Sunday, October 25, 2020

Michael John Hillestad, 55, Rochester

Michael John Hillestad, age 55, died peacefully at his home in Rochester on May 4, 2020. He had been on hospice care battling cancer since November 2017.

Michael was born to Richard and Virginia (Seas) Hillestad on June 5, 1964. He grew up in Garretson, S.D. and graduated from Garretson High School in 1984. After graduation he attended and graduated from the meat cutting program in Pipestone; years later, he decided that nursing was his true calling. He received his LPN in 1994 and his RN in 2007.

In 1992 he met Angela (Vena) Giorno while working at the Samaritan Bethany Home on 8th, on Aug. 14, 1993 they were married in the chapel at the nursing home. Shortly after their marriage they moved to Luverne and worked at the Minnesota Veterans Home.

In 1996 they moved to Kasson where they lived for 14 years. Mike worked at the Mayo Clinic for 22 years in Heart Rhythm Services, Mayo 6 East and 4 Mary Brigh at St. Marys Hospital.

Mike was an upbeat, compassionate nurse; a kind and generous soul, with a contagious laugh and smiling eyes. He made a lasting impression on all he met! He was a surrogate father to many and loved being Pappa to his grand babies. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, traveling and visiting with family and friends. He was passionate about his Green Bay Packers, coffee, cigars and anything sweet!

In addition to Angie, his wife of 27 years, Mike is survived by his parents, Richard and Virginia (Seas) Hillestad, his sons Nicholas (Stephanie Gartner) Giorno, and Lee (Kassandra Poffenberger) Giorno, his “adopted” daughters MacKenzie (Josh) Drury, and Michelle (Teschke) Forsyth; his grandchildren Sasha, Ashlyn, Maddox, Logan, and Westen Giorno and his “adopted” grandchildren Collins and Lyncoln Forsyth.

He is also survived by his sisters, Theresa Schafer, Pam (Mark) Braa, Sheila (Jeff) Martens, Julie (Robert) Apodaca and one brother Craig (Faye) Hillestad. He was preceded in death by his paternal and maternal grandparents and many aunts and uncles.

Our sincere appreciation to family and friends who supported us thru Mike’s illness, Mayo Hospice, East 4 Tower, CV exam, 1st Joseph, and to his Heart Rhythm Service Family, a special “Thanks for Everything, I Love you All!” To Casey Fazer, PA Head & Neck Cancer Dept. and fellow Packer fan, “Thank you for your care and friendship!”

A memorial service will be on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020 at 11 a.m. at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes, 5421 Royal Place NW Rochester. Visitation will be held on Friday, Aug. 28, 2020 from 4 - 7 p.m. and also one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.

A luncheon will be held at Charlie’s Eatery and Pub and at p.m. an Irish wake with a special surprise. Masks are required for all visitations and services. Due to Covid-19, the family requests that you RSVP to better plan for social distancing. RSVP’s may be sent to or call 507-993-1100 to leave a message.

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Hillestad family; to share a special memory or condolence, please visit


See full story in this week’s print edition or subscribe online. Please subscribe here or current subscribers can login here.

Steele County Times & DCI

Steele County Times
411 E. Main St.
P.O. Box 247
Blooming Prairie, MN 55917

Sign Up For Breaking News

Stay informed on the latest news!

Manage my subscriptions