Lydia Holm-Bertelsen, 80, died on June 13, 2013. Born Lydia Johanna Mommens on Aug. 9, 1932 and raised on the family farm in Shleswig-Holstein, Germany, near the North Sea, she lived a life of adventure. As a young woman, she boarded a ship to North America, knowing nothing of the language or what lay ahead, to join her betrothed, Hermann Holm-Bertelsen, in Winnipeg, Canada.
She lived happily among Chicago's German community near Lincoln Avenue and made lifelong friends with three young women at her job in a sewing factory. Distance, and long-distance prices, never left her estranged from her family. She scrimped and saved to visit West Germany and rose early to call home as often as possible.
The Holm-Bertelsens moved to Oak Park in 1974 in time for their only child, Gary, to attend OPRF High School. She stayed close with the friends she made in the city, going on trips, attending social events with the Schillers (an area German club), and sometimes dancing till dawn. The world came to her doorstep within the little melting pot community that was the Wesley Avenue townhomes. She loved her neighbors and spoiled their children's dinner appetite for almost four decades. Generations have come and gone from the townhomes but their pictures, holiday cards, and announcements are proudly displayed in her home. As a consummate hausfrau, she planted beautiful flowers, prepared fabulous meals, and took care of anyone in need. All of her actions were labors of love. Her favorite things, besides people who liked to laugh, were fresh air, The Sound of Music, and anything that was colored blue.
Lydia Holm-Bertelsen is survived by her son, Gary (Randi) Holm-Bertelsen; her grandson, Benjamin; her sister, Hilda (the late Hans Werner) Ohlsen; her brother, Hans-Rudolf (Frauke) Mommens; her cousin, Lisa Hinrichschen; her beloved, Rudolph Rothe; and her countless friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, Hermann Holm-Bertelsen.
Visitation was held on June 17 with funeral services at 10 a.m., June 19 in the chapel at Kopicki's Heritage Funeral Home, 3117 S. Oak Park Ave. in Berwyn. Graveside prayers follow at Concordia Cemetery in Forest Park. Online condolences may be left on Kopicki.net.
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