1985, 40th Wedding anniversary party
Alberta Gertrude (Johnson) Lauterbach
  • 90 years old
  • Date of birth: Aug 7, 1922
  • Date of passing: Aug 31, 2012
I've had a good life, I have a wonderful husband and five wonderful children. I've contributed to my community. I have no regrets.

Albe died of old age, on August 31, 2012, at her home at The Mather in Evanston, Illinois, quietly, peacefully, and without pain, in her sleep.

We will hold a Celebration of Albe's Life at 2:00 Sunday November 18, at Tittle Chapel, First United Methodist Church, 516 Church Street Evanston.  Please join us for a reception following the service at Prairie Moon Restaurant, 1502 Sherman Avenue, Evanston.  Wearing black will not be permitted!  "I lived a full life and I have no regrets.  Why would people wear black in mourning?" 

Three weeks prior to her death Albe celebrated her 90th birthday with Ned and all five of their children. At the celebration, Albe said "I've had a good life, I have a wonderful husband, five wonderful children and four wonderful grandchildren. I’m very proud of the contributions I’ve made to my community. I have no regrets. You're born, you live, you die. It's the most natural thing in the world. I'm ready to go. I pray every night the Lord my soul to take...and to get Obama re-elected.” Through her final weeks she did not lose her wit, her insight, or her passion for politics. 

Albe was born August 7, 1922, in Joliet, Illinois, to John Edwin Johnson and Clara Flint Johnson, both second-generation Swedish Americans whose parents immigrated to Joliet in the 1880s and '90s. She and her two younger sisters, Rachel and Phyllis, grew up among dozens of aunts, uncles and cousins -- a loving extended family that Albe treasured throughout her life. 

Albe left Joliet to attend Antioch College, where she met Ned Lauterbach.  In the spring of 1945 Albe and Ned graduated from Antioch, married, and moved to Rogers Park in Chicago.  In 1961, with their five children, they moved to the 700 block of Forest Avenue in Evanston, and remained on that block until 2009 when they moved across town to The Mather. 

Albe was deeply committed to her family and her community. Throughout her adult life she worked tirelessly, with penetrating insight and to great effect, on Democratic political campaigns. She deeply believed that every citizen can and should make a difference in the community and in the country. She held paid positions on numerous important state and national political campaigns — including the U.S. Senatorial campaigns of Adlai Stevenson III and Paul Simon — and managed dozens of local campaigns, as well. In 2004, long after retirement, she and Ned co-hosted with their next-door neighbors a small backyard fundraiser for a little-known candidate running in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate named Barack Obama.

By her words and her example, Albe passed her passion for social justice, equal opportunity, and community service to all five of her children. In 2010, Albe and Ned were recognized for their decades of service to the community with an Evanston City Council resolution designating the 700 block of Forest Avenue as “Lauterbach Way.”

The Evanston RoundTable wrote a nice obituary about her service to the community. 

Albe was as committed to her family and friends as to her political passions. When her children were young, she created a welcoming, child-friendly environment in her home, which thus became the center of play and games for the entire neighborhood. She was an extraordinary cook, prolific seamstress, expert knitter (to her final day, she was never without her knitting bag), enthusiastic decades-long member of her bridge group, and devotee of the New Yorker and the daily crossword puzzle. 

In their retirement, Albe and Ned enjoyed traveling, visiting dozens of countries, from Peru to Vietnam to England, preferring to explore places off the beaten path, on their own, without fixed itineraries or tour groups.

The best way to honor Albe's life and legacy is to follow her lead and serve the community by investing time and money in efforts to make the neighborhood, town, country, and world a better place for all.

In lieu of flowers, Albe and her family suggest that donations be made to: Re-electing Obama/Biden 2012 or Evanston History Center

We are grateful for having had such a remarkable and wonderful wife and mom and grandma.  The friends and family that surrounded her helped to make her who she was, so we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being part of our extended family.

With love,

Ned, The Kids (Steve, Stew, Chris, Kacki and Amy), and The Grandkids (Claire, Eric, Jack, and Nathan)

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Steve Lauterbach on 1st September 2015

"Three years seems like yesterday and yet an eternity. I miss Mom in so many ways, words cannot express..."

This tribute was added by Donald Borah on 31st August 2015

"Has it really been three years without Albe? Seems like yesterday and forever all at once. How she is missed and how her loss is magnified by the fact that just yesterday we held a memorial for Dona Gerson, another of the beloved political crowd and a charter member of B&P.

Goodbye again Albe, and Ned and Dona and all the rest of that distinguished crew.How we miss you."

