Date of Birth
Date of Death
NAME Erika M. Heft, age 93, of Sycamore, formerly of St. Charles, found peace and joy when she went "home" for Easter Wednesday morning, April 4, 2007 at Kishwaukee Community Hospital, DeKalb. BORNShe was born July 6, 1913 in Germany. EARLY YEARS :Erika grew up in Germany and attended local schools and graduated in 1931. EDUCATION: Following graduation she began an eight year apprenticeship program to become a secretary. Upon completion she worked for Madaus Pharmaceutical which is where she met her husband, Herbert P. Heft. MARRIAGE They were united in marriage on April 4, 1941. Herbert was drafted into the army and served his country until his discharge in June of 1946. In 1948, the family escaped East Germany and settled in Bremen, West Germany until they migrated to the United States on August 16, 1956. RESIDENTIAL HISTORY: The family settled in Los Angeles for a time before making their home in Milwaukee, WI, where Erika found work at the Milwaukee Gas Company. OCCUPATION / WORK HISTORY She worked her way up from the bottom to become a planning engineer and retired in 1969. Erika and Herbert moved to Mexico for six years until moving to Germany in 1975. In 1982, Herbert passed away and Erika moved back to the U.S. and settled in St. Charles, IL. When her failing health made it impossible to live on her own, she moved once more to the Grand Victorian, Sycamore. MEMBERSHIPS She was a volunteer for the Golden Ager’s of St. Charles, a state-wide meals on wheels program for the elderly where she planned the meals, organized bingo and was in charge finances. LIFE NOTES Erika loved to knit and crotchet, making matching sweaters for her children. In later years she made afghans and blankets that will be cherished for generations. She loved playing Sudoku, was a fixture at many bingo games and enjoyed Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy every chance she could get. Erika also loved to travel to Las Vegas with her best friend two or three times a year. There wasn’t a romance novel she didn’t like and the library on wheels that came to her home was always stocked with a "stack of favorites" that she would race through at the rate of almost one a day. SURVIVORS She now leaves her son,Hans-Peter (Judith) Heft of Slinger, WI and her daughter Karin (Thad) Gissel of Troxel, IL;Six grandchildren, Heidi Heft of Grand Shute, WI, and Matthew (Jane) Heft of Hartford, WI,Susan Nakano of Schaumberg, IL,Katherine (Patrick) Brennan of Cortland, IL, Michael (Karoline) Gissel of Clarksville, TN, and Anne (Charles) Larson of Itasca, IL;Eleven great-grandchildren:Emily and Samantha NakanoMadeline, Nicholas, and Joseph Brennan,Sarah and Amanda Gissel and Lauren, Austin, Brooke, and Sydney Larson;Two nephews:Karl-Heinz Buuk of Port Elizabeth, South Africa andAlice Sichler of Muhlheim, Germany and a family of friends. PRECEDED She now joins her parents and one sister, Lieselotte Buuk who preceded her in death. MEMORIAL A memorial has been established in her name to benefit the Salvation Army. Checks may be made to the "Erika Heft Memorial" and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family at the same address or through www.conleycare.com.
VISITATION Friends may call from 4-8 p.m., with a wake service to be held at 5:00, Monday, April 9, 2007 at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. FUNERAL A mass to celebrate her life will be held at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, Maple Park, on Tuesday, April 10th at 10:30 a.m. Fr. Joachim Tyrtania, pastor of the church will officiate.
Interment will follow at St. Mary of the Assumption Cemetery, Maple Park, IL.