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Robert Richard Hidahl
September 2, 1955 - August 7, 2017
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Pastor Rob Hidhal, 1955-2017 - photo by Contributed to the Courier

"Pastor Rob" passed away suddenly at his home in Ceres at the age of 61.

He has ascended into heaven to be with our heavenly father after over 40 years of ministering God's word to his beloved followers and family.

Rob was born on Sept. 2, 1955 in Ceres to Joel and Margaret (Kiernan) Hidahl. He was the middle child in a family of seven children. Rob was raised in a family ranch setting, as his father Joel managed a cling peach growing ranch and trucking business. His mother Margaret was the bookkeeper and spiritual leader for the family, having been raised in a family of 11 children on a dairy farm in Salida. Rob grew up with a strong work ethic, working side by side with his other siblings to support the family.

Rob graduated from Ceres High School, as his father had, and played football and baseball. Baseball was his athletic passion, and he was an avid San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, and San Francisco 49ers fan. He played second base, and had the talent and drive to play in the professional leagues, but a worsening genetic back problem ended those aspirations. His other passion was his son Jonathan, to whom he was a loving and devoted father.

Rob received God's calling with open arms, and attended William Jessup University, graduating as an ordained Christian minister. He loved helping people and providing guidance and love to his many parishioners who struggled with the daily trials and tribulations of life. He had a great gift of healing the lives and souls of all he touched.

Rob's knowledge of Bible scripture and his compassionate ways with everyone he met, drew people to trust in God and follow our Lord's teachings. He was like a beacon in any crowd, always cheerful and sharing his heart and his beliefs with anyone who would listen. Like all of us, Rob experienced his share of life's challenges, but always persevered and offered forgiveness in God's name.

In his later life he accepted the role of caring for and ministering to his Aunt Rita, Margaret's younger sister, who resides at the Bethel Retirement Community in Modesto. He is well known by the many residents at Bethel for his personalized ministering and acts of kindness.

Rob is survived by his loving family including his mother, Margaret Hidahl of Ceres; his son, Jonathan Hidahl; four brothers, John Hidahl, Joel Hidahl, Michael Hidahl and Martin Hidahl; his sisters, Claudia and Rita; and his loving companion Kathleen.

He will be greatly missed by all, including his aunt Rita Himes and aunt Alta Kiernan, his many cousins, and his numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be at the Ceres Chapel of Franklin and Downs Mortuary from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 16.

Two services will be held to celebrate Rob's life, and all are invited to attend the service(s) that are most convenient. The first Celebration of Life will be held at the Ceres Christian Church on Sunday, August 13 at 5 p.m. A second service will be held at 3 p.m. on Thursday, August 17 at the New Life Christian Center in Turlock, reception to follow.

The family asks that any donations in Rob's memory be made to the Christian Church or charity of your choice.