Floral 06

Hildegard M. Schaffner

July 2, 1929 ~ August 31, 2023 (age 94) 94 Years Old
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Ingeborg. Marta. Maria. Hildegard. Fischer. My mother was born with a
lot of names. Maybe you knew her as “mom” or “Hilde”. If you knew
her as “Mrs. Schaffner”, you probably remember her whistle as she
called out the front door, Esse!
But it was on July 1, 1978, that she was given the name she cherished
the most, OMA. In the years that followed, she was blessed with four
granddaughters, three grandsons, and three great grandchildren. And
there were seemingly hundreds of unrelated “grandchildren” that
called her “Oma” too! And she loved it! But no matter how you knew
her, let me tell you some things about my mother that maybe you
didn’t know.
As a young girl, during WWII, she and her mom outran bullets that were
being fired upon them by an American fighter plane as they ran toward
the family bunker.
At 19, she met Dad during Carnival, or German Mardi Gras. Dad was
dressed as a woman, she was a gypsy. They married two years later.
As a young women she rode on the back of my father’s motorcycle as
they tooled around Europe. Including on the day Dieter was born in a
mountain top hospital accessed by a curvy mountain road. Uh huh.
As a young wife and mother, she and Dad left her beloved Black Forest
to adventure across the sea to a place where she didn’t know anyone,
the language, or the culture. They settled in Elizabeth in 1954.
As a mother with four young kids, every year in July, she packed up the
car for a two week family vacation, and celebrated her birthday
camping in the mountains and drinking blackberry brandy by the fire.
And I mean we were camping, not glamping.
Our mom was once in a bowling league. She loved watching tennis,
especially Roger Federer, hockey, and the Olympics.

She loved traveling back to Germany with Dad, visiting with family and
friends, and tooling around Europe, but now on a bus, not a bike.
She raised oleanders and red geraniums with great success. They kept
her company while she sat on the back deck, and she called them her
Her heart and soul suffered deeply with the loss of Michael in 2011,
Dad in 2013, and Dieter in 2018.
In her 80’s, she amazed us all when she began using Youtube to learn
origami, new knitting patterns, receipes, and paperarts. Perhaps you
were lucky enough to receive one of her birthday cards. She was an
avid user of her Ipad to keep in touch with family and friends, send and
receive photos, or to play rummycube. And as far as rummycube went,
she was our family’s undisputed champion, putting us all to shame
EVERY time!
At 92, she survived facial surgery for the removal of skin cancer, and
jokingly called it her “facelift”.
She had many loyal friendships that lasted until death. Childhood
friends, friends from ESL classes, friends on Oxford Road. More
recently, she enjoyed her time with the “knitting club” at the Deutscher
Club in Clark. She loved the ladies there, who provided great company,
an excuse to get out of the house, and CAKE.
And all her life, she embodied what were known as the three K’s of
German womanhood, Kirch, Kinder, Kuche. Church, Children, Kitchen.
She was a member of this parish for 60 years. She honored Advent
each December, and made Marian alters in May. And her love for
Christmas Eve, her favorite day of the year, was contagious.
My mom was a family-first kinda person. She was devoted to all her
children, lovingly insisting to intrude even when you didn’t want her to,

always there when you needed her support, always guiding with a
loving hand. She loved her daughter-in-laws as her own, and
considered them all great mothers who raised awesome kids.
Whether preparing meals for her brood, (and who didn’t love her
potato salad?!), baking Christmas cookies, strawberry cakes, Kugeloft,
or just cleaning up together after dinner, the kitchen was her domain.
She was the center, rock, and matriarch of our family and will be sorely
missed. May she henceforth have a new name, The GOAT; Greatest
Oma of All time.
Two days before she passed she was completely lucid, giving Frank and
me directions and instructions. She even asked for a radler! A day later,
she had a vision of where she was going, an absolutely beautific smile
on her face, and a complete lack of fear about what was to come. She
had begun her final journey.
The other Queen once famously said, “Grief is the price we pay for
love”. Today we grieve having lost our earthly mom and Oma. But we
celebrate her journey to heaven and her reunion with Dad, Dieter, and
Michael and all her family that have passed before. We pray for God’s
mercy and that she remain in His grace, and eternally near His side.
The family invites you to add your own memories of Hildegard on the
Gosselin’s Funeral Home website.

For Hildegard  Schaffner

What can I say that hasn’t already been said. Mothers have a profound impact on our lives. It’s something we can’t escape. I guess we just have to be lucky in who we get. I got lucky. Didn’t always appreciate it at the time, but as I experienced life, and looked around, I saw that I had a pretty darn good Mom.

In parenting, it’s not always the big things that have a profound impact on our children’s lives. Often, it’s the little things that have a lasting impact. The seemingly off hand comments, that let you know that things really are OK, even though life just gave you a bruising. Habits that we pick up, like making our beds or not going out wearing ripped jeans... no matter how stylish.

I had a mother that enjoyed hockey and gardening. Chew on that combination.

But people get hip checked and plants die. It’s all part of the cycle. Somewhere along the line we score, and a flower blossoms. It’s all worthwhile.

My mom saw a lot of suffering in her life. Raised in wartime, she experienced of the volatility of life, the benefit of keeping your head down and getting your business done. Do a good job and with a little bit of luck you’ll get to see the sun rise tomorrow.

But the glue that holds it all together, that binding either that often goes unspoken, yet is always implied, but never flaunted, is love.

Hildegard radiated love. Like a campfire, people would come and gather around her and enjoy her presence. Basking in her warm smile and leaving with a glow in their faces.  She did it gently, showering us with warmth and love.

As her child, I never really knew otherwise. To expect love was the norm. Mean people puzzled me. Didn’t they have a loving home in which to warm their heart? As children, were they left out in the cold to long? In this way I was sent out unprepared for life.

Yet, I was infused with Mom’s magic. If not today, then tomorrow will be a sunny day.

 Today is a sad day. The person I love is no longer here to warm me with her smile. Still, she lives deep in the recesses of my mind, and is set in every fiber of my heart. She lives on within me.


It’s her smile I see when I want to cry. It’s in the flowers that bloom when it rains, and it’s her eyes I see when I look into the cerulean sky.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Hildegard M. Schaffner, please visit our floral store.


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In Loving Memory Of

Hildegard Schaffner

July 2, 1929-August 31, 2023

Look inside to read what others
have shared

Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in the book.   

Online Memory & Photo Sharing Event
Online Event


In Loving Memory Of

Hildegard Schaffner

July 2, 1929-August 31, 2023

Look inside to read what others have shared

Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in the book.   


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