Nominated by Jim Nordstrom
Jim Hilderbrand was born in 1936, in
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He spent his early years at Willoughby On-the-Lake, Ohio. Jim was bitten by the golf bug, at the age of 12. He borrowed some old clubs from a family friend and began playing and caddying at the Lost Nation Golf Club.
Jim played football and basketball for Willoughby Union High School.
Jim lettered three years each in football, basketball, and golf. In 1953, he also
served as quarterback and kicker for the Greater Cleveland Conference Football
Champions. He served on the Ohio District winning basketball team in
1954, and he tied as a medalist with Bob Shave, Jr. at the Ohio State High
School Golf Championship that same year.
Jim was awarded a football/golf scholarship to Purdue University. He
received a freshman letter in football, which was followed by a knee injury,
which prevented further playing time. He received a varsity letter in golf his
sophomore year and participated in NCAA Championship at Ohio State. He
completed 2 1/2 years of engineering classes at Purdue.
Drafted into the US Army in 1959, Jim spent his entire enlistment at Fort
Riley, Kansas. He met and married his wife, and lifetime companion, Glenda
in October, 1960. Jim was hired by Kennametal Inc, in Latrobe, Pennsylvania
in 1961 in sales management.
Jim's interest in golf started as a teen, but it grew further after his US
Army discharge and employment at Kennametal. In 1963 he moved to Ashland
area and joined the Ashland Country Club.
Some of Jim's golf achievements include three Ashland Country Club
Championship wins in 1967, 1972 and 1973, and a Richland County Championship
in 1969. Jim finished third in the 1963 Cleveland District Golf Association
(CDGA) 72 Hole Medal Tournament, and won that event in 1966 and
1968. He won the CDGA Match Play Tournament in 1967 and was runner up
in 1968. Jim tied for third place in 1968 for the State of Ohio Amateur title.
He placed second in 1970. Jim was a Section Medalist Qualifier at USGA, in 1970 for the National Amateur Tournament in Portland, Oregon. He was also
selected CDGA Player of the Year. In 1971, Jim was rated Lowest Handicap
Tournament Golfer in the North Ohio area by Cleveland Golfer Magazine. He
won the Champion of Champion Tourney in Crestline, Ohio in 1972, and he
was second with Allison Smith Reifers in CDGA Mixed Scotch Event.
In 1972, at the encouragement of George Valentine, Jim returned to
school and attended Ashland College full time, graduating with a Bachelors
of Science Degree in Business Administration. He played on the golf team
and won the NCAA College Division National Individual Championship and
helped the team gain eighth place in 1972. He was selected first team NCAA
All-American with that win.
Jim's other accomplishments in golf include qualifying four times for
districts at the USGA Open Championship. Playing in the Alabama State
Low Amateur Open in 1976. Eleventh place finish in the Pennsylvania State
Amateur tournament in 1983. He qualified in 1989 for the US Senior Open
and was a medalist in Richmond, Virginia. In 1991, he was selected to the
Ashland University Sports Hall of Fame. He qualified for US Mid-Amateur
in 1988, for the US Senior Amateur in 1992, and for the US Senior Open
again in 1997. Jim was the North Carolina Senior Tour Champion in 2000, at
Pinehurst. In 2009 he placed tenth in his age group at the US Senior Games
Golf in San Francisco, California. He has also played in four British Amateur
In 1974 Jim moved to Birmingham, Alabama followed by moves to Houston,
Texas, Greensville, Pennsylvania, Raleigh, North Carolina and finally to
Pinehurst, North Carolina. Jim retired in 1999, after 38 years at Kennametal.
Jim now only plays in an occasional golf tournament. He has been a member
of Pinehurst Country Club since 1986.
Jim and Glenda will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this month.
They have three lovely daughters; Molly H. married to Calin Pasca, and Megan
Jo married to Scott May, Tracey Lyn married to Eric Fierst. Their daughters
and their families live in North Carolina. Their grandchildren include Emry
Fierst (senior at North Carolina State University), Logan Fierst (sophomore,
East Carolina University), Dylan Fierst and Tory Fierst, Ryan and Amanda
Pasca, all in high school.
Jim and Glenda are members of the Presbyterian Church, where Jim has
served as a church Elder. Jim also volunteered in the North Carolina
Governor sponsored teen/mentoring program and has
volunteered over 400 hours in the local hospital.