Hilda Dlabaj

Hilda Marie Dlabaj

Saturday, May 10th, 1924 - Monday, May 16th, 2022
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Where applicable, when you interact with other Users on the Site, you may provide other information about yourself, such as political or topical views, religious affiliation, or marital status. Any information in a public forum is accessible by anyone, including people who are not members of the Site. Please be aware they may share information you give them with other Users you may not know. They may also share the information outside the Site without your prior approval. Company does not have control over the actions of its Users and accepts no responsibility or liability for their actions. Please keep this fact in mind when using the Site, and use care when disclosing Personal Information to other Users of the Site.

Company may also collect information from ads you click on when using the Site. Company may also keep track of links you click on in e-mails you receive from Company. This is done to increase the relevancy of the ads you see.

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  3. Company provides some public information to search engines. This information allows search engines to locate the Site. It also allows people to locate you on the Site using a major search engine. This does not mean all information you post on the Site may be accessed using a search engine.

  4. There are also times when Company may make certain Personal Information about you available to strategic partners or third parties. These companies may help Company process information, render services to you, manage and enhance customer data, provide customer service, assess your interest in products and services, or conduct research or satisfaction surveys. Without such information being made available, it would be difficult for you to use Company's Site and services.

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Company may be sold, sell or buy businesses or assets of businesses, or merge with another business. In such transactions, Personal Information generally is one of the transferred business assets. Also, in the event that Company, a line of business of Company, or substantially all the assets of Company are transferred, Personal Information may well be one of the transferred assets. Company will make a reasonable effort to provide notice on the Site, and to notify you via e-mail to the most recent e-mail address that you have provided of any such change in ownership or control of your personal information.

9. Miscellaneous

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Hilda Marie Dlabaj was born on May 10, 1924 in Grayson, Louisiana to Harmon and Mary Johnston. She was the 5th of what would become 10 children. Growing up their life had many hardships, the worse being the depression years. She spoke many times of that era and how little everyone had, but it did give her a sense of frugality that never went away and would come to benefit her in the future.

Their mother was a Godly woman who instilled in her children the story of our Christ and Savior early. They all spoke well of her and I can remember my mama referring to her as a saint several times, based on a hard life and her perseverance through it. Sadly, she was struck and killed by lightening when Mama was 19 years old. My mother accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior at the age of 18 and she lived it, read it, taught it and witnessed it from that day until her last.

She graduated from high school and attended business college.

Some time after the loss of her mother, she moved to Dallas, Texas with her sister, Helen to find work. She spoke fondly of a boarding house she rented full of women, and of the lady who owned and ran it. Mama said “she took me under her wing and helped me.” She went to work in a plumbing store and that is where she met and married my dad, Joe Stanley Dlabaj in October 1949. They were blessed with a baby girl on November 22, 1952. Unfortunately after several years of strife and turmoil she ended the marriage.

So in 1960 and without any relatives within 300 miles, she took on the difficult task of rearing an 8 year old, providing a home, and all that entails. She was no stranger to responsibility so armed with her faith in God and a strong will, she took a job as an elevator operator in the Medical Arts Building in downtown Dallas. Unable to drive and living on the outskirts of Dallas, getting to work was a challenge since the nearest bus stop was two miles away. She was a member of Beckley Hills Baptist Church as long as I can remember, and she would find a church member who would pick her up from the main highway that was one block behind our house. They would drop her off at the bus stop where she road the bus into downtown and walked 3 blocks over to the building where she worked. I remember that clock going off at 5 am every morning Monday through Friday. There were days when she couldn't get a ride and had to walk to that bus stop in good and bad weather as well, but she never complained, she just did what she had to do.

I remember sitting in my swing in the back yard watching and waiting for her to come home from work, and to catch a glimpse of when she was about to hit Altaire Street off Camp Wisdom Road. I would run to meet her and she always had a Hershey bar for me.

