Herman Holstein, 92, of Oak Park, died peacefully at home from bladder cancer.
He will be remembered by sons Mark (Connie) Holstein, David (Cindy) Holstein of Mabank, TX, daughters Beth Holstein (Oliver Hemmann) and Carla Luttinen, his sister Mary Appelt of Appleton, WI, 12 grandchildren, and 7 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his recently departed wife of 69 years, Hertha, parents Ernest and Bertha, and son-in-law Charles Luttinen.
Herman led an interesting life. He was born in Dearborn, Michigan and as a child, he and his sister traveled to Germany to visit his mother’s family. But with the outbreak of World War II, they were stranded abroad with his aunt and uncle. Toward the end of the war, his guardian angel told him it was time to leave Germany and safely led him across the border on foot to his father’s home country of Switzerland. He returned to the United States after the war and worked as a butcher — a trade, he’d proudly note, that helped him feed and care for his family.
In 1989, Herman purchased land in Wisconsin and had a lake house built. Many family members and friends worked on any number of projects at the house. He shared the lake house with many and was the chief cook of the meat, offering guests snacks of sausage and cheese.
Herman was a devout man who was active in St. John Lutheran Church. Along with his wife, Hertha, he helped others feel the love of God through acts of service and volunteerism. He was a storyteller and a jokester who made so many laugh and smile. A hardworking man who never shied away from a project, he lovingly restored furniture to its former glory and constantly worked on the Oak Park house where he raised his family.
A joint visitation for Herman and Hertha will be held Thursday, May 23 at St. John Lutheran Church, 305 Circle Ave., Forest Park, Illinois from 10-11:30 a.m., followed by a funeral service at 11:30 a.m. officiated by Pastor Payton. Interment will be at 4 p.m. at Chapel Hill Gardens West Cemetery, 17W201 Roosevelt Rd., Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois.
Memorial gifts may be made to St. John Lutheran Church or Walther Christian Academy.