Liesel (Kraus) Howe passed away in her home on Friday, May 7, 2021. Liesel was one of nine children born to Herman and Eva Kraus, Waldorf, Baden, Germany, plus one adopted sister.
She married Thomas A. Howe (who preceded her in death) on May 13, 1949. She gave birth to five children whom she loved dearly: Thomas G. (Colleen), Harry G. (Barbara), Richard G. (Julie), Eva M. Cooney (William) and Tina L. Hunt (who preceded her in death), and son-in-law Dalton Hunt.
Liesel is survived by 15 grandchildren, Thomas C. Howe, Maureen Henn (Danny), Glen Howe, Bonnie Howe, Harry Howe Jr., Liesel Phillips (Nathan), Matthew Howe, Adam Howe, Richard Howe, Nathan Howe (Tara), Christina Kienitz (Daniel), David Cooney (Rayshelle), Barbie Rosenberg (Neal), Ashley Bailey and Malissa Hunt. All were the joy of her life.
She was “Oma” to 26 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild, with one more on the way.
She loved her family dearly and worked hard her entire life to make sure they had all of their needs met and many of their wants. Liesel had a strong faith in God that certainly stuck with her until the very end. In recent months she spoke often of her desire to be with our Lord. Her church family at Spider Lake Church were very dear to her.
Growing up in Germany during World War II in a very musical family, some of whom are still in an “oompah band” to this day, she learned to play the piano and loved to sing and dance. For many years Liesel and Tom belonged to a German club in Indiana and would attend German dances throughout the years where she would dance the night away and sing old-world songs.
Throughout her life, the warmth and compassion she had for others compelled her to reach out to those who needed a friend. She rarely had the time to go “visiting” but if someone was struggling with physical problems or end of life issues, she would make it a point to sit with them to share her faith and give comfort. She modeled the proverb taught by our Lord Jesus, “He who wishes to be great among you must be the servant of all.” It’s hard to describe the compassion she had for those who were less fortunate than she was, especially in the early years when being a German girl after World War II was not very popular with the local community. She would seek out those in need and befriend them. She would share what meager things she had. As an example, in the late 50s, the Howe family lived next to railroad tracks and she would welcome and feed the hobos who would hop the train. Everyone knew “Oma” and always felt welcome to a cup of coffee and a little something to eat.
She worked in various jobs over the years and was always a valued employee who endeared herself to supervisors and co-workers alike as hard-working, kind and always friendly. Liesel was named employee of the year just before her retirement from the Westville Correctional Facility, where she worked in the kitchen.
Her home was always a welcoming place where the coffee pot was always on. Mom’s love language was feeding anyone who walked through the door. (Even if you weren’t hungry!) Even that which didn’t walk through the door; her local pets; birds, squirrels and racoons, were all very well fed.
The life-long lesson that every family member will carry with them is not in words of great wisdom, but in an example of a life well-lived; in faith, hope and love. Thank you, “Oma.” We love and miss you.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 15, at the Spider Lake Church, 12104N Lower Twin Lake Road in Hayward.
The Howe family wishes to thank Regional Hospice Service, Heart of Compassion; Hands of Service and the Spider Lake Church volunteers who provided visits and care. These “services of love” made it possible to care for Liesel in her home.
Please leave your condolences for the family online at www.bratley-nelsonchapels.com.