after her graduation from high school. After her marriage to James, Mary spent many years as a homemaker providing unconditional love, care and support to her husband and children.  During this time, she was also a regular volunteer at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in the school library, for classroom reading time, and in a variety of church activities.  From 1977 through her retirement in 1987, she worked as the company bookkeeper at Home Appliance Center in Great Bend.  

Mary was devoted to God, to her faith, and to her family. Her compassion and empathy could be felt in her presence and in all that she did for others. Even as her health and treasured memories diminished in her later years, her kind and friendly demeanor was eternally evident.

Throughout her life, Mary especially valued visits with her parents, siblings and in-laws.  She was an avid and successful bowler in her community leagues, state tournaments and most of all in family holiday bowling competitions with her children and grandchildren.

She enjoyed playing cards and board games, and all things that brought her family together.  In their retirement years, Mary and James made many exciting and educational trips with their grandchildren. Mary was preceded in death by her husband and her parents; two brothers, James Seib and Tony Seib; three sisters, Eleanor (Ed) Knoll, Benita (Dan) Snyder, and Sister Florence Seib; and two sisters-in-law, Joan Seib and Barbara Seib.

Mary is survived by her five children, Terry Hilmes and his wife Kelly (Lawrence), Joyce Montelongo and her husband Joseph (Fort Collins, CO), Elaine Younger and her fiancé Brad Schaben (Bazine), Rodney Hilmes (Ardmore, OK), and Brian Hilmes and his wife Chelley (Edmond, OK); seven brothers, Eugene Seib, Paul (Shelby) Seib, Jr., Robert (JoAnn) Seib, Tom (Ellen) Seib, Vern (Glenda) Seib, Jerry Seib, and Gary (Gloria) Seib; and one sister, Lorita (Leonard) Franz; one sister-in-law, Wilma Seib; 7 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.

Mass of Christian burial will be at 10:00 am on Monday, May 3, 2021 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church with Fr. Nick Parker officiating.  Burial will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery. 

Visitation will be from 5:00 pm until 8:00 on Sunday and from 9:00 am until 9:45 on Monday, all at Hays Memorial Chapel Funeral Home.  A vigil service and rosary will be at 6:30 pm on Sunday at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. John’s Chapel at Via Christi or to Hospice of HaysMed. 

Condolences and memories of Mary may be shared with the family at

Posted online on May 01, 2021