Cover photo for William Morton Hildebolt's Obituary
William Morton Hildebolt Profile Photo

William Morton Hildebolt

December 7, 1943 — March 28, 2020

William Morton Hildebolt

William Morton Hildebolt passed away on March 28th, 2020 in Winston-Salem, NC after a long battle against lung cancer.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Sandi, his sons William Hazen and Joseph, his grandchildren Hannah and Hazen as well as his brother Jim and sister Mary Ann.Hildebolt was born on December 7th, 1943 in Richmond, Indiana. He grew up in Eaton, Ohio and graduated from Eaton High School in 1962 and then attended Ohio State where he received a bachelor of science in Food Technology, and then went to earn Masters and Doctorates in Food Science. After graduating from Ohio State in 1969, he joined the Campbell Soup Company in Camden where he eventually rose to be Vice President of Product & Development. During his time at Campbell Soup he helped develop several products, most notably Prego tomato sauce which became one of the most successful grocery product launches of the early 1980s.  Hildebolt joined RJ Reynolds Tobacco in 1985 as the Vice President of Research & Development where he served for seven years. Over his professional career, Hildebolt was awarded over 20 patents.

In 1994, Hildebolt started Nature’s Select Premium Turf Services where he pioneered biologically enhanced lawn care services which continues to be in use today. During his time running Nature’s Select, Hildebolt also served on the Board and as the President of the Professional Lawncare Network (PLANET).

After retiring from day to day responsibilities at Nature’s Select, Hildebolt oversaw the rebuilding of the main homestead on the family farm in Eaton. That farm is now one recognized as a Bi-century Farm in Ohio, meaning it has stayed in the same family for over 200 years.

Hildebolt was deeply involved with Ohio State, where he served on the Research Foundation Board from 1986 to 1989, was named one of the “100 Buckeyes You Should Know” in 2012 and was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award by the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. He and his wife Sandi have been benefactors to the University including funding the Hazen and Anna Jane Hildebolt Memorial Scholarships as well as gifts to Ohio State’s Food Technology School.

Hildebolt published two books, “The Professional Entrepreneur” and “It’s In There,” a history of the development of Prego with all of the proceeds from both books funding scholarships. Hildebolt was an avid woodworker whose cutting boards and other handcrafted wood products are treasured by family and friends alike. He loved to travel and visited many countries around the world.

A gathering for family and friends will be held on Saturday, July 10, 2021 from 12:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. at the Hildebolt Family Farmhouse, 3307 State Route 732 West, Eaton, Ohio 45320-9571. Local arrangements Entrusted to Barnes Funeral Home, Eaton, OH.

To send flowers to the family in memory of William Morton Hildebolt, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Family Gathering

Saturday, July 10, 2021

12:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Mound Hill Cemetery (New Section)

, NW1 9LS

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 44

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Send With Love

Send With Love