Hilda Rieathbaum, 96, precious mother and Nannie, passed gently into the arms of her Lord and Savior on April 20, 2023, in Hobbs, NM. Hilda was born March 14, 1927, to Peter and Josefa Drosch in Selzthal, Austria. She was raised in the town of Windeschgarstern near the foothills of the Alps. At age 16, during World War II, Hilda began a nurse’s apprenticeship in the Austrian Red Cross. During this time, she helped many American soldiers and fell in love with one, who became her husband, James Rieathbaum. Hilda moved to the US with James in 1947 and obtained her citizenship. Hilda and James had a son and daughter, who they raised in Arkansas. James was tragically killed in a car accident when the children were very young, and his brother Virgil stepped in and married Hilda. Hilda and Virgil raised their family in West Texas and Southeast New Mexico, where Virgil worked for El Paso Natural Gas, and Hilda was a homemaker. When Virgil retired, they settled in Hobbs, where they lived the remainder of their lives.
Hilda loved spending time with her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren. She actively cheered them on at all their events, never missing a game or dance recital. She was known to all that loved her as Nannie. She enjoyed fishing, traveling, crocheting, knitting, gardening, and cooking. She was known by her family for her famous goulash, schnitzel, chicken-fried steak, and pecan pie. She loved Christmas and enjoyed singing Christmas carols all year long. Hilda was an active member of First Baptist Church and was very involved with Keenagers.
Hilda was greeted in heaven by her parents, husband James Rieathbaum, husband Virgil Rieathbaum, sister Grete Stummer, son-in-law Benny Hoyl, and two granddaughters Andrea Sherfick and Gregi Reed.
Left to cherish her memories are her daughter Linda Hoyl, son James Rieathbaum, grandson Brian McNerlin (Melanie), granddaughter Misty Funk (Kenny), granddaughter Shalisa Heath (Mike), two great granddaughters Taylor Funk (Clay Hogwood) and Sadie McNerlin, two great-great-granddaughters Brinley and Bray Hogwood and numerous nieces and nephews.
A special thank you to the ladies at the Beehive for their loving care throughout the past few years. Memorial contributions can be made to the Boys & Girls Club of Hobbs.