Saturday, April 10, 2010

Lieselotte "Oma" Haf 1913 ~ 2010

On April 5th, 2010, my Oma (maternal grandmother) Lieselotte Kaiser~Saule Haf passed away peacefully in Augsburg, Germany...where she had lived most of her life.  She joins my Opa (maternal grandfather) Adalbert Haf  ~ 27 Feb 1907 ~ 9 Feb 1968 and her two sons, my uncles Helmut Haf  3 Oct. 1940 ~ 20 Dec 1994 and Adalbert Haf 3 Oct 1940 ~ 2 Oct 2004.

Oma was 96 years old and lived a good long life...she survived WWII and being separated from her daugther, my mother for one year during the heavy bombings in Augsburg, as I had explained in my post for the Give Their Face a Place, 21st Edition of Smile For the Camera.

Life was very rough at times due to the Oma was a strong lady and took good care of her family.  She took care of my Opa after he had been shot in the shoulder serving in the German Mountain Troops in Russia. Oma survived her two sons, Helmut and Adalbert.

I was so very close to my Oma...she was a model grandmother...always just knowing the right thing to do and when to do it. I have so many wonderful memories but the one that stands out the most: Peppermint tea...she knew I loved that German peppermint tea! If I had an upset tummy, Oma took care of me.  I was born in her home, mom and I lived with her until I was about three...when we left for the United was very hard seeing her daughter and granddaughter leaving.

Even though my Oma and Opa, Uncles, and cousins were all in Germany and we were here, I stayed very close to my Oma. She always sent my favorite things each Christmas. She would always include a beautiful German tablecloth or vase or tea cup set...heirlooms to be...getting me started and prepared for my own home...I do still have many of them. Each and every card, letter or note she sent to me, I kept. I am surrounded by my Oma and memories of her that will stay with me.

Oma made several trips to California...I remember one where my mom, stepfather, and I drove to New York to pick her up at JFK Airport, where she had flown in from Germany. That was a pretty exciting trip. A cousin that mom grew up with in Germany and was very close to my Oma, lived in New York at the time, it was nice for all of them to be in the same place at once.

But, the one thing that means the very most to me is...Oma had a certain look in her eye when she would look at me...I cannot explain the look...but I knew when she gave it to me, her eyes said, I love you so very much my Ginimaus, I will hold that look in my heart and never forget it. I miss her to pieces...what a very blessed granddaughter I am. Oma and Opa had nicknamed me Ginimaus, their Gini mouse!

~ Rest in Peace my dear Oma ~

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Mom left for Germany on April 5th, she is there making all the arrangements along with the help of my cousin Marion and aunt Gitta. On Monday, April 12th, a small service will be held at a nearby Church. Oma will be cremated and her ashes will be sent to a mortuary here in San Diego...she will be close to me. Our family here will have a small service for her, this is what she wanted. With the exception of my cousin Marion and my aunt Gitta, everyone is now gone...she didn't want to be alone there. It's a good feeling knowing she will be here with me and our family and in no way will she be alone.

I think this will probably be the last trip mom makes back home, and I know this trip is a difficult one. Mom returns on the 15th of April. I received a phone call from her this morning...she has photos, and several documents for me that Oma had, mom sounds as if she is doing well and I am relieved for that.

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The photos in the collage above, starting at the top left and going clockwise are: Oma and mom (the first two) ca. 1981, Oma, my uncle Adi, and my mom on one of the visits my mom made to Germany (not sure of date at this time) ca. 2000.

Two photos of Oma by herself.

Lower right corner: Oma and my daughter Lacie on one of Oma's visits to California...these photos were taken in my home in Stockton, CA in 1981. 

Lower left:  Oma and myself as a baby, and her and I on her visit to California in 1981. 

Center: My Oma and Opa's wedding photo: October 22, 1932 in Augsburg, Germany.

To the left of the wedding photo, my Oma holding my uncles Helmut and Adi and my mom (bending down).

To the right of the wedding photo, my Oma and her mother, Margarete Kaiser Saule b. 22 Jul 1888 in Schmerold, Germany ~ d. 28 May 1972 in Augsburg, Bayern, Germany (year photo taken is unknown).

Photo below the wedding photo is of Oma and her family (mom is in Germany so I am unable to ask who everyone is at this time). 

All originals of photos are held by Gini Webb.

