DENNIS, MA - Norman Gene Hildreth Sr., 73, died peacefully on Thursday June 9, 2011 at Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis with his loving family by his side. He was the beloved husband of Helen Marie (Daley) Hildreth for 49 years. Norm fought through cancer and other health issues the last few years with the dignity that defined him as a husband, father, brother, grandfather, and friend to those who knew him. He is survived by his son Norm (Chip) Hildreth Jr and wife Sue (Hall) Hildreth, their children Alex and Hannah; his son Mark Hildreth and wife Michaela (Gath) Hildreth, their children Paige, Craig, and Kyle; his only daughter Victoria Hildreth Lynch and husband Scott Lynch, their children Connor and Benjamin; his son Chris Hildreth and wife Susan (Gotham) Hildreth, their twin daughters Reese and Grayson. He is also survived by his brothers Donald Hildreth and Richard Hildreth and predeceased by his sister Barbara Hildreth Camille and brother George Hildreth Jr. Norm is survived by many more family members and friends who were so important in his life.
Norm was born in Framingham, MA on January 19, 1938, the fourth son of George and Alice (Cormier) Hildreth. He enlisted in the U.S. Army shortly after graduating from Framingham South High School. He served two years of active duty in West Germany and 3 years in the U.S. Army reserves prior to his honorable discharge in 1963. Norm and Helen married in 1962 and settled in Worcester, MA while they proudly built their own home in Milford, MA where they raised their family for 30 years. Since 1997 Norm and Helen have lived on Cape Cod, including the last 9 years in Dennis, MA in a home that they designed themselves.
Norm earned an Associate Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University in 1962 and was employed by David Clark Company in Worcester, MA where he worked with the team that developed space suits for NASA’s Gemini and Apollo programs. From 1967 to 1999 he worked at Foxboro Company where he advanced in his career from a Design Draftsmen to a Senior Development Engineer. While at Foxboro, with encouragement from his close colleagues and family, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Central New England College in 1978. Post “retirement” Norm established a design engineering services company, NGH Mechanical Design, and worked with several companies in the Cape Cod area including Oceaneering and Woods Hole Group. His engineering expertise on robotic underwater vehicle projects has contributed to the science of oceanography as well as homeland security, environmental cleanup, and search & recovery.
He was also an accomplished sailor and outdoorsman. Norm sailed for well over 35 years having started out with a small Sunfish boat back in the 1970's. He gradually moved up to a 31 footer which he captained and maintained through his recent illness. Over the decades he taught and shared with his wife, children, grandchildren and friends the joy of sailing as well as other outdoor activities such as canoeing, kayaking, camping, hiking, cycling, and skiing.
The family would like to thank the staff at the Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, MA for their care and compassion. Donations can be made in Norm’s memory to either: Davenport-Mugar Cancer Center, Oncology, Hematology, Cape Cod Hospital, 27 Park St., Hyannis, MA 02601 or Independence House Food Pantry, 160 Bassett Lane, Hyannis MA, 02601 www.indhouse.net.