Dartha's Story

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Dartha Gayle Hilbert passed away Wednesday January 25,2017 in Melbourne, Florida. She was born March 24, 1943 in Gainesville, Texas (north of Dallas close to the OK line). It was here that she went to grade school and high school. Her father was the mayor of Gainesville and a land developer. Her mother passed away when Dartha was 10 years old and they were cared for by an uncle and aunt who were Church of Christ ministers.
She married Bob McDaniel who was in the Air Force. They spent time in Japan where she worked with an insurance company. When they moved back to Los Angeles, her daughter Diane was born 8/14/1969 in Long Beach. Dartha worked at the LA Air Force Station in civil service. From there they moved to Brevard County in 1970.
Dartha worked at Patrick Air Force Base for many years. In 1971 she married Bobby Hilbert (who worked at the Cape) and they enjoyed 45 years of marriage. At first they lived in Merritt Island and they cared for her father until he died. They moved to Suntree in 1996. Her positions at Patrick included working Instrumentation Radar Support Program (IRSP) in support of NASA and other government agencies. One of her more interesting positions was in the program implementing features of the START Treaty and "taking care of the Russians" who would have to inspect sites (and then Dartha would have to take them to the Base Exchange for Levi jeans!)
While at Patrick she also worked towards and completed her bachelor's degree from Rollins College in Orlando. When she "retired" then she really began working! Her occupations included running the Chaplain's Office for Good News Prison Ministry at Sharpes Jail; quilting (and even competing with Seaside Quilters); volunteering at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Merrit Island; then Hope Episcopal in Suntree and Holy Trinity Episcopal in Melbourne. She and Bobby enjoyed golfing and were members of the Suntree Country Club. They enjoyed being markers (counters) for the pros when the Senior PGA Tour had a stop at Suntree Golf Course. They joined Faith Viera Lutheran Church in 2004 and Dartha was very active with the quilters; LWML (Lutheran Women's Missionary League), women's groups and was the founder of the Travel Group which went on many day trips, weekend trips, and even week-long trips.
She is survived by her loving husband Bobby of Suntree and her daughter Diane of Gainesville, TX Also survived by numerous cousins (for whom she always embroidered baby quilts). Committal will be at Faith Viera Lutheran Columbarium following the worship service (please exit to the left through the patio area). Reception to follow in Fellowship Hall.
Published on January 30, 2017
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