Elda Maria Sophia Hellman Kieschnick of New Braunfels passed away of natural causes early the morning of January 10, 2019, at the age of 102 years and nine months, thus realizing the fulfillment of her recent fervent prayers to go to heaven to see Jesus.
Elda was born to Fred and Bertha Diepenbrock Hellman on Monday, April 10, 1916, in Nashville, Kansas. She was baptized at Evangelical Lutheran Kirche St. Johannes on April 16, 1916, and confirmed at Zion Lutheran Church in Alamo, Texas in December 1928.
Elda was united in holy marriage to Martin Herbert Otto Kieschnick on February 7, 1939, at Zion Lutheran Church in Alamo, Texas. Except for two years in San Diego, where Martin served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Martin and Elda established their family and made their home in Houston until 1979.
In that year they moved to a home in New Braunfels that they had bought and refurbished after it had been severely damaged by the 100 year flood of 1972. They lived together on the Guadalupe River, enjoying the beauty of God's creation and sharing their home with family, friends and strangers.
Following Martin's death on New Year's Day 1983, Elda spent the rest of her years in New Braunfels, rebuilding her home twice at 1480 Sleepy Hollow, destroyed by two more 100 year floods in 1998 and 2002. After the 1998 flood she bought her home in town, away from the river, on Mission Hills Drive, residing happily there for all but the last nearly three years of her life.
Elda and Martin were faithful members of St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Houston and Cross Lutheran Church in New Braunfels. They and their children simply did not let a Sunday morning go by without being in the house of the Lord for worship and Bible study, teaching their children to join them in placing temporal and eternal trust in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Elda's gifts of effervescent personality and gracious hospitality were widely known and experienced. She and Martin loved to entertain people in their home, a blessing Elda shared until moving to assisted living at Rio Terra in New Braunfels February 20, 2016. In addition, Elda was involved in many community activities and organizations. Her hobby of transforming ordinary emu and ostrich eggs into decorative works of art brought great joy to her life and much wonderment to those who admired her skillful artisanship and delicate handiwork.
Elda is survived by her immediate family, comprised of 54 loved ones who will miss her vivacious presence, generous affirmation, and loving support. Her family includes four children and three children in-law: Carol Ann Wheaton of New Braunfels, Jerry and Terry Kieschnick of Georgetown, Karen and Mel Newman of San Marcos, Debbie and Curtis Zachary of Little Rock.
Her immediate family also includes 12 grandchildren and nine spouses, 22 great grandchildren and one spouse; three and one-half great great grandchildren, living in Colorado, Tennessee, Arkansas, Illinois, and Texas. Her surviving extended family includes numerous cousins, nephews and nieces, each of whom loved Elda dearly.
Elda was preceded in death by her beloved husband Martin, son-in-law Virgil Jerry Wheaton, Jr., and great great grandson Logan Christopher Wheaton. She was also preceded in death by parents Fred and Bertha Hellman, parents in-law Walter and Martha Kieschnick, brother Melvin Hellman and his wife Frida Hellman, two sisters Nora Hellman and Ola Hellman, brothers in-law and sisters in-law Eddie and Esther Rathgeber, Edgar and Esther Ray Kieschnick.
Visitation will be from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Friday, January 18, at Zoeller Funeral Home, 615 Landa St., New Braunfels.
A memorial service of thanksgiving to God for the life of his servant Elda Kieschnick will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, January 19, at Cross Lutheran Church, 2171 Common St., New Braunfels. Pastor Don Fraker will preside.
Her mortal remains will be laid to rest beside those of her beloved husband Martin at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, January 19, at Guadalupe Valley Memorial Park, New Braunfels. Her son, Rev. Dr. Jerry Kieschnick, and son-in-law, Rev. Mel Newman, will preside.
Elda's family members express sincere thanks and heartfelt appreciation to her many friends, neighbors, and fellow church members, especially those who in the past several years have provided transportation, front door mail delivery, garbage can duty, and countless other acts of love and kindness. Special appreciation is also expressed to the wonderful staff and employees of Hope Hospice and Rio Terra Senior Living, both of New Braunfels, for the loving care given around the clock to our dear mother during the last 34 ½ months of her life.
Memorials may be given to St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Houston, to Cross Lutheran Church in New Braunfels, or to the charity of your choice.
We give thanks for our dear Granny's ten decades, two years, and nine months of God's grace and look forward to seeing her again someday in heaven! To God be the glory!