To make extra money for Christmas she took a side job with Feltner Card Company selling upscale personalized Christmas cards to the doctors and nurses who worked in her 19 story building. I think she did well since she did it every year.

Supposedly we were poor but if we were, I didn't realize it. I always had a new dress every Easter, new school clothes at the beginning of the year, food to eat, and we never went without utilities. We always managed to have a pet to love as well and I remember the got their required shots. I always got the gift I had asked for at Christmas and my birthday. It was a good thing she knew how to manage money.

Looking back, I recall my favorite TV show which was Lassie and I can still hear her sweet voice calling out to me in the yard, “Lassie's on.” When she got her hair cut she always took me with her. We would walk 2 blocks over from her place of employment and get a shampoo and set. It was always me and Mama.

Our life consisted of work and school Monday through Friday. Saturday was for grocery shopping and washing clothes. For groceries we usually got a ride from our neighbor. Once I was old enough to ride my bike to the store, it became our transportation for small items. For laundry, Mama and I walked with dirty clothes in a tub about a quarter of a mile to a small laundromat.

Sunday was for rest and church. Our church was within walking distance and we were there every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. We did get occasional rides to and from church but we did a lot of walking. She was faithful when it came to tithing. She always gave 10% of her earnings first before anything else. Around age 11, I can remember her letting me write out the check while she was getting ready for church, $4.73 which tells me she was grossing $47 a week in 1963.

Summers were always something I anticipated with great excitement. I went to stay with one of her sisters which were the best times of my childhood. With each different aunt came a vast blend of experiences. Between Aunt Hazel, Aunt Hosie, and Aunt Dene, respectively, I was exposed to everything from driving a tractor for fun, shooting a 22, real hide and seek with a yard full of kids, rock and roll radio, hunting Indian arrow heads in the desert, White Sands Missile Range picnics and so much more.
The best part was the close relationships I formed with all my cousins over years and having no siblings, that was golden.

My happiest memory of my young childhood was a day held at my elementary school when your parent could actually sit in the classroom and observe. Up to this point, I had never known my mother to miss a day of work, nor did she ever after that day, but I begged her to come and she did. I was so excited to have my mama sitting in my classroom with me.

I remember falling asleep every night with Mama reading the Bible to me and in my hope chest are 3 ragged bibles my mom wore out.

There was only one time in her life that I can remember she ever did anything for fun. It was a work party and I remember helping he get dressed in a simple black dress, and after doing her hair and spraying it with the “in” silver spray, she looked so pretty. She was home early and said there was a lot of drinking so that was it, never again.

The closest she came to a vacation was at Christmas time when she would go “home” which meant back to Louisiana where her family was. She would usually send me ahead on a train since I was out of school for 2 weeks during that time. We didn't get to go every year, but we always got to go Christmas shopping and I remember being so excited to get to pick out something for each one of my cousins.

After I married, Mama retired from the Medical Arts Building. Her best friend, Mrs. Evelyn Harris, taught her to drive and gave he a car. She named her Old Betsy and only drove close to home but did well enough to start selling Avon. Her customers loved her and she loved them. She did it for 9 years. Her grandchildren used to go spend a week or two in the summers with her in Dallas. She did her best to spoil them but also showed Jeff the value of the dollar by letting him help her pick up cans on the roadside. Her face still lit up when Jeff mentioned that in conversation. She mowed her own yard with an electric mower and she had a garden. She had a German Shepard she loved and who protected her.

After over 50 years of calling Dallas her home, Mama decided it was time to move back to Louisiana in 1998. It was a hard move for her because she had considered herself a Texan and when I would go over to pick her up and bring her here to visit she would always sing “Deep in the Hart of Texas” and “The Yellow Rose of Texas” on the trip. Aunt hosie, Uncle Earl, myself and Sherryl went over and loaded up her furniture, her old pictures, Old Blue, and said goodbye to the old place I had always called home.

