Obituary of Gisela Conklin
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Gisela Barsch was born on February 14th, 1932, in Wiesbaden Germany to Ferdinand Theobald Barsch, and Anna Maria Henkel. She was the fourth of five children, she had two older brothers, Theo and Albert Barsch, one older sister, Margarete Lesniak, and a younger sister Karin Buchsath. As a young girl she met her eventual husband Don, as a US Army soldier serving in Germany. On one of their early dates, he surprised her bringing her flowers and candy. She was really surprised, asking him how he knew it was her birthday? He did not, he was just bringing them for Valentine's Day, which was an unknown thing in Germany at that time! She and Don were married on February 28, 1953, in Karlsruhe, Germany. They soon had a young daughter, Deidre. Upon completion of his Army tour in Germany, he was discharged and returned to the states, going back to his upstate New York hometown. She began learning to live in a new country and new culture far from her German roots. A year later, when Don enlisted in the Air Force, she took on the new role of military wife, a role she adapted to very well. While assigned to McGuire Air Force Base their second child, a son, Donald Jr. arrived. Military wages were not always the best and she would do her part to supplement the family finances by cleaning homes, taking in ironing, and babysitting other people’s children. Being foreign born, she was very conscious of making sure she did things right. She was busy learning a second language and worked to improve that by working crossword puzzles and playing word games like scrabble, which she was very good at. She was always very conscious of how her family appeared and made sure her kids were polite, clean, and properly dressed. She was an excellent cook and baker and made some of the most wonderful German black forest cakes, butter frosting cakes, pound cakes, linzetart, various other pastries and lots of different German cookies. It was not unusual to have cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and she always offered everyone another piece! Christmas was always a special time for her, and she always decorated their home with lots of traditional German Christmas decorations to celebrate the season. She was an avid doll collector, and her home was decorated with many of her dolls throughout the house. Being German, she had lots of German things around the house, including a huge collection of Hummel, beer steins, and Anri figurines. She was always very creative and would do a lot of sewing. Each year her daughter’s dolls would disappear weeks before Christmas, only to reappear on Christmas morning all dressed in new handmade clothes. She was also excellent with a crochet hook and knitting needles, having made many different items, from full size Afghans, stuffed animals, baby hats, potholders, blankets, sweaters, jackets and the list goes on. She is survived by younger sister, Karin Buchsath, three nephews, Steffen (and wife Lydia), Christoff, and Juergen, all living in Germany, her daughter, Deidre, son-in-law Patrick Simon, four grandchildren, Patrick Simon Jr., Kristin Goedken, Heidi Kuecker, and Joshua Simon; and eleven great-grandchildren, Danielle and Hailey Simon; twins Kelsie and Chloe Goedken, Derek Goedken and Chase Goedken; Kyle and Wyatt Kuecker; Ryan and Jonathan Simon, along with a long list of other nephews and nieces. She was preceded in death by her parents, Ferdinand and Anna Barsch, two brothers, Theo and Albert Barsch, and older sister Margarete Lesniak, great-grandson Jacob Simon, her son Donald Jr. and her husband Donald who passed away just two days before she did. She passed quietly in her sleep on January 17 at the Aspen Hills care facility in Pemberton, NJ where she has resided for the past three to four years. Calling hours for Gisela and her husband Donald will be on Sunday, Januars 23 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM at the Tilghman Funeral Home, 52 Main Street in New Egypt. She will be buried with her husband on Tuesday, January 25 at 12:30 PM at the BGWCD Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 350 Provinceline Road, Wrightstown, NJ 08533.
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Sunday, January 23, 2022
Tilghman Funeral Home
52 Main Street
New Egypt, New Jersey, United States
12:30 pm - 1:00 pm
Tuesday, January 25, 2022
BGWCD Veterans Memorial Cemetery
350 Province Line Road
Wrightstown, New Jersey, United States
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1932 - 2022
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