Austin Rainer Hilkemeyer (1993-2021)
Austin Rainer Hilkemeyer, 27, of Silver City, New Mexico died Tuesday February 9th after suffering a seizure.
Although born in Arizona, Austin spent his early years in Colorado and never gave up his love of the mountains and nature. The oldest of four children, Austin spent the majority of his childhood growing up in Vail, Arizona where he played soccer, basketball, and football, and where he met his lifelong friends. Upon graduation from Cienega High School, Austin enrolled at the University of Arizona studying environmental science.
Just before his sophomore year in college, Austin suffered a traumatic brain injury during a rockslide while hiking at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. With strength and courage he worked hard for months to make a remarkable recovery from his injuries. Still, over the nearly nine years since the accident, he continued to suffer from occasional, but significant and unpredictable seizures. His journey was supported by many friends, family and strangers.
Austin valued his independence and enjoyed working at Sprouts Natural Grocers, the Civano Coffee House, McDonalds, and as a Special Education assistant at elementary schools in Vail and Silver City, where he loved to live in what became his final years. There, Austin expanded his tender care of plants with a creative discovery of natural products to bring to local farmer’s markets and to share with both new and old friends.
Austin was fiercely loyal, remaining an avid Denver Broncos and Beatles fan throughout his life. He continued to enjoy the outdoors and hiking whenever possible, making friends and simply appreciating what nature offered.
Austin is survived by his mother and father, Tina and Gerhard Hilkemeyer; his beloved Nanny and Pappy, Rick and Marla Grossman; his siblings Allison Pavek (Jacob), Hayden Hilkemeyer, and Gretchen Hilkemeyer; his grandfather, Jim Hilkemeyer; eight aunts and uncles; his faithful tribe, ‘The Cousins,’ and an ever-growing legion of friends, young and old, who loved him as if he were their family.
Always loved, never forgotten, forever missed. May he rest peacefully.
A small memorial matching Austin will be held in May. In lieu of flowers, donations in Austin’s memory may be made to Felicia’s Farm (https://www.feliciasfarm.org/donate/) Felicia’s Farm grows organic produce to help feed the local homeless population, two endeavors close to Austin’s heart. Please reference ‘In memory of Austin Hilkemeyer’ in the space for Instructions to Merchant when using PayPal. Bright Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements, “A Loving and Caring Place to Celebrate, Honor, and Remember a Life Lived,” 210 W. College Ave., Silver City, New Mexico 88061. Remembrances can be made at www.hbrightfuneral.net
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