Algean Audrey Nowachek, 99, of Oxford Junction, was reunited with her late husband, on October 26, 2021; they were separated for only 18 days. She reached for him, and he called her home. She was a beloved wife (“Mouse”), mother, grandmother (Gram), and great-grandmother (Old Gram).
Algean had a long and full life. She was the first child born to Fred and Emma (Schnoor) Kuhlman, on November 4, 1921, in Bellevue, Iowa. She was a big sister to three brothers: Clayton, Bill, and Jack. She graduated from Maquoketa High School in 1939 and went on to teach at a rural school northwest of Maquoketa for three years. Her initial salary was $35 a month after room and board. She later moved back to Maquoketa and worked at Kirchoff Ice Cream Company.
She loved to dance and frequented the dance hall in Baldwin often. There was a cute farm boy who would always show up late, but patiently wait his turn to dance with her. He never cared how many dances he got with her, as long as he could drive her home. She fell in love with the boy and married Robert Fred Nowachek on November 25th, 1944 at the First Lutheran Church in Maquoketa. They moved to the family farm north of Oxford Junction where she assumed the title of farmwife, mother, and master chef. Their marriage would prevail for nearly 77 years.
They welcomed Pamela Jean in 1946 and Ronald Fred in 1952. Farm life was not always an easy life, but it was the best life. They worked like crazy, lived simply, and enjoyed quality time making memories with family and friends. They retired to town in 1979 where life slowed down a little, but not a lot. Algean was a member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, WELCA, a founding member of The Oxford Homemaker’s Club (showcasing her superb craft skills), a Gold Star Sister of the American Legion Auxiliary (in honor of her brother who died in the Korean War), an influential role of the establishment of the OJ Senior Citizens Center (afternoon card playing is a great pastime), Red Hat Society (any excuse to go out for lunch), among other clubs and adventures. She initiated the Holiday Lighting Contest in town, and received the OJ Volunteer of the Year award in 1993. She loved gardening and flowers and looked forward to showcasing an array of options at First Ave Plants, which she ran out of the garage of their home every spring, with her beloved neighbor, Darleen, for 16 years.
We will remember Gram for her unwavering love, gentle nature, witty spunk, and always being there when we needed her, no matter what. She was an amazing cook, a collector of magazines, a needlework extraordinaire, a crafter, a gardener, and crossword puzzle fanatic. She would drop anything for a friendly game of Old Maid, Go Fish, Yahtzee, Uno, spoons, or euchre. She would spend hours reading books to any of the kids who would snuggle up into her lap, and always added funny voices in the right spots. Most fondly, she had a special knack for bringing out smiles and laughs when she thought you needed one. She cherished Sunday Dinners surrounded by her family.
She is survived by her children: Daughter Pam (Rob) White of Eldridge; Ron (Carmie) Nowachek on the family farm; 6 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren. Loved ones that cleared the path for Gram include her husband, her parents, and three brothers.
The greatest gift is to know that Gram & Pop are united again. While we are grateful for kindness already extended, further memorials are not necessary. If you want to honor her anyway, our community is always thankful for support: St. Mark’s Lutheran Church (everyone needs prayers right now), OJ Fire Department (they responded to many catastrophes at the farm over the years), OJ Ambulance Service (thank you for all the urgent and loving care), and the Legionnaire Ballroom (where they reminisced their younger years). It is with certainty we know that they are dancing together again.
Her funeral service will be held at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Oxford Junction on Saturday, October 30, 2021 at 11:00 am. A visitation will be held prior to her service from 9:00-11:00 am at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Oxford Junction.
To send flowers to Algean's family, please visit our floral store.