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1931 ~ 2023 (age 91) 91 Years Old
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Hildegard Colombo, 91 passed away peacefully on January 30, 2023. Hilda was the true definition of a “survivor”. She was born in 1931 in Prussia, now known as Germany. Hilda was adopted and was her parents only child. She grew up on a 40-acre farm where her daily chores were Milking the cows, feeding the chickens and collecting fresh eggs. She loved it!
At the tender age of 16, Hilda was forced by her parents to escape from her small village because of the communist invasion. In the darkness and sub-zero temperatures, her and three other 16 year olds hid in the ditches by the border. There were guards all along the border patrolling the line between communism and freedom. Fortunately, Hilda was able to escape, but she never saw her parents again. She was convinced that the farm had been captured and that her parents had been murdered.
With a heavy heart, Hilda began seeking employment in a new land. She landed a job as a Nanny, and worked as one for a few years, until she found a job at a tailor shop. Her job was to clean and mend soldier’s uniforms. She would always say, “no one taught me to sew, I was just able to do it!” It was there where she met her husband of 46 years, Frank Colombo. Frank was an American soldier in the US Army, making the Army his career. As a wife of a service man they lived and traveled to many countries and cities in the United States. When Frank retired from the Army, they decided to settle down in Staten Island, NY.
It was at this point that Hilda decided it was time to demonstrate her sewing skills. Using her talent she became a successful custom window and wall treatment decorator. She continued in the field to the age of 74, making, creating and installing custom shades, bedspreads and draperies. Hilda was a complete perfectionist! She would zip around town in her Volkswagen Jetta with her tool belt, power tools and ladder in tow. Her territory included Staten Island, New Jersey, Long Island and Connecticut.
Hilda was a remarkable woman and an inspiration to many., No one told her how to live her life. She was known for her thumbs up gesture and one of her famous quotes was “they can keep the old age”.
Hilda did it her way and she did it well! May she rest in peace!