Louise “Lou” Hartwig, age 92, passed away on Saturday (8/26/2017) at the Kansas City Hospice House after a hard fought struggle with life, she now rests in peace. She will be deeply missed.
Lou was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 68 years, Frederick Henning Hartwig, on Sept 15, 2015. They were married in Concordia, MO on Oct. 20, 1946, she a Baptist, he a Missouri Synod Lutheran medical student. She switched denominations and over the course of six decades, only ever complained about the lackluster Lutheran music.
Born Sept 15, 1924 to Louis Iverson Rice and Naomi Young Rice in Blytheville, Arkansas, Louise was the 2nd of 8 children. She graduated from Blytheville High school and moved to Memphis, TN where she met Fred Hartwig, fell in love and married.
Fred and Lou eventually moved to Roeland Park, KS, Fred with his thriving medical practice, Lou with four children. They led good lives and each made their mark, involving themselves with multiple charitable organizations and always extending a helping hand to others.
Lou’s interests were many and varied. In 1961 she was a founding member of Johnson County Young Matrons which emphasized civic, social and philanthropic activities to serve the community. Kids TLC was founded in 1972 by JCYM to fulfill an unmet need providing emergency shelters for abused and neglected children. A member of Our Saviour Lutheran Church, Lou took on many roles there including holding office in the LWML auxiliary, altar committee, circle groups, and lastly, closest to her heart, she helped with the OSL preschool program and the OSL food pantry.
Graduating with her Nursing degree from JOCO in 1973 was one of Lou’s proudest accomplishments. Although working as an RN proved untenable, over the years she volunteered at St. Mary’s hospital and Trinity Lutheran Hospital and came to love her “Tuesday Girls” as she affectionately referred to her fellow volunteers there.
Siblings who predeceased her include Odie (Sydney) Herring, Jewell (Jerome) Carr, Irene (Joseph) Barber, Thelma (Ray Dell) Putman, and Dorothy (Harold) Hyde. Surviving siblings include Donald Rice of Little Rock, AR, and Irma Jean Branit of Prairie Village, KS.
Lou leaves behind her four children, Fred Hartwig, his significant other, Liz Wade and their daughter Sarah Hartwig; David Hartwig, his wife Anita and their two daughters, Alexandra (Blake) Daniel and Veronica (Derek) Hartwig (on 9/16/17 “Reynolds”:); Steve Hartwig and his significant other Linda Reckart; Susie Hartwig and her favorite husband Jeff Krenzer, her son (1st grandson) Jimmy Vallandingham with wife Bethany and their two adorables, Zia and Eli, and daughter Emmy with husband (from England :) Chris Jedres and newest adorable, Oliver.
Lou loved tennis, she loved bridge, she loved to read and travel, she loved dance aerobics and stuck with it much longer than her foray into ice skating.
We loved Lou. She did not suffer weaknesses in others much less herself. Now she is whole again and thankfully at peace, and maybe laughing a little at all our frailties.
Visitation: 8/29/2017, Tuesday, from 6 to 8 pm. at Our Saviour Lutheran Church, 4153 Rainbow Blvd., Kansas City, KS 66103
Funeral: 8/30/2017, Wednesday, 11:00 am at Our Saviour Lutheran Church with a fellowship meal to follow
Internment: 8/30/2017, 2:00 pm at Johnson County Memorial Chapel, 11200 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park, KS, 66210
Donations to Our Saviour Lutheran Preschool and OSL Food Pantry