October 2, 1923 - September 24, 2016
Alice Lillian Zschiesche Hobratsch
October 2, 1923 – September 24, 2016
Alice Lillian Hobratsch was born October 2, 1923, in Pottsville, Texas, to Herbert and Amanda (Gromatzky) Zschiesche, the eldest of six children. She grew up in Immanuel Lutheran Church, Pottsville, where she was baptized and confirmed, and attended elementary school. Alice graduated from Pottsville High School in 1941 where she enjoyed academics and basketball. Following high school, Alice attended King’s Daughters Hospital School of Nursing in Temple, graduating in 1944. While playing volleyball at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Temple, Alice met Waldemar Hobratsch, a handsome young infantry lieutenant, just returned home from Europe at the conclusion of World War II. Following a whirlwind six week courtship, Alice and Wally were married October 10, 1945, in the parsonage of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Pastor R. Martin officiating. They moved to Jarrell, Texas, and Alice continued nursing at Georgetown Hospital. An early business venture was a tavern, The Big Red 1, which Wally proudly named after his storied unit in World War II, the First Infantry Division. They worshipped at Zion Lutheran Church, Walburg, Texas, during these years.
In 1956, Alice and Wally moved to Dallas where they raised their daughters, Janet and Lauren, and were active members of Grace Lutheran Church. Alice continued her nursing career at Methodist Hospital, working in the Premature Nursery and the Special Care Nursery, where she served as Nurse Manager. She was very proud of having participated in neonatal nursing during the emergence of modern neonatology. She cared for the tiniest, most vulnerable, critically ill infants with great skill and compassion, earning the respect of neonatologists, pediatricians and her fellow nurses. Parents loved her, and frequently returned with their NICU “graduates” for a visit, to show Mrs. Hobratsch how their babies had thrived under her care. Alice retired from Methodist Hospital in 1988, but remained very active. She loved her family, delighting in her grandchildren and great-grandchildren; traveling with family to Washington DC, the Oregon coast, the San Juan Islands, and New England; backyard gardening (she loved gifting snow peas, tomatoes, and black-eyed peas from her garden), her daily neighborhood walks during which she picked up any refuse or trash, earning her the 2009 West Kessler Volunteer of the Year. Just like Amanda, her mother, Alice never never missed a birthday or anniversary, always sending letters and cards to family and friends on their special days. Following the decommissioning of Grace Lutheran in 1999, Alice joined Zion Lutheran Church where she was active in LWML, the Fellowship Club, regular Bible study, and the Braille Club. She was also a member of the Texas Wendish Society. Alice was frequently at Zion volunteering and making new friends, touching many with her warmth, gracious spirit, and steadfast faith in Christ.
Her recent years presented challenges of declining health, which she faced with characteristic resourcefulness, tenacity, and faith. Her confirmation hymn, Lord Take my Hand and Lead Me (So nimm denn meine Hande) was indeed fitting. (She and Wally shared the same confirmation hymn, five years apart, he at St Paul Lutheran Church, The Grove,1932; and she at Immanuel Lutheran, Pottsville, 1937.) Alice died on September 24, 2016, at home in Plano, Texas.
Lord, when the shadows lengthen and night has come,
I know that You will strengthen my steps toward home.
Then nothing can impede me, O blessed Friend;
So take my hand and lead me, unto the end.
Alice was preceded in death by her husband Waldemar Hobratsch (2003), daughter Janet Hobratsch (2006), parents Amanda and Herbert Zschiesche, and brothers Ollie, Milford, and Carroll Zschiesche. Survivors include daughter Lauren Hobratsch and husband, Charles Chang; grandchildren Annaliese, Alexandra, Barrie and wife Ginny, Ian and wife Nicole; and great-grandsons Maxwell and Sebastian; sisters, Frances Farley, and Evelyn Olsen and husband Clifford Olsen; and sisters-in-law Irmgard Hobratschk Threet and Esther Hobratschk Kempe; and by her many nieces, nephews, numerous relatives, and friends from Zion Lutheran Church, her West Kessler Oak Cliff neighborhood, and colleagues in nursing. Her family greatly appreciates the superb care Alice received from Dr. Alfred Levy, Dr. Robert Liao, Dr. Kristen Casenave, Dr. Judith Kirby, and her infinitely skilled and loving caregivers, Ms. Renae Thomas and Ms. Demetria Westbrook; and her church family at Zion Lutheran who provided her with countless prayers, cards, and pastoral visits.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to Zion Lutheran Church, Dallas Texas, or to Fisher House Foundation, a national network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost during treatment of their loved ones. (111 Rockville Pike, Suite 420, Rockville MD 20850, fisher house.org)
Alice’s service will be on Friday, October 28, 2016 at 11:00 at Zion Lutheran Church, 6121 E. Lovers Lane, Dallas, Rev. Dr. Robert Preece and Rev. Melvin Symmank officiating, with a reception to follow at church. Committal will follow at 2:30, DFW National Cemetery, 2000 Mountain Creek Parkway, Dallas, Texas 75211. Everyone is welcome to gather at Lauren and Charlie’s home afterwards, 6409 Lake Forest Drive, Plano, Texas 75024.
Arrangements are under the direction of
ARIA Cremation Service and Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75252