Eva Mae Niewoehner dies at 97

Eva Mae Niewoehner age 97 of Fredericksburg, died Wednesday, July 6, 2016 at the Hillcrest Home in Sumner.Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 13, 2016, at St. Peter Lutheran Church - Richfield, rural Sumner, with Rev. Wayne Ellingson presiding. Interment will be in Rose Hill Cemetery, Fredericksburg.Friends may greet the family 4 - 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 12, 2016, at the Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home in Fredericksburg. Visitation continues an hour prior to the service at the church on Wednesday.  Online condolences for Eva Mae’s family may be left at hugebackfuneralhome.comEva Mae (Klotz) Niewoehner was born May 13, 1919 to William and Hattie Klotz on the family farm, three miles east of Fredericksburg. She grew up with five siblings during the Great Depression, learning the importance of innovation and making more out of less. Her family loved music, encouraging Eva Mae who began piano lessons at the age of ten, with Tommy's Red Drum being her first solo. She attended country school, Evergreen Valley District No. 3., later graduating from Fredericksburg High School in 1937 as class valedictorian. Eva Mae furthered her education at Upper Iowa University earning a teaching certificate. She taught at country schools near Fredericksburg and the Fredericksburg Elementary School, grades five and six. She then attended UNI, Cedar Falls and McPherson College in Kansas. Plans to later return to college were abandoned when she chose to stay home to care for her ill mother. Eva Mae, while living at home with her parents, worked at her brother Edwin's hardware store in Fredericksburg. She caught the eye of a local farmer, Adolph Niewoehner, who found many reasons to come into the store, Eva Mae being the primary one. Their first date was August 27, 1944, progressing from monthly to twice weekly dates. Adolph and Eva Mae were secretly married on Sept. 14, 1945 by a justice of the peace in Waterloo, Iowa. A honeymoon followed at the Wisconsin Dells, returning home to Adolph's farm in rural Sumner where they were greeted by a chivaree hosted by neighbors.  Two children were born into this union, Alan Roy on July 31, 1949 and Gene William on October 13, 1954. Alan was tragically killed in a motor vehicle accident, just shy of his eleventh birthday. Eva Mae was also gravely injured, unable to attend Alan's funeral. Her loving family and faith in God helped with recovery and healing. Eva Mae filled her home with the scent of freshly baked bread weekly and continued this well into her nineties. She also enjoyed gardening, sewing and time spent with family. Eva Mae attended every Dairy Day in Fredericksburg since it's beginning in the 1920's, including 2016.One of her greatest passions was music and she served as a dedicated organist at St. John Lutheran Church, Stapleton and St. Peter Lutheran Church, Richfield. She retired from organ playing at the age of ninety-three. Her beloved Adolph died in 1986. In later years, Eva Mae could be seen driving his 1951 Chevy pickup around town. She was fortunate to enjoy good health most of her life. As poor eyesight progressed, Eva Mae relied on her ability to play music by ear and memory. She spent the last few months of her life playing old classics and hymns on the piano, entertaining other residents and staff of Hillcrest Home in Sumner. Eva Mae has left a legacy of music to her family, church family, and many piano students, also serving as a mentor to aspiring young organists. Eva Mae is survived by her son, Gene and his wife Cheryl who live on the family farm in rural Sumner; granddaughter Laura Cook and husband Sean from River Falls, Wisconsin; grandson Jared from Madison, Wisconsin and great-granddaughter, Lily, 7 months old. She was preceded in death by her son, Alan; husband, Adolph; parents, William and Hattie; Sister Nellie; two infant brothers Frederick and Elmer; and brothers Edwin, Lloyd, Lyle and Alvin.

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