The Luehrman family endured the news of the tragic deaths of Helen and Bob Brotemarkle over the past weekend in a car accident in Arizona. These were two of my very favorite people. I was utterly flattened and heart broken by this news…as were so many others who knew them both. Here they are twelve years ago celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary.
Helen, my dear godmother, was my dad’s multi talented younger sister who found her way into the musical world as a young woman. An accomplished and gifted musician, she was the pianist/organist for many organizations, particularly area churches ranging from Kansas City to the retirement community in Surprise, Arizona where she and Bob made their home in recent years.
Bob, retired from Southwestern Bell, was the life of any group he happened to come upon! He happily supported his friends and family alike with his generosity of spirit and tireless energy. He and Dave’s Uncle Bob became buddies and were known as “The Bobs” after meeting in Saint Louis for our anniversary celebration. Kindred spirits!
I’m so glad that Kate, Coulter and I saw them both last summer at the Luehrman family reunion in Lexington, Missouri. They brought all their synergy to the gathering! Here is Helen sitting with her nieces – left to right – me, Peggy, Helen and Janice.
Together Bob and Helen made for an indescribable team. In retirement, they traveled around the country exploring and supporting all family adventures. Helen was a steadfast reader of this blog and commented often but also sent me additional notes describing her years on the Luehrman family farm – conveying details that she knew would spark my interest. She would often end her correspondence saying “bless you”.
None of us can imagine what life will be like without them, let alone their sons David and John and their families. My only saving grace is that the knowledge that as dearest partners in life, they left us as a unit, together forever…Helen and Bob…or Bob and Helen. Our love and peace to you both…Bless you!
Oh I’m so sorry for your loss nancy, how tragic! What a beautiful tribute you wrote, may their love and memory be with you always. And may peace and comfort be with the family at this time
Jessica, thank you for sending this kind and comforting message! XOXO
My sympathies, Nancy. This is such horrible news. I know that you and Helen were close, and I always noticed when she commented on this blog – and found your relationship so very sweet. She sure looked like Pete!
You have penned a beautiful tribute.
These last few years have certainly brought loss to you and your family. Thank God for weddings and births…they go a long way to temper the sadness of loss.
Hugs to you, my friend.
Mary Ann, thanks for your dear note! Tough days but Helen would know how to make it thru so I will manage too!
Nancy and Dave, so sorry to read this news, you wrote such a beautiful tribute to them, I feel like I knew them. There is so much loss in our news these days, it makes you realize we should be savoring every moment we are given and we need to find ways to bring a smile, be productive and positive everyday. peace, Brenda
Thank you for those words, Nancy. They are perfect. We lost such beautiful souls.
Oh, Nancy, this is such a lovely tribute to a wonderful couple. I remember seeing the picture of Helen at your family reunion and liking her smile! As you said, you can take comfort that they are still together. I’m so very sorry for this very tragic loss.
I saw this in our local newspaper yesterday and was so shocked and sad! Though I didn’t have the opportunity to know Helen well, I remember Grandma (Clara Luehrman) speaking fondly of her as did my dad (Edward Luehrman). I will be keeping the family in my prayers for sure and am so sad to see another of the close band of first cousins gone…yet I am sure she is enjoying the Heavenly music! Love from Linda (Luehrman) Zumalt in Lexington, Missouri
Linda, it was so wonderful to see your note! Thank you from all the next generation of cousins!!! Please keep in touch as we hope to continue to plan future gatherings! Also, if you are ever in Saint Louis, please drop in and say hello!