IAGenWeb Project.

 Delaware County, Iowa  






Estella Marie (Hahn) Michels

12 November 1933 - 14 February 2017


This obituary was written by Estella Michels before her death.

Estella Marie Hahn Michels, 83, of Manchester, Iowa, passed away on Tuesday, February 14, 2017, at the Martin Health Center in Cedar Falls, Iowa. She was born November 12, 1933, on a farm east of Dyersville, Iowa, the daughter of Casper J. and Amelia (Arens) Hahn. Estella moved to Bremen Township in Delaware County in 1938. Her mother died when she turned nine years old, and she helped raise four younger sisters and brothers. She attended country schools until eighth grade when she went to the Catholic school in Dyersville. At age 13, her dad took a 10-day trip to New York and left her in charge of the farm with four younger siblings, milking 15 cows by hand, hog and chicken chores, cooking, etc., and then she drove everyone three miles to school without a license. The only person who knew he was gone was the police chief. He said we’ll keep an eye on her. She had to start milking by hand at age five, and at seven, her mother needed a heart valve and she had to do most of the housework. But she never complained, saying we didn’t know any different.

On September 18, 1951, Estella married Harold E. Putz in Dyersville, Iowa. They farmed west of Dyersville for 24 years and raised seven children. They divorced in 1975. On June 11, 1977, she married Paul J. Michels in Manchester, Iowa. He suffered a stroke in 1966 after work at NASA in Houston, Texas, and was disabled. He was a wonderful companion and stepfather.

In 1974, Estella and two daughters refinished the confessionals in the Dyersville Basilica, and in 1975, she was foreman to refinish the pews in the Basilica. More than 800 people volunteered to help.

Estella’s love of her life was her children. Her hobbies were quilting, puzzles, traveling, and genealogy. She completed ten family history books of her and her children’s families. She was secretary of the Delaware County Genealogy Society many years and did research for many people from across the country. She united a lady adopted out in Chicago with her four siblings. Torey Hayden, an author from Scotland, spent a night with Estella. She also met an actor from New York City for whom she researched his whole family. She united many families with lost relatives and met many of them.

Surviving are her seven children, Rita (Lawrence) Lewin and Ruth (Harley) Lewin, both of Manchester, Daniel (June) Putz of Dyersville, Richard (Shirley) Putz of Earlville, Nancy Putz (special friend Terry Mohr) of Delhi, Julie (Norman) Voelker of Ryan, and James (Jodi) Putz of Lacona; ten grandchildren, Sherry (Mark) Williams, Adam (Rachel) Lewin, Jesse (Traci) Lewin, Chris (Amy) Putz, all of Manchester, Briget Putz and Brock (fiancé Stephanie) Putz, both of Dyersville, Brent (Annie) Putz of Minnesota, Lori Workman of Waterloo, Michelle (fiancé Keon) Voelker of Virginia, and Carrie Voelker of Marion; ten great-grandchildren, Olivia Williams, Carlie and Alex Lewin, Payton, Brooke, and Owen Lewin, Macie and Malorie Putz, Adysen Workman, and Tennley Tibbott; two step-children, Lisa Fridrich and Gary Michels of Lompoc, California; four step-grandchildren; her sister, Irma Puckett of Dubuque; and two half-sisters, Molly (Ken) Angersola and Alice Wolfe, both of Des Moines.

Estella was preceded in death by her mother on December 6, 1942; her father on July 31, 1965; her husband, Harold E. Putz on December 17, 2012; her husband, Paul Michels on November 15, 1998; two brothers, Herbert Hahn on January 28, 1983, and James Hahn on July 12, 2001; and her sister Delores on November 17, 1946.

The family requests memorials in lieu of flowers.

~ source: Guttenburg Press, Guttenburg, Iowa and the Telegraph Herald, Dubuque, Iowa

~ submitted by Phyllis Peterson