Sara Lamun Hilgers, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, community librarian and friend to many, died on July 2, 2014, in Austin. She was preceded in death by her loving parents and by her brother whom she adored, David Lamun.
Sara was born on July 3, 1922, to Bernard and Sylvia Lamun in Kaw City, Okla. They moved to Coffeyville, Kan., and in the midst of the Great Depression, her family boarded a train to Texas to the oil boom areas of West Texas. She graduated from Big Spring High School. She attended what was then John Tarleton College in Stephenville, Texas, and later received her undergraduate degree in library science from North Texas State in Denton, Texas.
After college, Sara worked as a librarian at the Public Library in San Angelo, Texas. On a visit home she went on a blind double date and was struck by her friend’s escort, a World War II veteran named Bill Hilgers. Bill was stationed in Big Spring at the end of his military service and was about to be discharged. As soon as that first date was over, he asked Sara out. Their relationship continued after he moved to Lockhart, Texas, and the pair soon realized that they were meant to be together. They were married on Dec. 23, 1945, only a few months after they met. Their marriage was extremely happy and rewarding, and for nearly 70 years, Bill and Sara worked through the difficulties of life with grace, dignity and love for each other. In 1958, the Hilgers family moved permanently to their farm just north of Elroy, Texas, where Sara worked to maintain the farm and the family.
Sara was a Life Elder of University Christian Church where she spent many years of dedicated service in a variety of leadership capacities. She also served as a Board Member of the Juliette Fowler Home in Dallas, Texas.
Sara had a lifelong love of books and reading. She served as the Head Librarian for the Del Valle Independent School District and, subsequently, as chief librarian at Applied Research Laboratory. At the age of 55, instead of enjoying retirement, Sara earned her Masters of Library Science from the University of Texas. During that time, Sara saw a need for a library in her community. Starting with only a few boxes of books, Sara spent years working in the community and expanding the library until it had grown into a building with computers, study areas and rows of full shelves. Today, her hard work continues to bring books and educational opportunities to the residents, particularly the children, of this small rural community. On July 3, 2009, the Elroy Community Library was renamed the Sara L. Hilgers Library and Learning Center.
She loved wildflowers, butter pecan ice cream, whale watching, wolves, waves crashing on the beach, compost, the smell of West Texas oil fields and a good class of pinot grigio. She spent her free time taking care of her roses, knitting, and reading murder mysteries. Her greatest love, however, was for the people in her life. No matter where she was or what role she was playing, Sara welcomed people of all ages, races, and backgrounds. She was a careful listener, counselor and friend to anyone in need.
Sara spent her final years at Westminster Manor in Austin where she found many new friends. These people deeply enriched her life. The family wishes to express its deep appreciation to all the thoughtful and dedicated caregivers at the skilled nursing center at Westminster Manor, but in particular to Venus Dever and Kathy Cody for their very special care. Also, we express our love and appreciation for Norman Chenven who has provided invaluable service to our family in so many ways. The immediate family also wants to pay tribute to sister Sara for all of the time and special care she gave to her mother over these past few years.
Sara leaves behind a grateful family. She is survived by her loving husband of almost 70 years, William B. Hilgers, and their children: David Hilgers and his wife, Joan, John Hilgers and his wife, Reba, Sara Hilgers, and Paul Hilgers and his wife, Nancy. She is also survived by six grandchildren: Kelly Hilgers Winship and husband, Adam, Lauren Hilgers and husband, Taylor Price, Matthew Hilgers and wife, Heather, Blakely Scott and husband, Aaron, John Michael Hilgers, and Sydney Hilgers. She is also survived by her great-grandchildren Isaac and Aster Winship and Vincent Hilgers. She also leaves behind cousins, nieces, nephews, and other extended family, all who loved her dearly. She will be deeply missed.
A Memorial Service will be held at University Christian Church on Friday, July 11, 2014 at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers please consider making donations in Sara’s name to the University Christian Church and designate it for the Micah 6 hunger relief program sponsored by area Churches including University Christian Church.
Arrangements by Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home (512) 452-8811.