Marie (Hahn) Michels
12 November 1933 - 14 February 2017
This obituary was written by Estella Michels before her
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.
family requests memorials in lieu of flowers.