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This post is also being submitted for the Carnival of African-American Genealogy CoAAG : 2nd Edition: Grandma's Hands, Grandmothers and their influence on the Family, hosted by, Sandra, at I Never Knew My Father.



my Heritage Happens said...

Such a beautiful tribute and wonderful post to your grandmother. Great memories and so fortunate that she made several visits to the US. May she rest in peace and may your mother have a safe trip home. Wonderful pictures!

Gini said...

Thank you Cheryl...she was my strong sweet Oma and I learned so much from her...I will miss her very much.

Thank you for your wonderful words.

Barbara Poole said...

I knew I was going to be moved when I read this, and I was. You were so fortunate to have such a loving grandmother (I never knew mine), and even from the great distance, your Oma never stopped showing her love. You gave her the best tribute anybody could, it was just lovely, and perfect for the memorial service as well.

Carol said...

Lovely, as I knew it would be. I enjoyed reading about your Oma, written from your heart. Hugs!!

Luckie. said...

Beautiful. As I told you Gini, when all settled a bit, the words would come.

Your Oma was blessed to live long with lots of love surrounding her. She is blessed to transition peacefully, reuniting with those she has loved & no doubt missed deeply.

Take peace Gini knowing she is with you still ~ closer in spirit than ever before.

Thank you for sharing Oma with us & for joining in the CoAAG in honor of the community's Grandmothers. It's a special one indeed.


Pam Beveridge said...

Wonderful tribute!
Pam Beveridge

Gini said...

Luckie, thank you so much for such beautiful and loving words...they have helped my has been so heavy lately. I know my Oma is shining down on me Luckie...guiding me and teaching me still.

You were right...the words came as I needed them to. Thank you for allowing me to share my Oma on the "Grandma's Hands" CoAAG.

Gini said...

Pam, Barbara and Carol ~
Thank you so much for your kind words. I was truly a blessed granddaughter...she was a pretty special Oma!

And you know me Carol...yes it was straight from the heart!

sjtaliaferro said...


What a beautiful post. You have written a moving tribute to your grandmother. I know she is smiling and proud of you. Always remember the love and happy memories; that's what matters most.

Thanks for sharing this special post with the CoAAG.

Sharondipity Designs said...

What a beautiful tribute Gini. You are blessed to have such a loving Oma..

Michelle Goodrum said...

What a lovely tribute. You were both blessed to have each other in your lives.

MHD said...

Thank you for sharing. My thoughts are with you all.

Heather Wilkinson Rojo said...

How lucky you were to have such a grandmother, and how lucky she was to have you to make her memory live on. Thank you for sharing.

Lisa Swanson Ellam said...

Such a very moving post and a great tribute to your Oma. I also had a grandmother who had that special look in her eye for me. Every child should be loved unconditionally like that.
My prayers are with your family. Thanks for sharing.

Karen said...

Lovely post - there's nothing like the relationship between grandmother and granddaughter. I lost my lovely Gma 20 years ago last month - but there's a big part of her that is in my heart, as your Oma will always be in yours as well, and the memories are so precious. Thank you for sharing yours.

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

Gini -

I offer you my deepest sympathy. You have created a lovely tribute to your Oma.


Mavis said...


I'm so sorry that I'm just now reading about the passing of your Oma. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time. What a wonderful tribut you wrote for her. I enjoyed reading it.

Ms Vicky said...

What a wonderful tribute to your grandmother. I believe that she is smiling down on you now and that she has left many years of a legacy that you will be able to share with others. Thanks so much.

Renate Yarborough Sanders said...

Gini, thanks for sharing this beautiful tribute to your Oma. I'm so sorry to hear of your recent loss. My prayers go out to you and your family.


Angela Y. Walton-Raji said...

One can tell that you have nothing but love in your for your dear Oma. She is smiling down upon you and thankfully she will never leave your heart.

Gini said...

It's been awhile since I have posted but I want to thank each and everyone of you for thinking of me...your wonderful and kinds words...friendship and support.

The service Mom and my cousin Marion and Aunt Gitta held for her in Germany was at the Cathedral, St. George, where I had been baptized, I thought that was so special. St. George is a very beautiful church.

Karen said...

I had to re-read your post - it's still as moving now as it was then. Thank you. It touches a place in my heart.

Unknown said...

this is a wonderful story about your Oma. A beautiful tribute. I am so glad that you found the right words for her!
Sending over a big hug from Germany.

Gini said...

Thank you Barbara . . . I sure miss her and mom so much. I am sure they are having a party! A big hug back to you.