Initially she stayed with her brother Bobby, for a short time and then moved into McKeen Plaza apartments in Monroe where she made friends and lived for 19 years. She loved living in her apartment since she didn't have to worry about yard work and there was always someone to talk to. Her best friend there was Mrs. Green who lived next door to Mama. Sometimes I would walk up to Mama's door to hear quite a bit of chatter and laughter coming from Mrs. Green's apartment and it would be her and Mama just having a great time.

She was the hall monitor on her floor. She would check on each person and turn over a card to show that they were OK. She always found a way to stay active and engaged. We loved her being here so she could attend birthday parties for the kids and family gatherings.

In 2000 I will always remember the day I graduated from college. She never got to see me graduate from high school so I was beside myself knowing that my family and my mama would be there to see me. She was older and unable to walk in the stands, so they wheeled her chair up close to the front, but I couldn't see where. When my diploma was placed in my hand, my eyes were searching desperately for my mama and my peripheral v vision caught a glimpse of an arm waving back and forth with exaggeration to catch my attention. When our eyes locked, I was overwhelmed with a sense of immense gratification for all the work I had put in was done, and to share that with her and my family was on of my favorite memories.

She had never been to see the Rockies, The Grand Canyon,m or the ocean, and I wanted her to see it. My cousin Sherryl and I took my mom and her parents on their first air flight to Miami where we boarded a cruise ship and headed to the Keys and Cozumel Mexico. She was captivated by the sea.

Later, Sherryl and I took Aunt Hosie and Mama to Panama City Beach and that was the first time they ever had their feet in sea water. We walked her out, one of us on each side, and she just squealed when the waves washed up over her knees. They enjoyed waking up and having their breakfast on the balcony overlooking the gulf every morning and later sitting under beach umbrellas with their feet in the sand. They so enjoyed that trip.

I am so grateful that while she could still enjoy, I was fortunate enough to show her the majestic Rocky Mountains, the impressive Grand Canyon, and the beautiful green waters of the Caribbean.

As the years marched on, Mama did her very best to stay in her apartment but eventually it became impossible for her to care for herself. In February, 2016, she entered the nursing home. It took some time but she began enjoying their activities and she was the queen of Bingo! She also loved the Butter Bean Auction where she would always bid on things that she could give to me. I attended the games with her sometimes and she was a hoot.

She always loved to sing and would always join in when the different groups came in to play or sing. I would go and get her and take her outside where she loved calling the birds. We kept a supply of bird seed so she could throw it out while chanting “tweet tweet tweet.”

They had church service at the home, but she was next door to a Baptist church and one day while on an outing, I pushed her over to the church. It was just a 5 minute walk so we decided we would visit. The following Sunday, we went over and found the warmest, most welcoming church I had ever been in. Several people came over to speak with us including the preacher and the song leader. When it started, tit was like old times when Mama and I would sit side by side in church. She would really get into the singing and would clap he hands to the music. It was a wonderful fulfilling time. We started going every Sunday and joined McClendon Baptist Church together.

She spent 6 years in the nursing home setting. On January2, a small complaint sent her to the hospital where she would require major surgery that the doctor said at her age she would not survive. Mom and I made the decision to be comfortable and I brought her home with me on January23rd.

Being able to have my mother home with me was a Godsend. Outside the window in her room was a squirrel feeder, a bird feeder and bird bath. She kept me busy keeping seeds, deer corn, and sunflower seeds in them, so she had a wide variety of birds and squirrels to enjoy. Her favorite was when the woodpecker would walk face down on the tree and sneak seeds out of the squirrel feeder. She had 4 little humming birds that played and fought right in front of her window. She was happy to be with me and her enjoyment was the wildlife, singing hymns and a little Andy Griffith on the TV.

