Elisabeth Regina Wantt passed away Jan. 25, 2018 at her home in Willow Creek, surrounded by family following a hard-fought battle with cancer.
Elisabeth was born July 30, 1929 in Aschaffenburg, Germany to Johann & Kreszentia Baumann. She survived W.W. II as a young girl by taking shelter in Schloss Johannisburg, a castle in her hometown. She worked as a seamstress when she was set up on a blind date with the love of her life, Adrian Douglas Wantt, an American soldier stationed in Aschaffenburg. They spent afternoons bicycling along the Main River and spending time with friends.
They fell in love and married and returned to America in 1955. The plane ride took 22 hours and she like to tell the story of seeing former President Truman at Grand Central Station. They then took a train to Kansas making their way to California. She was extremely proud of becoming an American citizen — she took the test at the Humboldt County Courthouse on May 17, 1962. They lived briefly in Rio Dell, Fortuna and Eureka, CA before settling in Hoopa in 1965. They raised their four children — Deter, JoAnn, Debbie and Adrian, Jr. — in Hoopa, and were active community members. In 1990 they settled in Willow Creek. Elisabeth and Adrian were married for 62 years, through good times and hard times, they were devoted to their family and each other.
When Elisabeth moved to Hoopa, she met her best friend and fellow German, Ruth McCardy. Their friendship lasted until Ruth’s passing in December 2017. We are confident they are enjoying each others’ company in heaven and smiling down on us.
Elisabeth worked for 25 years in the Klamath Trinity Unified School District as a teachers’ aide. She loved her students and always enjoyed when she heard “Hello Mrs. Wantt!” everywhere she went. Both Adrian and Elisabeth were doting parents and grandparents, attending any and all school activities. They particularly enjoyed the sporting events, cheering on the home team. After retiring from the school district, Elisabeth continued working until she became sick in 2014, working part-time at Willow Creek Mini-Storage. She always wanted to be active and enjoyed interacting with people. She would always say “Let’s take a ride,” and they would cruise around Willow Creek, Hoopa, Eureka or sometimes Redding just to get out of the house and enjoy a meal, especially at Red Lobster. She did enjoy cooking and especially loved having large family gatherings. Family was everything.
Elisabeth left behind her devoted husband, Adrian Wantt, Sr.; son Deter Wantt of Birch Bay, WA; daughters JoAnn (Pete) Tonkin of Willow Creek and Debbie (Bob) Dickson of Willow Creek; son Adrian (Tina) Wantt Jr. of Salyer; grandchildren Krenda Wantt, Patty Wantt, Tessie Wantt, Arthur (Gail) Tonkin, Anthony (Janelle) Tonkin, Amanda (Cody) Vanourney, Chelsey Dickson, Michael Dickson, Doug Dickson, Adrianna Wantt and Natalie Wantt; great-grandchildren Montgomery, Steven and Kane Walton, Bryn, Brenna, Brielle, Brea and Bradlee Tonkin, Sam Morris and Jack Vanourney; sister in-law Nada Stillwell of Alderpoint Point, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Elisabeth was preceded in death by her parents, Johann & Kreszentia Baumann of Aschaffenburg, Germany; sisters Maria (Otto) Heuer of Austria, Anna (George) Robson of Colorado Springs, Hanna (Albert) Lagasse of Colorado Springs and Hildrud Baumann; brothers Hans (Marianna) Baumann, Fritz Baumann, Walter Baumann and Joseph Baumann, all of Germany; her in-laws Albert and Rafaella Wantt of Alderpoint; brothers in-law Ralph (Beverly) Wantt of Garberville, Archie Wantt, Sr. and Charles Stillwell of Alderpoint; sisters in-law Glennis Leggett of Alderpoint, and Donna (Bev) Stillwell of Alderpoint.
The family is very grateful to Elisabeth’s caregiver, Ester Vale, the assistance given by Kathy and Carl at Resolution Care, the wonderful people at St. Joseph Oncology Unit, the care given by Six Rivers Medical Clinic, and lastly the truly loving prayers and time of pastor and friend Toni Burchard of Salyer Wayside Chapel. Elisabeth was amazed at the number of friends and members of the community that cared for her and continue to be there for her husband Adrian.
A Celebration of Life service will be held Saturday, Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. at the Salyer Wayside Chapel. All who knew and loved Elizabeth are welcome to this potluck event.
The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Elisabeth Wantt’s family. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.