Edna W. “Lettie” Noelke | Obituary - Republic-Times | News

Edna W. “Lettie” Noelke | Obituary

By on November 21, 2017 at 4:18 pm

Edna W. “Lettie” Noelke

Edna W. “Lettie” Noelke (nee Roever), 99, of Waterloo, died Nov. 20, 2017, in Waterloo. 

She was born Aug. 31, 1918, in East St. Louis, daughter of the late Charles and Olga Roever.

When Lettie was a 1-year-old, her family moved to Waterloo, where they bought the building on the northeast corner of Main and Mill streets. This became “Roever’s Cafe — A Good Place to Eat.” The family lived upstairs.

Edna was known as “Redhead,” but her sister Norma could not pronounce that and instead called her “Ledhead,” which soon became “Lettie.” 

They liked living in downtown Waterloo, where they were close to school and church. The sisters took piano and dance lessons, which helped develop their love of music.

Lettie graduated from Waterloo High School in 1936, and enrolled at the University of Illinois majoring in Physical Education. After graduation, she was hired to teach at Oak Grove, a one-room 15-student schoolhouse near Burksville. 

She married Robert Noelke on July 24, 1943, and after living in Orlando Fla., where he was stationed during World War II, they moved back to their beloved Waterloo to raise a family.

When there was a teacher shortage, Lettie once again became a school teacher until she and Bob both decided to retire in order to travel. 

After Bob passed, Lettie enjoyed volunteering in the gift shop at Oak Hill and also taught English as a second language.

After her first broken hip at the age of 89, she was determined to get her drivers license when she turned 90 — and she did. She enjoyed “tooting” around town.

She is survived by son Tom (Carol) Noelke, and daughter Jane Reh (Thomas Hopkins); grandchildren Andy (Laura) Noelke, Alex Reh (Becky Walling) and Max (Samantha) Reh; great-grandchildren Madison and Mason, EttaLou, and Hannah and Margaret; along with nieces, nephews and cousins.

Lettie was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and sisters Norma Zimmer, Elsie Bode, Lucille Burkhardt and Irma Roever.

Visitation and funeral services take place Nov. 22, at Quernheim Funeral Home, Waterloo, Pastor Mark Akers officiating.

Interment will follow at Kolmer Memorial Cemetery, Waterloo.

As an expression of sympathy, the family prefers memorial contributions to Maeystown Preservation Society, Morrison-Talbott Library, or Oak Hill Activity Fund Oasis International Ministries.


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