Harold Paul Hilbert

Harold Paul Hilbert (BS Mech Egr '68) of Mason, Mich., died May 8, 2010. A Pearl Harbor survivor, Harold was born in Long Beach, Calif., in 1935 to Harold and Annette Hilbert. Over the years, he lived in Honolulu, Hawaii; Lewiston, Idaho; the Bay Area in California; the Lansing area; and, for the last 33 years, Mason, Mich. He finished a machinist apprenticeship at Mare Island Shipyard at age 19, was drafted into the Army during the Cold War, worked in our nation's nuclear defense industry, and in 1968 earned his mechanical engineering degree from Michigan State. During his student years at MSU, Henry Blosser, director of the then-new cyclotron laboratory hired him to work there. Harold worked his way up from student worker to senior project engineer in charge of building and maintaining the cyclotrons and research equipment. Harold retired in 2000, moving on to work for his son, Sean, at Cobra Motorcycles, working long, fun-filled weeks selling the only American-made dirt bike. He will be missed by his family and many friends, as well as the many people he helped through the years while hiding his big heart behind his gruff demeanor.

He is survived by his wife of almost 30 years, Becky; his children: Sean (Linda) Hilbert, Vernon (Kristi) Elliott, Dan (Casey) Elliott, and Carina Hilbert; ten grandchildren; his sister Gina (Ken) Coleman and twin sister Pauline (Will) Williams; and many, many cousins.

In lieu of flowers, the family requested that donations be made to the MSU College of Engineering's scholarship fund in Harold's name. He always believed in the worth of an engineering degree and a good education. He was a Spartan to the end.