Lou Eric Hilzinger, 71, beloved father and grandfather, was called to join his wife Cristi Joyce (Teller) Hilzinger on July 27, 2020. Lou entered this world on September 25, 1948, in Colón, Panamá. He was born to Lew Hilzinger of Bridgeport, Connecticut and Carolina Hilzinger of Colón , Panamá. He is survived by his sister Marcela Elena Broe, his daughters LaQuita Marca Hilzinger and Lea Maurae Watson, his granddaughters Cristi Bernadette and Katherine Elizabeth Zapata, and members of his extended family. Lou grew up on the Atlantic side of the Canal Zone in Panamá. He graduated from Cristobal High School and was a proud “Zonian”. After high school he entered an apprenticeship and eventually became the chief of the crane operations for the dredging division of the Panama Canal Commission until his early retirement in 1989. After relocating to Mathis, Texas, he became the Harbormaster for the Corpus Christi Marina and later took over the operation and renovation of Wesley E. Seale Dam on Lake Corpus Christi. The son of a Marine and brother of an Army nurse, he was proud of his service as a Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve. For the twenty years that he lived in Mathis, he also served as a lector and catechist at Sacred Heart Church. After moving to Corpus Christi in 2009, he volunteered thousands of hours at Doctor’s Regional Hospital. When his beloved wife passed in 2016, he took on the role of facilitator with the grief support group at St. Patrick Church and joined the choir. Throughout the lives of his daughters and granddaughters, Lou coached them and many children in softball, basketball and soccer. He beamed each time a young lady or young man would run up to him shouting “coach!” Lou enjoyed tennis, softball and bowling. He loved to dance and shook a tail feather whenever he could. In their youth, he and Cristi bowled, square danced, played volleyball, and even won a dance marathon. After he retired they enjoyed playing chair volleyball at the Lindale and Garden senior centers. His companion in his later years was his childhood friend and sweetheart Magdalena Batista. Lou’s daughters have decided to postpone any services until later in the year to reduce the risk of Corona virus to all the friends and family who would like to bid him a fond farewell. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. https://www.stjude.org/give.html
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