Johanna “Hanni” Grothe (née Peetz), 92, died of natural causes on October 10, 2019 in Nampa, Idaho. During her last days she was surrounded by her beloved granddaughters and her extended family of staff and residents at the Orchards of Cascadia, her home for the last 5-years.
She was born March 27, 1927 in Bobengrun, West Germany to Jakob Max Peetz and Maria Karolina Peetz (née Baderschneider). Her father was a showman who, along with his brothers, owned and operated a traveling carnival. She was reared and educated in Bobengrun and Naila, Germany. After completing 8-years education she trained and became a Nursing Assistant in the Bavarian Red Cross where she cared for members of the German and allied forces during World War II.
She married Franz Hermann Max Grothe on December 21, 1946 in Naila, Germany. Max served in the German Army on the Russian front during World War II. Prior to their marriage, Max had been captured and detained as a Russian prisoner of war in Poland. His prison camp was liberated by U.S. forces and he was discharged from the German Army in May 1946. After their marriage they lived in Zorbig, East Germany where Max worked as a chemist and Johanna worked as a seamstress. Their daughter Karin Ingeborg Hertha was born in October 1947. Post-war life in East Germany was difficult and eventually, after careful planning and with only the treasured possessions they could carry, Johanna, Max and Karin escaped in the night by bicycling across the closed border of East Germany into West Germany.
In July 1957, following Max’s mother, the family immigrated to the United States, traveling by Navy vessel on a 15-day trip across the Atlantic Ocean. The family settled in Fort Morgan, Colorado where Johanna worked as a cook at the local country club. Max and Johanna also owned and operated a Phillips 66 filling station. They moved to Nampa, Idaho in the early 1960’s, where Johanna worked as a Nursing Assistant at the old Mercy Hospital until she suffered a back injury. In the 1970’s she fulfilled her dream of owning and operating her own business. Converting the garage of their home, Max and Johanna built Johanna’s Knit Shop. She maintained an inventory of high quality hand-crafters supplies, fiber goods and knitting machines, and she provided knitting and crochet lessons to her customers. Additionally, she was self-taught and extremely skilled at reweaving fabrics to repair fine garments. Johanna was widowed at age 52 in July 1979 when Max died of diabetes related complications at age 53. In the late 1980’s Johanna was forced to close her shop after an injury left her permanently disabled.
Johanna had the first of 3 granddaughters in 1968. She had no greater joy than spending time with them. She was significant in their upbringing, providing boundless love and security, and instilling in them strong values of honesty and work ethic. Johanna’s first great-grandchild, Jordan, arrived in 1988 and she was smitten. Jordan spent much of his early life with Johanna and they shared a very special lifelong bond. Johanna loved spending time with her 7 great-grandchildren and 2 great great-grandchildren. She had many well-loved pets throughout her life including dogs, cats, birds and even a raccoon.
Johanna spent her final years at the Orchards of Cascadia care center where she made many friends and was cared for by an adoring staff. Johanna’s family is eternally grateful for the love she was shown by the many residents who provided friendship and the staff members who cared for her with great affection. She loved you all like family.
Johanna was proceeded in death by her husband, Max; her daughter, Karin Kwyzla; her son-in-law, Fred Kwyzla; her parents, Max and Marie Peetz; her sister and brother-in-law, Hertha and Jorge Klass; her mother-in-law, Berta Minna “Minnie” Reiss (née Samberg); and her sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Ingeborg (née Grothe) and Hans Hohenberger.
Surviving are her granddaughters Paula Edmiston (Barry), Angie Pierce (Daren) and Brenda Pavelek (Matthew); her great-grandchildren Devin Edmiston, Jordan Pierce (Auna), Ryan Pierce, Miranda Sullivan (Brandon), Alyssa Hammel, and Riley and Delaney Pavelek; her great great-grandchildren Taylor and Coltin Pierce; and her niece, Heidi Klass of Germany. Arrangements are under the care of Alsip and Persons Funeral Chapel, Nampa, Idaho. No services will be held.
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