`In the end, it was as it always had been, Me and Mama. I was glad she got to see how I lived, and our bond became even stronger. We have the same hands, I got her green eyes. I inherited her work ethic and love of nature and God. I know my mother is at rest and that I will see her again.
I am so grateful she was my mother.

Funeral service celebrating the life of Hilda Marie Dlabaj of West Monroe, LA will be held at 10:00am, Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at McClendon Baptist Church, West Monroe.
Interment will follow at Roselawn Memorial Gardens Calhoun, under the direction of Griffin Funeral Home, West Monroe, LA.
Family will receive friends for visitation 5:00pm until 7:00pm, Tuesday, May 17, 2022 at the church.

Hilda was born on May 10, 1924, in Grayson, LA and departed this earth on May 16, 2022, to be with the Lord.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Harmon and Mary Johnston; siblings, Hayvard Johnston, Hazel Belk, Helen Williams, Holly Harris, Hosie Thomas, Huey P. Johnston, Bobby Johnston, Gloria Hardin and Flossy Johnston.

She leaves behind her cherished and loving daughter, Sandra Dlabaj; grandchildren, Ronald Jeffrey Carlisle and fiance, Cathy Nugent, and Kelly Carlisle; great grandchildren, Sarah Malone and Husband Ashley, and Nicholas Canales; and two great great grandchildren, Aly Malone and Tucker Malone. Also survived by a host of nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

Pallbearers serving include Jeff Carlisle, John Thomas, Nicholas Canales, Walley Willock, Jason Thomas, and Joseph Stogner.

Honorary pallbearer will be Charles Robinson

Griffin Funeral Home
West Monroe, LA
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, May 17th, 2022 | 5:00pm - 7:00pm
    Tuesday, May 17th, 2022 5:00pm - 7:00pm
    McClendon Baptist Church
    206 Downing Pines Road
    WEST MONROE, LA 71292
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Wednesday, May 18th, 2022 | 10:00am
    Wednesday, May 18th, 2022 10:00am
    McClendon Baptist Church
    206 Downing Pines Road
    WEST MONROE, LA 71292
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Roselawn Memorial Gardens
    451 Hwy 151 North
    CALHOUN, LA 71225
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence

Jana Hammond

Posted at 08:53pm
I’ll never forget when we lived in Ft. Worth and were able to go see Aunt Hilda. It was good to be so close that she and Mama could visit and yes, we always went home with Avon goodies. At that time, she had the two little Pekingese dogs. I loved to hear her call them. “Here Salt! Here Pepper!” She surely did love to nurture those babies; a testament, in my book, to a beautiful heart. I also loved to hear her laugh; knowing she had a hard life and seeing her happy nonetheless left your such an impression on me. I’ll keep those memories in my heart forever.

Karen Simpson

Posted at 10:14am
I do not know you or your family, but I have to comment on how touching this tribute to your mom was to me. While I had older siblings, my relationship with my mom was much like yours. I lost her in 1994, she was only 72. God bless you!



Posted at 06:12am
Hey Sandy, I'm really sorry to hear of your Mothers passing. The last time I saw her I told her I would see her on my next visit - (yeah let's go Brandon!) - I am pleased you managed to have her stay with you - you did her proud! as they say - although I'm not quite sure who 'they' might be, I am sure your Mom was in her happy place until the end - that's what we all hope for, and you made it happen - ya did good!
Chris x (from across the pond)

Dodie Wade

Posted at 11:34am
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Jeffrey M. Hardin

Posted at 09:53am
My earliest memory was of Aunt Hilda, force-feeding me green beans while I was shackled to my red high chair in our home in Irving Texas probably sometime in 1956. Her passing is the passing of her generation to me. She never seemed to catch a break in life, always struggling to pay the bills, but I never heard her complain even one time about her situation; I believe this was due to her unshakable faith in her God. Goodbye Aunt Hilda, I will never forget you.


Jeff Hardin

Sandy Dlabaj Posted at 10:46am

Thank you for sharing that Jeff!.

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