Liesbeth Mathilda Drigalla-Land Welch passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on June 7, 2018. Liesbeth was born in Poznan, Poland, on July 18, 1921, to her parents, John and Caroline Drigalla-Land.
Liesbeth was preceded in death by her loving husband Frank Louis Welch of 44 years; her parents John and Caroline; and her siblings ElFrieda, Martha, Selma, Helmut, Fritz, Dorothea, Ruth and Loni. Liesbeth was the last surviving member of the Drigalla-Land family.
She is an adored mother to Debbie (Steve) Mitchener and Spencer Welch; devoted Oma to Rusty (Claire) Mitchener, Stephanie (Ryan) Stoffel, Natalie (Andy) Westerholt, Galin (Carrie) Mitchener, Brandon (Erin) Mitchener and Lydia Mitchener; and loving Omi to Dresden, Ellington, Louis, Raymond, Mary, Katherine and Benjamin.
Liesbeth arrived to the United States from Europe in 1930, leaving behind their farm in eastern Germany. Her family then settled in Independence, Missouri. She met Frank in Kansas City, Missouri, on the famous Petticoat Lane. He was a street photographer and snapped a candid of Liesbeth, which sparked a romance that lasted through his death and into her final memories and beyond. They married on Sept. 26, 1941, and happily raised their two children, Debbie and Spencer.
In the 1940’s through 1950’s, Liesbeth was an artist for Hallmark Cards. While working there, Walt Disney met Liesbeth and selected her to be the artist for the Bambi collection. Liesbeth was also an accomplished seamstress and loved to sew for her family and friends. In retirement, she spent much of her time volunteering for churches and providing arts and crafts classes. She loved her family and lived with her daughter Debbie, Steve and her six grandchildren for 23 years after Frank’s death. She was highly intelligent and had a witty sense of humor, even into her final days. Few things gave her greater pleasure than generosity and helping others, and she loved seeing laughter and happiness.
A special thank you to Darnell Brueggemann and Big Bend Woods Healthcare Center for their exceptional care and love for Liesbeth.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Liesbeth’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association: Frank suffered from early-onset Alzheimer’s, which led to his premature death at 65, and Liesbeth fought dementia in her final years.
Service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday June 14 at Kirkwood Baptist Church, located at 211 N. Woodlawn Ave. in Kirkwood, Mo.