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Barbara J. Houha

November 20, 1931 August 2, 2019
Barbara J. Houha
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Obituary for Barbara J. Houha

Barbara J. Houha nee Olsen, age 87 longtime resident of Oak Park died August 2, 2019, after a brief hospitalization with her loved ones by her side.

Barbara grew up in Cicero where she attended Morton High School and Morton Junior College before completing a Bachelor’s in Education at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.

She was a loving mother of 5 and doting grandmother of 10. She was the former wife and dear friend of the late Leonard J. Houha. She was a homemaker for many years and then a much-loved Head Start Teacher at Grant Works in Cicero before retiring to help care for her grandchildren.

She lived in Oak Park for 67 years, most recently in Mills Park Tower where she enjoyed the views of downtown Oak Park through the seasons. Barbara was a creative and artistic person who enjoyed writing poetry and verse, often jotting stanzas on scraps of paper or backs of envelopes throughout the day. She was an avid reader of books and enjoyed reading her New Yorker magazine. But her favorite reading in later years was the social media and blog updates posted by her children and grandchildren, especially daughter-in-law Cheri’s family blog. She found great joy in her children and grandchildren. They received from her the irreplaceable gift of unconditional love and support, for which they are ever grateful, and not a little amazed. They cherish the carefully selected birthday or anniversary cards she never missed sending, always with a little note that was exactly what they needed to hear.

It was a joy to be around her because it was so easy to give her delight. She loved the little things like good news from a grandchild, an iced coffee from Starbucks, a peach from farmers market, or a postcard from a loved one’s vacation. Even when she had pain or was frustrated by the difficulty of getting around in her later years, she found joy and contentment in her family, her reading, or a long phone conversation with life-long friends Sandy, Evelyn and Eleanor.

From girlhood on, she enjoyed many summers in Camp Lake, Wisconsin, where she continued to create many treasured memories with her own children. During the school years in Oak Park she was active in the Irving School PTO and as room mother. She collected children’s books and loved reading to her children and grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her eldest daughter, Elizabeth, and her former husband Leonard J. Houha, her brother Harold (Patricia) Olsen, and her parents, Hjalmer and Florence Olsen.

She is survived by her children Juliet (Kevin) Stantz, Allison (Patrick Olson) Houha, Leonard (Loreen) Houha, and Andrew (Cheri) Houha, as well as 10 beloved grandchildren: Matthew and Clare Olson; Daniel and Steven Stantz; Elaine, Bradley and Lindsey Houha; and Leonard, Nathan and David Houha.

A Celebration of her life will held at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 460 Lake St., Oak Park, Friday, August 16. Visitation at 5:30, memorial service at 7 p.m., followed by a light reception. Memorial donations may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation or the American Diabetes Association.


To plant a tree in memory of Barbara J. Houha, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events

Memorial Visitation

Friday

16

Aug

5:30 PM 8/16/2019 5:30:00 PM - 7:00 PM 8/16/2019 7:00:00 PM
Pilgrim Congregational Church

460 Lake St.
Oak Park, IL 60302

Pilgrim Congregational Church
460 Lake St. Oak Park 60302 IL
United States

Memorial Service

Friday

16

Aug

7:00 PM 8/16/2019 7:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 8/16/2019 8:00:00 PM
Pilgrim Congregational Church

460 Lake St.
Oak Park, IL 60302

Pilgrim Congregational Church
460 Lake St. Oak Park 60302 IL
United States

Memorial Contribution

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

1 North LaSalle St.
Chicago, IL 60602
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