Daniel S. Hillestad, July 28, 1958 - November 27, 2020

Daniel S. Hillestad
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Daniel Steven Hillestad went home to be with his Lord and savior on Friday, November 27th 2020 with his beloved wife, Robin, at his side.

Daniel was born July 28th, 1958 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin to Stan and Yvonne Hillestad. He grew up with his older brother, Mark, and many cousins, and spent much of his time exploring the outdoors, fishing, and playing tennis. He was the #1 tennis singles player at Memorial High School all three years and beat his brother Mark for the conference singles championship in his junior year. 

Daniel graduated from Memorial High School in 1976. He received academic and tennis scholarships for Pacific Lutheran University. After one year at PLU, he enlisted in the Navy and was stationed in San Diego, California, for four years. He enrolled at San Diego State University, where he studied biology and physical education. He graduated Magna Cum Laude and received the Physical Education department award. After graduation, Daniel taught both physical education and biology in the San Diego school district.

Daniel met Robin at their church and they married on December 28, 1982, beginning the beautiful love story crafted by the Lord. They continued serving in that church in multiple roles, including dean of the Bible school, administrators, associate pastors and then serving as senior pastors.

In 2018, he and Robin returned to Eau Claire to help care for his mother after she suffered a stroke.  After his mother’s passing and his brother, Mark’s, passing six months previous, they remained in Eau Claire to help care for his family. He spent his time pouring God’s love out to his father, his sister-in-law, nieces, and their families. He was a blessing in so many ways and took every opportunity to point others toward God’s glory.

After surviving a heart attack and major heart surgery in 2012, Daniel suffered a heart aneurysm on November 27th, which led to his passing.

From the moment Daniel gave his life to Jesus, he began a journey to see Him and abide in Him. Daniel believed that God’s highest call and greatest reward is to find God’s love, to receive that love, and to share that love with others.  Anyone who knew Daniel felt the benefits of that pursuit. Daniel was enormously generous, joy-filled, and faced life with optimism and gratitude.

Daniel was sold out to God, and he strove to live his life in the fullness of God’s Spirit, walking in the good path of God’s glory. He yearned to be with the Lord. We praise God that his prayer was answered, and that Daniel is not only healed, but he is reveling in God’s glory forevermore. All glory and honor to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of his faith!

“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16

Rather than a formal service or visitation, you are welcome to call Robin or Stan to talk or to plan a personal visit. Family and friends may offer condolences online at hulkefamilyfh.com.

Hulke Family Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.


  1. Mike and Judy Reetz December 20, 2020

    Stan and Family.....We hold all of you in our hearts and lift you in our prayers. We are sorry for your loss and you have our condolences. Sounds like Danial and Robin had a "match" made in Heaven, and spent a lifetime together doing the Lord's work in bringing others to Christ and spreading the Good News. We hope you find comfort in all your memories shared together and God's promises. God's Peace....Mike/Judy

  2. Laura Smit December 17, 2020

    Robin! This is such a shock. Such mixed feelings as I feel like Dan must be celebrating and loving heaven and so excited for him. Just so sad he went home and left us here. He will be missed. Love to you!

  3. Ivar Lunde December 10, 2020

    On behalf of the Ager Association and Museum, we send our heartfelt condolences regarding the death of Daniel Hillestad.

  4. STEVEN M HAUCK December 8, 2020

    I didn't realize my visit on the silver motorcycle would be the last time I would spend some time with Dan. Sorry for your loss but I am so encouraged that he's now with our great Savior. May God comfort your heart. Steve

  5. Mark & Cindy Donnelly December 7, 2020

    Robin and Stan, we were so sad to learn of Dan's sudden passing last week! We are so sorry for your loss! We enjoyed reconnecting with him in the past couple of years and were hoping to do it again, but God had other plans! However, we rejoice that He is with the Lord and look forward to seeing him again someday! We are praying for both of you during this time. Mark and Cindy Donnelly.

