obituaries

Gertraud Annamarie Emilie Howald

Woodburn | Monday, June 7 2021

Gertraud Annamarie Emilie Howald, neé Blokscha, died at her home on Monday, June 7, 2021, in the the midst of her full and busy life-making peach jam, writing birthday cards, going for a swim. She was 92.

Gertraud, known to her friends in America as ‘Judy’ and in Austria as ‘Traudl’, was born in Vienna on March 9, 1929. She was the only child of parents Ludwig and Marianne Blokscha (neé Cerny). Her early years were marked by war; Hitler Germany annexed Austria when she was nine years old and World War II broke out the following year. Nevertheless she graduated from high school in 1947 and went on to study at the University of Vienna.

During the post-war American army occupation of her district, Judy met and fell in love with solider and Bunker Hill native Sherwood Howald. They were married in the Roman Catholic parish church in her home neighborhood on May 5, 1951. Chub and Judy moved together to Bunker Hill, eventually settling to Woodburn in 1957. A white farmhouse on Huette Road would be their home together for the next 62 years.

Judy finished her post-secondary education, eventually earning a master’s degree, at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, and taught German at Alton High School for over 20 years. After retirement she volunteered teaching German at the Alton Senior Center and Oasis Center for Women and Girls. She was a member of the Bunker Hill Congregational Church and patronized many area cultural institutions, including the St. Louis Art Museum, Alton Little Theatre, and St. Louis Symphony. She visited Vienna, a place she missed her entire life, for the last time in 2008.

Chub went before Judy in death in 2019. She is survived by her sons, Mark Howald of St. Louis and Michael Howald of Bunker Hill; daughter-in-law Roxanne Howald; granddaughters Amanda Bull, Lindsey Patton, and Whitney Vieths; grandsons-in-law Jon Bull, Andy Patton, and Brady Vieths; great-grandchildren Asher and Simon Bull, Eliot and Ivy Patton, and Rylee and Theo Vieths; and sisters-in-law Betty Zarges and Carol Howald of Woodburn.

Judy is remembered and treasured by all of them for her stories, her relentless hospitality, her persevering spirit, frugality, generosity, and her love of beautiful things-from geraniums to porcelain figures, still-life paintings, and the oriental carpets that stretched from wall to wall in the Woodburn farmhouse.

Private services will be held at Wood Davis Cemetery, Woodburn. Memorials are suggested to Methodist Food Pantry and Hope Center in Cottage Hills.  Kravanya Funeral Home, Bunker Hill, IL is in charge.  Anyone wishing to send online condolences may do so at www.kravanyafuneral.com.


Obit Provided By:
Kravanya Funeral Home

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