This tribute was added by A. Idriss on 6th February 2014

"Many good memories surfaced this morning as I unpacked a warm, fluffy well-knit sweater that was given to me by Albe in the early '80s when she was my boss at Evanston Hospital.  I so enjoyed working with Albe and will remember her smile, her sense of humor and her quirkiness - and a wonderful meal she and Ned shared with me at their home.  I learned a lot from Albe and am grateful.

My condolences to the Lauterbach family - and apologies that this comes so late.  It's been a number of years since I've lived in Evanston and I'd not heard the news.  

I am thankful for this special sweater - it has been closed to me all day, and I have been warm in body and soul.    

Alison (Bayly) Idriss"

This tribute was added by Ayla Pizzo on 10th March 2013

"Dear Ned,
Thank you for your card.  I am so sorry for your loss.  We too enjoyed having Albe in our store.
Peace,
Ayla's Originals"

This tribute was added by lucile krasnow on 29th October 2012

"We shall miss Albe
We all learned so much from her,
Our friend, our community mentor.
Farewell Ms. all things Evanston
Lucile and Henry Krasnow"

This tribute was added by Christine Lauterbach on 29th October 2012

"Kacki: So sorry for your loss. Cis and Jim
~
Melissa Redmond"

This tribute was added by Cheryl Wollin on 29th October 2012

"What a force for good!  Albie was an Evanston treasure!  Thank you for sharing the photos of her youth and her beautiful family.  For those of us who knew her as a friend and political dynamo, it was wonderful to see this side of her!"

This tribute was added by Cheryl Wollin on 29th October 2012

"What a force for good!  Albie was an Evanston treasure.  Thank you for sharing the wonderful photos of her youth and her beautiful family.  It gave us another insight into her life- to those of us who knew her as a political dynamo....and a great friend."

This tribute was added by Michael Goodkind on 29th October 2012

"We met Albe and Ned through politics in 1971 and been fortunate enough to have worked with and kept in touch for these last 41 years.  Albe was a stern taskmaster and a wonderful friend, who will be greatly missed.  
Mary and Michael Goodkind"

This tribute was added by Christine Lauterbach on 28th October 2012

"So sorry for the families loss. I may be wrong but if this is the Lauterbach's who lived on Greenleaf in Chicago in the 60s please have Stew give me a call @ (847)363-7172. Many fond memories of nights in the tree house eating Bing cherries.
~
Steve Ballard,
Glenview, Illinois"

This tribute was added by Christine Lauterbach on 28th October 2012

"Posted on Chicago Trib site:
Sorry Ned and all the family. Have missed Albe ever since our book club disbanded years ago. We had fun in those days!
~
Mary Senn"

This tribute was added by Robert Lewin on 3rd October 2012

"I would like to express my sincere sympathy to the whole family and especially to Ned.  Having met Albe and Ned and knowing Kacki and her family for many years it easy to know why everyone is so sweet, kind and intelligent.  She will be missed but her passion for life and helping ours will live on in her children and grandchildren.  --- Love Robert"

This tribute was added by bonnie lytle on 18th September 2012

"How blessed we all have been to have known Albe all these years!  She was amazing and expected the best of others and gave so much to the community and all of us. Thank you to all of you Lauterbachs for sharing Albe with us. She will be missed. fondly. Bonnie and Jay"

This tribute was added by Josh Gotbaum on 9th September 2012

"When I was growing up, Albe and Ned were political/ethical lodestars.  My mother told me that the Lauterbachs, the Lazars, the Bentons and a few others founded the Evanston Democratic party.  We all will miss her warmth, her wit, and her wisdom -- but we will never forget her."

This tribute was added by Linda Timberlake on 7th September 2012

"We will miss Albe, she was always fun to be with at family reunions. Ned and kids, we're thinking of you. Your photo memorial on this site is beautiful.
Love,
Robert and Linda (Lauterbach) Timberlake"

This tribute was added by Ray Vogler on 7th September 2012

"We will dearly miss Albe.  The reunions will not be the same without her.  All our love to Ned and the family, we look forward to seeing you all again.
Love,
Ray, Abby, and Michael"

This tribute was added by Rosalie Berk on 7th September 2012

"I would like to extend to Albe's family my sincere sympathy at this time.  It touches our hearts to read this tribute to a remarkable life so well lived.  Albe was deeply committed to the causes she supported.  I see that same commitment in her daughter Christine, who by her work at Friendship Place helps to rebuild the lives of others less fortunate."

