What is Hamilton's Academy of Grief and Loss?

Death and grief are common human experiences, yet these experiences tend to be different for every individual. As a result, Hamilton's Academy of Grief & Loss offers a wide variety of resources available to you and your family as you begin to work through your grief.
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Academy of Grief and Loss
Academy Events

Academy Events

Hamilton's Academy of Grief and Loss offers a variety of services to educate, support and connect with those who are grieving.
Community Events

Community Events

Hamilton's Funeral Homes host a variety of events to serve and give back to our community.

Service Details


Thursday, April 18, 2013
5:00 - 8:00 pm
Hamilton's Funeral Home
605 Lyon Street
Des Moines


Friday, April 19, 2013
2:00 pm
Hamilton's near Highland Memory Gardens
121 NW 60th Avenue
Des Moines


Brethren Cemetery
Elkhart, Iowa


Hamilton's near Highland Memory Gardens
121 NW 60th Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50313
(515) 289-2442

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Gloria "Darlene" Hildreth

Darlene Hildreth, 81, left this earthly place to be with her heavenly father and Jesus Christ her Savior peacefully at her home surrounded by her loving family on Tuesday, April 16, 2013.

Darlene was born November 12, 1931 to Emory and Leota Ackelson in the family farmhouse just south of Peru, Iowa in Madison County. She graduated from Winterset High School in 1951. She attended Saint Paul Bible Institute completing her courses in 1955. She held several occupations before working full time for Northwestern Bell Telephone Company, then AT&T, and retiring from Qwest after 40 years of service. She attended Deer Creek Chapel of the Christian Missionary Alliance, then Cory Grove Community Church, last attending the Ankeny Church of the Brethren.

Darlene was a caring and loving wife and mother. She loved being a farmer’s wife and helped with the chores and always made the best lunches for the hired hands and family. She always had a smile and enjoyed attending and hosting parties. She loved desserts and sweets, especially chocolate.

On August 24, 1968 she married Billy Joe Hildreth of Ankeny. They moved onto the Hildreth family farm and had one son, Bryce. They raised crops, cattle, sheep, and chickens. She would help dress the chickens and collect the eggs for sale. She also helped groom the animals for the fairs. She liked to garden and spend time with family and friends. She was known as a very gracious host, no one left her home without something to eat. She and Billy Joe built a new home in 2000, which she really enjoyed. It was nice that she passed away in her own bed in the home she helped design.

Darlene traveled all across the nation, helping show the family’s prize sheep and in later years to Masonic Events. She and Billy Joe met many special friends on their Masonic travels. Darlene was honored as a Companion of the Temple by the Grand Encampment, Knights Templar of the U.S.A., and The General Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons International by their Sweetheart Award.

Darlene was always charitable in giving of her time and resources. While family always came first, she believed in helping others. She received many honors for her charitable works, including being presented with a pillar of charity in The House of the Temple, Headquarters of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in Washington, D.C. She was a member of the Heritage Society of the Iowa Scottish Rite Masonic Foundation and gave to their charitable causes including Alzheimer research and treatment. She and Billy Joe were honored with a golden chalice for their charitable giving to the Knights Templar Eye Foundation.

Darlene is survived by her loving husband, Billy Joe; son, Bryce (Natalie) Hildreth; her sisters, Josie (Al) Cramer, Lois Sawhill, and Marilyn (Mike) Hutton; many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Garland and Wayne Ackelson; and her sister, Betty Edgington.

The family would like to thank Bonnie Gray, Darlene and Billy Joe’s home caretaker, Hospice of Central Iowa, and Sunny View Care Center for the compassionate and good care of Darlene.

Memorial contributions may be made in memory of Darlene to the Iowa Scottish Rite Masonic Foundation or the Knights Templar Eye Foundation.