Lou Ellen Kisker was born to Earl “Duke” and Lucille “Lou” (Jungermann) Hoffman on March 7, 1935 at home in St. Charles, Missouri. She was married to Don Kisker at Zion Lutheran Church on May 23, 1953. Their marriage was blessed with a son, Daryl (Connie), and two daughters, Diane (Mike) Harris and Roxann (Dennis) Broeker. She was the proud grandmother of nine grandchildren, Doug (Jill) and Matt Kisker, Mandy (Brett) Diehl, Rebecca and Adam Harris, Austin (Kate), Troy (Katherine), Trent, and Carson Broeker. She was blessed with eight great-grandchildren, Morgan and Ethan Kisker, Paige and Gavin Kisker, Colton Diehl, Wyatt, Gemma and Emmett Broeker. She is also survived by her brother Jerry (Beverly) Hoffman and brother-in-law Vernon (Ruth) Kisker. She was preceded in death by her husband Don, her parents, her brother Bill (Helen) Hoffman and brother-in-law Kermit Kisker.
In 1964, Lou Ellen and her husband Don started a family grading and excavating business, where she handled all the office management and behind-the-scenes responsibilities. When Don’s health significantly declined, her son Daryl proudly took over running the business, and his two sons Doug and Matt are honored to also work in the business. As the business has now encompassed three generations of strong Kisker men, Lou Ellen has handled the office responsibilities throughout it all. As her health declined rapidly the week before her death, it was both comforting and amazing to see how sharp her mind remained as she continued to run the office from her hospital room. Her family always knew how deeply embedded the company was into her work ethic and lack of interest in retiring, but her strength and determination were both inspiring and astonishing to witness as she worked to make sure all the necessary knowledge she held in her brain was imparted so the business can continue to thrive, even as her body was withering and preparing her soul to enter into heaven.
Lou Ellen also enjoyed sewing and making quilts for her children and grandchildren and she was most famous for the chocolate chip and Christmas cookies she affectionately made to share with her family and friends. Many of her cookie recipes are family legacies, and her children and grandchildren are already preparing to continue this tradition. Many of her family members are already fighting over which of Grandma’s cookie tins they get to keep! She lovingly babysat her grandchildren and great-grandchildren at every opportunity. Thanks to her loving generosity, every one of those she cared for have priceless memories of their time with Grandma. She also treasured sharing in the lives of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren by attending birthdays, holidays, family-get-togethers, and their sporting events. It didn’t matter what the celebration or event, she always made it a priority to attend. Until shortly before her death, she was still at these events with a smile on her face, a sparkle in her eye, and a walker in her hands!
She was a lifelong active member of Zion Lutheran Church. She was a member of Zion’s Birthday Club #2 for over 60 years, Zion Ladies Aid for more than 20 years, and distributed the Journeying through Grief books to support congregants at four crucial times during the first year after the loss of a loved one for 20 years. After she lost her beloved husband in 1999, she became a social leader by inviting anyone who was recently widowed to various activities in an effort to support them through their grief and adjustment to being newly widowed. This resulted in her making many new lifelong friends.
On May 1, 2021, she was called to her eternal heavenly home after a blessed and full life of 86 years. She was such a strong matriarch and role model for her family, and she was at peace with the knowledge that she had taught them well and she could now rest. When she learned in the last few days of her life that there were no viable treatment options, she made the brave decision that it was time to go home on hospice and be surrounded by family and friends as she prepared for her entrance into heaven. She voiced her desire for the end to come quickly, but she used her strength and determination to hang on to allow travel time for out-of-state grandchildren to visit, as well as enjoying time with many additional precious family members and friends. She ended her life with the same strength, dignity, and grace that she demonstrated her entire life, and left us peacefully while sleeping with her family holding one hand and Jesus taking the other.
She will be dearly missed, but she will live forever in the hearts of all who loved her. As several family members aptly said, there was a glorious welcoming party in heaven as she arrived. We all know that currently she is in heaven planning the next family reunion, as well as becoming the unofficial leader of the welcoming group for those entering heaven.
We love you and miss you, but look forward to the day when we will once again be reunited in heaven. Thanks for all the loving memories.
Memorial donations may be made to Zion Lutheran Church.
A celebration luncheon in the basement at Zion Lutheran Church immediately following the service.
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