This tribute was added by Karen Lauterbach on 6th September 2012

"I’m so glad we got to know Albe through the Lauterbach Reunions, and I’m sorry that she will not be at our next reunion.  I’m watching the Democratic Convention, something I know Albe would have been doing if she were still with us, and I just made a contribution to Obama re-election campaign in her name.  Ned and family, our thoughts and prayers are with you. -- Karen, Mark, Luke & Kyle."

This tribute was added by BJ Katz on 6th September 2012

"Intelligent, satirically witty, political, caring, outspoken, involved in her community.... Albe contributed so much to all of our lives and I will miss her.   Love, BJ"

This tribute was added by susan smith on 5th September 2012

"To the Lauterbach Family, Our prayer are with you and your family, very sorry for your loss of a great Wife and Mother and Grandmother. Stay strong. Always, Sue and Ken Smith"

This tribute was added by Marc Baum on 5th September 2012

"Last night, as I watched Michelle Obama giving one of the best convention speeches ever, I thought back to 1984 when I sat with Ned and Albe to have a beer and to watch Mario Cuomo give his thrilling (at least among Democrats) Tale of Two Cities rebuttal to Reagan's Shining City on a Hill speech.  It really doesn't seem that long ago.  Albe, Michelle's speech would have thrilled you too."

This tribute was added by Rita King on 5th September 2012

"To all the children and grandchildren of Albe Lauterbach and most of all Ned - Your family has been an inspiration to me through life, a constant example of what a contribution can be made. I have loved being included in the family reunions, although my grandmother, Emma (Will's oldest sister) did not contribute much to the Lauterbach chain!.So sorry Albe will not be at the next reunion o"

This tribute was added by Richard Mahler on 4th September 2012

"I regret never having met Albe. She certainly was someone I would have admired and enjoyed. However, I have spent time with two of her daughters, Amy and Christine, and can't help but assume they got much of their initiative, smarts, and commitment to social justice from their mom. We certainly need more such souls in our troubled world. Thank you for sharing Albe's story with us this way."

This tribute was added by Donald Borah on 4th September 2012

"Donations to Obama! How perfect and how Albie would love it! I met Albie through politics and from there it grew into a social relationship as well. How lucky we were to have known her and to watch how she lived her life serving her family and community. She had no regrets, we have nothing by gratitude. We will miss you Albie."

This tribute was added by Emily Fagerholm on 4th September 2012

"I would like to extend my heartfelt sympathies to Albe's family and friends. Although I did not know Albe, I do work with her daughter, Christine, whose compassion and care for the less fortunate inspires everyone who knows her. It's clear that her "save the world," community-minded attitude is rooted in her upbringing, especially from her mother. Hugs to all."

This tribute was added by Irene Doyle Sandler on 3rd September 2012

"It was an honor to be a friend and Forest Avenue neighbor of Albe Lauterbach.  Her passion for her family, her community and her politics was truly remarkable, and inspiring.  Rest in peace, dear Albe!"

This tribute was added by Pokey Lauterbach on 3rd September 2012

"I never stood taller, or felt prouder that when I was lucky enough to be in Albe's company. She never made anyone feel small, even though she was a giant. I'm so, so sad that we only got 90 years with her. It just wasn't enough. Able always took care of everything. What will we do now?"

This tribute was added by Will Parrish on 3rd September 2012

"We will miss Aunt Albe.  She was a wonderful person and I have loads of great memories of family gatherings growing up.  She had a full life, produced a great family, and truly made a difference.
Will, Leslie, and Rebecca Parrish"

This tribute was added by Vida Kenk on 3rd September 2012

"I didn't know Albe personally, but I know Steve, and he is a living testament to the values his mother held dear.  Thanks for posting information and pictures, enabling us to know her to some extent.  Much love to all the family at this time.
Vida & Bill, neighbors in Big Trees Village"

This tribute was added by Carolyn Shimek on 3rd September 2012

"So sorry to hear that Albe is gone. I am honored to have spent a week with your mom and dad in Grand Gulch to celebrate their 60th birthdays - it's hard to believe it was 30 years ago, but a memory that has not faded over the years. Hugs to you all,
Carolyn (Tzitz) Shimek"

This tribute was added by Tom Flint on 3rd September 2012

"My family and I have always enjoyed the "June Birthday Parties" over the years. Albe was a wonderful woman and always a pleasure to be with.  My prayers are with all of the family now and especially with Ned as he embarks on a new life."

This tribute was added by Carolyn Lauterbach on 3rd September 2012

"We thought the world of Albe.  She will be missed by all.
Hugs to Ned and the rest of the family from us.
Love,
Carolyn, Rob, Emily, and Lauren Lauterbach"


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Amy Lauterbach

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