In the afternoon of August 28, 2018 Luella passed away surrounded by family. The family will have a private burial service for her inurnment at the St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Oakley, Kansas at a future date. Memorial contributions may be made to Kansas Public Television (https://www.kcpt.org/donate) or call 816-756-3580. Arrangements by: Bruce Funeral Home, Gardner, KS 913-856-7111. Condolences may be left at www.brucefuneralhome.com
Luella Marie (Stoecker) Baalman was born on January 9, 1934, the youngest of five children of Gottlieb B. and Anna Elizabeth (Uhrich) Stoecker. During her childhood and early school years, Luella, her parents and siblings lived on a farm south of Oakley, popularly known as Stoeckerville. After her mother Anna passed away, Luella and her father moved to Oakley in the late 40’s. She graduated from Oakley High School in 1952.
She was united in marriage with Charles B. Baalman on October 21, 1952 in St. Joseph Catholic Church, Oakley, Kansas. She accompanied Charlie to Kentucky where he was stationed in the U.S. Army and began their family with twins. After his discharge, they settled in Sheridan County where Charlie, his father and brothers farmed and fed cattle. Luella and Charlie raised six children and after Charlie’s passing in 1973, she continued as both mother and father. Luella parented with humor and a light loving hand, confident that each child could find their own way in life. She lived on the farm until 2011 when she moved to Gardner, Kansas.
Luella enjoyed gardening, tending the huge lawn, and watching late night TV. She liked crafts and needlework, including making personalized Christmas stockings for her grandchildren and more Christmas ornaments than you can count. In later years, she spent many hours on word finds and became very skilled at completing crossword puzzles.
Her grandkids will miss her freezer filled with all the great ice-cream treats and fried goodies. Most of her grandkids lived in the city so coming to Grandma’s meant driving lessons in her car and riding four-wheelers with many near misses and only one ER visit.
Luella’s favorite holiday was the annual Thanksgiving gathering when all the family would descend upon the house. Havoc was created in the basement with tent cities, sliding down the stairs, wrestling matches, and half full pop cans and ice cream wrappers strewn about. The kids loved piling on the furniture and floor to watch the movies Grandma had taped for them.
She was preceded in death by her husband Charlie, her parents Gottlieb and Anna, brothers: Leo, Herman and Lawrence Stoecker, her sister Louise Smith, and her son, Rodney Baalman. Luella is survived by her daughters, Rhonda Kasper and her husband, Kevin, of Gardner, KS; Karen Keller and her husband, Scott, of Wildwood, MO; sons, Mark Baalman of Grant, FL; Kelly Baalman and his wife, Anne, of Littleton, CO; Andy Baalman and his wife, Lisa of Salina, KS; and Rodney’s wife, Krystine Baalman and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.