  6. Rudy Pahl December 7, 2020

    Robin, sorry for your lose. I In Gods Love, Rudy Pahl

  7. Erik Hadland December 5, 2020

    Dan was a good kid. Stan was a good teacher. Dittos what Jody wrote.

  8. Delores and rev richard buege December 4, 2020

    We are so sorry to hear Daniel passed away. Our sympathy to you all as we send thoughts and prayers.

  9. Jody Grambo Nelson December 4, 2020

    My heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the entire Hillestad family and all who knew and loved our friend Dan. Our families connected through church, the community and school and I will always remember Dan’s wonderful sense of humor which brightened many of our days. What a beautiful tribute to his life and faith walk honoring the Lord! There truly isn’t a doubt that he is now in his real home in Heaven resting in the arms of Jesus and joyfully hearing those words promised to all who call Him Lord and Savior, “Well done good and faithful servant.” Shalom my friend - MEET YOU AT THE SUMMIT!

  10. kathy johansen (seveson) December 4, 2020

    Stan, and Robin. So sorry to hear of Daniel's passing. You have suffered much human loss in the past couple of years, but God is good, and the separation is only temporary, by your testimony. I did not know Daniel, but his parents I did. Stan,you were my German teacher, Sunday school teacher, and distant relative, or as my brother, Greg, always spoke, we were cousins. May the GREAT LORD comfort you with his peace. Kathy

  11. Paul Nelson December 3, 2020

    Dear Stan, I’m so sorry to hear about Danny. I enjoyed watching you play with him last summer and thought how lucky you were to have each other. My deepest condolences.
    Paul Nelson

  12. Bob Dahl December 3, 2020

    Sorry about your loss.

  13. Sheila Wilkinson December 3, 2020

    On behalf of the EC Republican Women, I wish to send our condolences. I (Sheila) did not personally know Dan, but after reading his obituary, I realize what a treasure he was. May God wrap His loving arms around all of you during this time and give you strength.

  14. Doug Zabriskie December 2, 2020

    How precious that you two reconciled in love, and had time together and the way you blessed others. My heart is aggrieved with you, and for you. You are a precious sister. Grieve and rejoice.
    I will always have a special place for you

  15. Kimberly Hill Phelps December 2, 2020

    Stan, Robin and all who loved Dan,

    My sympathy to you all. Dan was a good man with a smile on his face every time I saw him in EC. This was heartbreaking news.

  16. Ty Couillard December 2, 2020

    Stan and relatives: Sorry to hear of Dan's passing. I grew up with Dan and knew him very well from tennis and our Navy days. Dan was a super smart person and very fun to be with and I will miss him.

  17. Tracee Randall December 2, 2020

    Robin, I know you are covered and surrounded by friends who will hold your hand, cry with you, and pray with you...but I'm here if you want to talk or just need someone to listen. We are all praying for you and love you. Love you, friend. Tracee & Bobby

  18. John Mark Nielsen December 1, 2020

    My condolences to the whole Hillestad family, Robin, and all who knew this wonderful firebrand for Jesus. Daniel was a superstar in my book, shining so bright for His Lord that he always made me want to take it to the next level. It was my privilege to be one of his roommates "back in the day" in San Diego and to observe his successes over the years.

    I will miss you, Dan! See you soon on the other side!

  19. Michael Olkives December 1, 2020

    My sincere condolences to the Hillestad family. I have not seen him since high school but remember him fondly.

  20. Tim Bakken November 30, 2020

    My deepest condolences to the Hillestad family. I learned a lot from Dan, from his energy and dedication, and I'm grateful and thankful that he was my friend.

  21. Jeanne Cooper November 30, 2020

    Dear Robin, Stan & Jean, Hugs to you all as you celebrate Dan’s life. It was such fun to have him join in at the Lenten soup lunches when he returned to Eau Claire following Yvonne’s death. Prayers and blessings, Jeanne