Victoria Bouman, 88, homemaker, partner in ministry

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Victoria Ruth Bouman (nee Bartling), 88, died on Christmas Day, 2011. Born on Jan. 14, 1923 in Bismarck, N.D., to Dorothea (nee Pfotenhauer) and Rev. Victor Bartling, her father baptized her into the faith that sustained her. She grew up on the campus of Concordia College, Milwaukee, where her father was a professor.

Her grandfathers, father, brothers, and brothers-in-law were Lutheran pastors. This heritage of faith and learning was formative and resonated throughout her life. An avid reader and lifelong learner, she graduated from Milwaukee Lutheran High School in 1941.

Paul Bouman, a young teacher and church musician in Milwaukee who knew Vickie's parents (having grown up in the same parsonage in Minnesota as Vickie's mother), became fascinated by their beautiful daughter and married her on June 30, 1946. They moved to Melrose Park, where Paul had a teaching and music ministry position at St. Paul Lutheran Church. Children soon followed: Stephen Paul, John Mark, Helene Victoria, Mark Jansen, and Janet Dorothy. In 1953, Paul took a call to Grace Lutheran Church and School. The Boumans celebrated 65 years of marriage in June, 2011.

Mrs. Bouman's regular walks to the library with her youngsters were eagerly awaited and instilled a love of books and history. Her playful sense of humor invaded bedtime stories and family giggle-fests. As a hostess, she had an eye for people who needed a place to be and a special touch of love. A bottomless supply of homemade cookies was at the ready for the next visitor.

Her strong sense of ministry manifested itself in her care of people in need and in her friendships. One of the first women elected to be an elder of Grace Church, she brought to the role her particular sense of caring and humility.

Vickie Bouman is survived by her husband, Paul; her sisters, Elsie Meyer (Norman) and Barbara Frey; her brother, Fred (Ruth) and sisters-in-law Betty (Walter) and Ruth (Paul); and many nieces and nephews. Her immediate family grew with the years to include Stephen's wife, Janet, and their children, Timothy (Erin), Jeremy (Sarahjayne), and Rachel; John's wife, Robin Schirmer, and their children, Samuel and Lucy; Helene's husband, Charles Debelak, and their children, Thawivann Spalding (John), Christine Neider (Sam), Peter (Michelle), and Hannah Birchman (Taylor); Mark's wife, Mary Jane Keitel, and their children, William and John; and Janet's husband, Randy Peterson. She had a special place in her heart for her great-grandchildren, John, Ruth, Sophia, Luke, Jonathan, Sarah, Luke, Caleb, Grace, Joy, Jonah, Madeleine, Charlie, Evelyn, and Lucy. She touched many lives.

A memorial service was held on Dec. 29 at Grace Lutheran Church. Memorial donations to Grace Lutheran are appreciated. Arrangements were handled by Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home in Oak Park.

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