Mary Jessie Hilsenberg passed away peacefully on June 27, 2012 in Charlotte North Carolina.

Caregivers from The Little Flower, the assisted living home where she lived her final days, nicknamed Mary the "Little Hummingbird". Because even though 98 years of life began to take it's toll on her mind and body, she could still be heard humming out loud as she strolled the halls of The Little Flower. Mary always had a gentle song in her heart and a strong faith in God that sustained her through life's storms and to embrace the love of family. This is the reason she touched so many lives and will be missed by all that knew her.

Mary was most at home in the garden, always in awe of the beauty of nature around her. It was with a childlike wonderment that she expressed herself at the sight of blooming flower or a large tree turning color in the fall. She loved horses and enjoyed riding both English and Western, well into her eighties. Most mornings of Mary's adult life would be spent puttering around the stables as she tended to the animals, then her garden; there she would stay most of the day, doing what she loved most.

Mary is preceded in death by her husband of 54 years Hubert Hilsenberg, son Gary Stride, son Thomas Hilsenberg and daughter Gail Johnson. She is survived by her son Allen Hilsenberg of Montague, CA and daughter Heidi Williams of Charlotte, NC.

Mary is also survived by eleven grandchildren: Scot Stride, Jeffrey Stride, Shelly Hendrixson, Kelly Stride, Monica DiVincenzo, Cynthia Johnson, Erik Johnson, Damon Hilsenberg, Trevor Hilsenberg, Tiffany Hilsenberg, Sonya Borton. Fourteen great grandchildren: Karl Stride, Julie Marie Stride, Mitchell Stride, Brad Hendrixson, Rebekah Woerl, Brock Woerl, Jessica Mazzone, Derio DiVincenzo, Rhiannon DiVincenzo, Dominic DiVincenzo, Gabriel Martinez, Sarah Johnson, Arianna Minor, and Lotus Deen (expected Nov 11, 2012),and four great-great grandchildren: Kalyssa Mazzone, Anthony Mazzone, Lorenzo Mazzone, Avec Viramontes.

This video is a tribute to Mary and the remembers the woman who made the day brighter with her smile and her song, and gave us wonderful memories that will keep our hearts warm for the rest of our lives.

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