Reola Georgene Brahmstedt, 96, of Garden Prairie, Illinois, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, December 2, 2020, in Rockford, Illinois, on what would have been her 75th wedding anniversary.
She was born on December 27, 1923 in Waco, Nebraska, to Walter Frederick and Anna Helena Katherina (Finke) Obermier. She attended a one-room school from ages four to five because she told her parents she wanted to learn. Her father and neighbors then built a local school to educate the children of the rural farm community at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Waco, where she attended with her nine brothers and sisters. Her favorite subject was math, and she loved to solve equations in her head. She won many penmanship awards as her writing was so exact. From ages five to nineteen she lived with and lovingly cared for her paternal grandmother, Maria Wilhelmina (Bock) Obermier, until Maria’s death in 1942.
She married Walter Louis Brahmstedt on December 2, 1945, in Waco, and they celebrated 60 years together in 2005 before he passed in 2006. She was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Genoa, Illinois.
She was a life-long dairy and grain farmer: prepping and cleaning up after daily milking, managing the bills and expenses of the farm and household, cooking large meals during planting and harvest for neighbors and hired hands, tending to and canning the bounty of their large garden, and caring for her children and household.
A hearty cook, she was famous for her pot roast and chocolate chip cookies. A talented seamstress, she could look at a dress in a store, then go home and create it from scratch. She was an avid bowler and belonged to a league, winning numerous trophies and awards over the years. She loved playing cards and games with her friends, especially Kings in the Corner. She most adored visiting with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, telling stories and hearing about their lives.
As part of the Greatest Generation, she lived an incredible life, witnessing monumental events and change with grace. She was born on a farm without electricity or running water, and she managed a cell phone and iPad well into her 90s. Her sharp wit, mischievous sense of humor, work ethic, adaptability, and resiliency will be a light in the hearts and aspirations of those who loved her. She will be dearly missed.
Survivors include her two children, Elsie (Max) Houser and Charles (Janice) Brahmstedt; six grandchildren – Charles (Carol) Houser, Teresa Martin, Anna (Nels) Brahmstedt Akerlund, Adam (Julie) Brahmstedt, Andrew Brahmstedt, and Aaron (Kimberly) Brahmstedt; nine great-grandchildren – Jessie, Benjamin, Natasha, Sarah, Benjamin, Brynna, Sam, Brady, and Brielle; and one great-great grandchild – Parker; and her brother William (Shirley) Obermier.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Walter and Anna Obermier; her father- and mother-in-law, Louis Dassel and Minnie H. (Connell) Brahmstedt; husband, Walter Brahmstedt; her son-in-law Max Houser, her siblings Wallace Obermier, Viola Tew, Russell Obermier, Arlin Obermier, Virgil Obermier, Rex Obermier, MaryAnn Gehrig, and Ruth “Susie” Hoffmann; and her brothers-in-law Ervin Brahmsteadt, Arthur Brahmstedt, George Brahmstadt and Clarence Brahmsteadt.
Due to the pandemic, a private family funeral service will take place December 10, 2020 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Belvidere, Illinois. A private burial will follow at Shattucks Grove Cemetery. There will be no visitation, but a Celebration of Life will follow as health guidelines permit.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Reola’s name may be gifted to: Immanuel Lutheran School, 1225 E. Second Street, Belvidere, Illinois, 61008 or the Boone County Fire Protection District #2, 1777 Henry Luckow Lane, Belvidere, Illinois, 61008. To leave the family a message or memory, please visit www.AndersonFCS.com or mail to: Brahmstedt Family, Anderson Funeral and Cremation Services, 218 West Hurlbut Ave., Belvidere, Illinois, 61008