Bertha Ida Steffen Hussmann
COLUMBIA — Bertha Ida Steffen Hussmann could be best described as a compassionate and faithful person.
She identified with people in difficult situations, would listen to those who others often wouldn’t listen to and was faithful to her church and the larger community, her daughter, Mary Hussmann, said. She attended St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, and was a member of GRO-Grass Roots Organizing and Church Women United.
Bertha Hussmann died Monday, May 23, 2011, at South Hampton Place. She was 95.
She was born Nov. 4, 1915, to the Reverend Gustav Steffen and Anna Eggert Steffen in rural Sisseton, S.D. She attended school in Freeman, S.D., and graduated from Washington High School in Sioux Falls, S.D., in 1934.
In 1937, she entered nurse's training at Lutheran Hospital in St. Louis. After graduating, she got the second-highest score in Missouri on the Board of Nursing exam and worked at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
On June 26, 1941, she married the Reverend Otto B. Hussmann, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, in McFarland, Kan.
The Reverend Hussmann entered the U.S. Army in 1944 as chaplain in the 92nd Field Hospital in the Philippines, and Mrs. Hussmann was a volunteer nurse with the American Red Cross. She taught home nursing classes in McFarland, Paxico, and Alma, Kan. She will be buried with her Red Cross pin.
After the war, she and her husband served Lutheran congregations in Topeka, Kan., Chester, Ill., and Grand Island, Neb. In 1962, Mrs. Hussmann returned to nursing and worked at the Lutheran Hospital in Grand Island until she retired in 1977. She was active in the church community and often taught Sunday school and was active in three women's church groups.
Mrs. Hussmann lived in Grand Island for 40 years. In 1997, she moved to Columbia to live with her daughter Mary. In August 2010, she moved to South Hampton Place.
Mrs. Hussmann is survived by five daughters, Paula Marie and her husband, Bill Moore, of Charlotte, N.C., Katherine Anne and her husband, the Reverend Paul Klemp, of White Bear Lake Township, Minn., Mary Louise Hussmann of Columbia, Martha Ruth and her husband, the Reverend Paul Bickel, of Forest Hill, Md., and Elizabeth Grace Hussmann and her husband, Tony Hooi, of Omaha, Neb.; a sister, Gertrude Hoffschneider of Fort Wayne, Ind.; 20 grandchildren; and 36 great-grandchildren.
Her husband died earlier at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Grand Island on Jan. 3, 1982. Five brothers and three sisters also died earlier.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday, June 2, at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, 914 West Blvd. S.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at Livingston-Sondermann Funeral Home in Grand Island, Neb. Services will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Trinity Lutheran Church in Grand Island. She will be buried in the Grand Island Cemetery next to her husband.
Memorial contributions can be sent to GRO-Grass Roots Organizing, 304 E. Breckenridge St., Mexico, MO, 65265; Church Women United, c/o Alice Moon, 13 Fleming Drive, Columbia, MO, 65201; or St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church.