American Patriotic 10

John "Jack" Francis Hilbrich

September 18, 1927 ~ January 18, 2024 (age 96) 96 Years Old

John "Jack" Hilbrich Obituary

John “Jack” Francis Hilbrich

It is with deep sadness, yet great joy for a tremendous life lived that we announce John Francis “Jack” Hilbrich passed away on January 18, 2024, at the age of 96.


Jack Hilbrich was born in Hammond, Indiana on September 18, 1927, to Genevieve and Lawrence Hilbrich. He and his wife, Judie, have eight children, twenty-one grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.   


Dad fell in love with baseball. Coached by his father, Larry, he developed into a great hitter with a strong arm and soon fired “aspirin tablets”, Dad’s term for catcher’s glove popping fastballs. He typically dominated teams from the mound during his high school years, pitching many no-hit and one-hit games. Word got out through the scouts, and he soon had a tryout with the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. He was only 16 years old. He impressed them and they offered him a contract, but he chose not to play for the Cubs; he wanted to finish high school first.  

Following graduation from Griffith High School, Jack signed with the Chicago White Sox. The Sox paid for him to attend the University of Notre Dame in anticipation of joining the team upon graduation.  After seriously injuring his pitching arm early in his college years, his pro baseball dreams came to an end. He chose instead to attend Notre Dame Law School and graduated from Notre Dame with a B.A. Degree, Cum Laude, in 1950 and his Juris Doctorate in 1951.

Fresh out of Notre Dame with his law degree, Jack promptly enlisted. He served honorably as a member of the United States Army and as a Special Agent in the Army Counter-Intelligence Corps from 1951 to 1953.

Though his baseball dreams ended, new luck struck. While in Gary Mercy Hospital for knee surgery, Jack met a young nurse, Judie Schissler. Judie, recently named Indiana Miss Student Nurse, quickly struck Jack, just 30 years old, as the gal he wanted to marry. Though Judie was not an easy catch for the young lawyer, they married eight months later and settled in Griffith on Pine Street, next door to his brother Dick Hilbrich.

Jack and Judie proudly raised eight children there: John, Daniel, Ruthanne, Genna, Judy, Amy, Jill, and Thomas. That family produced twenty-one grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. As Dad always said, “Good stock must procreate!”

Jack founded the Smith and Hilbrich law firm in 1953 which evolved into Hilbrich Cunningham Dobosz Vinovich & Sandoval, LLP, and now simply and powerfully named the Hilbrich Law Firm. Jack practiced law for over 50 years, and generously provided his time to the profession and community. There is no doubt that his decades of devoted service will not be forgotten and will be greatly missed by the thousands of Lake County, Indiana residents who trusted and relied upon him for his expert advice, support and kind words.  The Town of Griffith and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gary are among the clients that enjoyed representation by Jack for decades.


If you can measure a man’s success by the loyalty, respect and friendship shown to him by his peers, employees, family, friends, and acquaintances, then Jack Hilbrich is one of the most successful men in our lifetime.

He defines the term “True Gentleman” and is known by all to be honest, genuine, sincere, and honorable. His character and reputation are beyond reproach. The hallmarks of his life were his love for his family and friends, his deep Catholic faith, his endless service to others and his beloved Notre Dame.

Jack’s work here is done. He received an offer he couldn’t refuse from the good Lord to sign with the best baseball team he will ever play for.  Joining this club comes with a huge bonus, a reunion with parents Larry and Genevieve, his big brother Dick, his twin sisters Jean and Joan, and all the nieces, nephews and dear friends.

Jack’s proud family, who would not be who they are without his love and support, are his wife of 66 years, Judie Hilbrich, sister Mary Ann Gorsich, John Hilbrich, his wife Susan, six children and four grandchildren; Jack, Annika and daughters Savannah and Adeline; Thomas, his wife Kathryn and son Jackson; Christian, his fiancé Alexandra and son Hayes; Sanne and Nicholette; Daniel Hilbrich; Ruthanne Hilbrich, one child and two grandchildren; Christiana, her husband Kyle and sons Silas and Everett; Genna Hilbrich, three children and two grandchildren; Lana, Madilynn, Rachael, her husband Drew and daughters Hampton and Hartley; Judy Hilbrich Sheppard, her husband Doug, two children, Isabel and Nicholas; Amy Hilbrich Davis, her husband Randy, seven children and one grandchild; Johnathon, his wife Megan, and son Simeon; Evelyn,  Charlotte, Connor and his wife Kaitlin; Oliver, Louisa, and Anderson; Jill Hilbrich; Thomas Hilbrich, his wife Elizabeth and daughters Anna and Caroline.

Heartfelt appreciation to family members Amy Hilbrich Davis, her husband Randy and their family, Daniel Hilbrich, Jill Hilbrich, Thomas and Elizabeth Hilbrich, and our precious caregivers for their special care and love for Dad and Mom when they need help most.



A MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL AND INURNMENT are scheduled for Monday, February 12, 2024, at 2:30 PM at
Basilica of the Sacred Heart, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556


In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the University of Notre Dame in memory of Jack. Please direct your gift to the John Francis Hilbrich Memorial Fund. Gifts may be made online at (, by phone at (574) 631-5150, or by mail: University of Notre Dame, Department of Development, 1100 Grace Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556.

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Mass of Christian Burial
February 12, 2024

2:30 PM
Basilica of the Sacred Heart
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556

February 12, 2024

Cedar Grove Cemetery
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556


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