Hope Nadine Kraft Goessling, 96 died Monday, June 7, 2021, at Grace Lutheran Prairie Pointe in Eau Claire. Hope was born on January 30, 1925 in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. She was the 15th child born to Louis and Florence Kraft. Hope graduated from Fond du Lac High School in 1943. After taking a year to raise funds, Hope went to the University of Wisconsin in Madison and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1948. She was the first and only of her siblings to go to college. Hope met Bob Goessling at a dance in the Memorial Union. They married on June 20, 1948 in Fond du Lac and then moved to Hartford Connecticut so Bob could go to seminary there.
Hope worked as a medical technologist in Hartford, Connecticut, Marshfield, WI, Dodgeville, WI, and Gunderson Lutheran hospital in La Crosse. She also taught at UW hospital in the Medical Technology program. It was unusual for a minister’s wife to work outside of home back in the 1950’s and 1960’s but Hope loved her work and her co-workers and the family relied on her income multiple times over the years.
Hope also worked as an unpaid church secretary in the churches they served and was active in many of the church’s activities. Together Bob and Hope served UCC churches in Lucas, OH, and Wisconsin UCC churches in Mellen, Barneveld, Owen, Fountain City, Stratford, and Elkhart Lake. Bob and Hope retired in 1988 and bought their first home in Altoona where they were active at Plymouth UCC participating in many committees and small groups. Hope helped with the St. Francis food pantry, and also volunteered at Sacred Heart hospital. In 2008, Hope joined First Congregational UCC where her daughter Mary was the Director of Elderlife.
Hope’s greatest joy was her family and she delighted in spending time with her five grandchildren. Bob always said she was happiest when all her chickens were in the nest.
Hope is survived by daughter, Mary (Greg) Barnes of Altoona and their family, Adam (Andrea), Brady and Kate; Tim (Jenna) and their son, Remy; Chelsea (Edwin) Ochoa, Rafi and Camila Hope; son, Tom (Carolyn) of Burnsville, MN and their family, Ben (Marissa), Lydia and Greta; Hannah (Josh) Lehr, Roland and Brekken; and many nieces and nephews.
Hope was preceded in death by her husband, parents, son David, and fourteen siblings.
Hope’s family wishes to thank the staff and members of First Congregational UCC for their love and kindness offered to Hope; the staff at Grace Willowbrook and Praire Pointe for the loving care provided to Hope in the past 7 years. Also thanks to St. Croix Hospice for their tender, loving care in Hope’s last months. Hope’s longtime physician, Dr. Randall Casper was an exceptional part of Hope’s life and we thank him for his care.
A memorial service will be held at First Congregational UCC in Eau Claire at 11:00 AM on September 17, 2021. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial gifts be given to the Elderlife program at First Congregational UCC.
Hope will have the final word…Carry on!
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