|Birth: ||May 10, 1962|
|Death: ||Feb. 19, 2006|
Returned to the arms of Jesus and her two loving daughters Brianna Lynn (1997-2000) and Haley Ann 6/3/2000) at the age of 43. Beloved wife of Doug. Loving mother of Chad, Cole, Adam. Dear daughter of Pauline and the late Clarence Haumschild. Loving sister of Steve (Mary) Haumschild, Nancy Clemons, Tom Haumschild, Kathy (Jim) Stone and Bonnie (Dave) Schulte. Daughter-in-law of Elizabeth and the late Douglas Kriefall. Sister-in-law of Karen (Terry) Jurek and Joni (Steve) Knoll. Also left to cherish her memory are many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Visitation was at ST. JOHN'S LUTHERAN CHURCH (4850 S. LAKE DR.).
The following is from the jsonline.com website:
When cancer began to take its toll last year, Connie Kriefall went to a store to custom-design stuffed bears for each of her three surviving children.
Now the bears say, in Kriefall's own voice, what she can no longer say in person.
"I love you. I miss you."
It was not the first time she had to say goodbye to her children. Connie and Doug Kriefall were the parents of Brianna, the 3-year-old girl who died in 2000 after the E. coli outbreak at the Sizzler restaurant then at 789 W. Layton Ave. A scant two months earlier, they lost another child, a stillborn daughter they named Haley.
Connie Kriefall died of cancer.
Kriefall, who grew up in South Milwaukee, was raising her own family there.
"The kids meant everything to her," Doug Kriefall said. "She had a lot of trouble having them, but it was well worth it. She always wanted to be a mom, and she kind of wanted a big family."
Brianna was her first, born after half a dozen pregnancies ended in miscarriage.
"Our daughter was a miracle child we waited eight years for," she said, barely speaking in a whisper, a year after Brianna's death. "And now she's gone, and we'll never get her back."
"There wasn't a day that Connie didn't mourn for the loss of Brianna," said her husband.
But although no one could replace Brianna, there was still room in their hearts for other children.
And so they had Chad, Cole and Adam.
She was pregnant with Adam when her doctor noticed a suspicious mole on her face, and she underwent a biopsy after he was born. It was found to be melanoma. Cancer treatments followed.
A year ago, Kriefall found a lump under her arm. This time it was Stage 4 cancer, which had already spread to her brain and other organs.
She began chemotherapy and seeking experimental treatment, trying not to give up hope that she might survive.
She would have done anything, her husband said, "to stay with us."
Occasionally, someone who meant well would say that, if Kriefall died, she knew that she would be with her girls.
"Brianna and Haley are waiting for me," she would say. "I'm supposed to be with my husband and the children here."
Now Doug Kriefall and their extended families are left with a jumble of memories, both bitter and sweet.
"I met her at a place that was called Park Avenue," he said. "It was a dance club where the old Brett Favre's Steakhouse used to be. She was with her friends, and I was with my friend."
He offered her a ride home. Connie Haumschild said that she knew she could trust him.
It turns out his friend wanted to ask her out, too, but Kriefall called her before his buddy did. A year later, in 1984, the couple married.
As a young woman, Connie Kriefall worked at a variety of jobs, including at a convenience shop at the airport and doing secretarial work for trucking firms.
More recently, she worked three evenings a week for an urgent care clinic, scheduling patient appointments with doctors.
But her real job was being a mom.
Because Kriefall had always wanted to go to Hawaii, the family planned a trip last Christmas. Lost luggage was the least of the mishaps, but they made the trip work - and they got to be together as a family.
Since Brianna's death, Kriefall also became involved with Compassionate Friends, an international group for families grieving the death of a child. Efforts include helping with the Children's Memorial Garden project at the Oak Creek Community Center.
And like any couple, Connie and Doug Kriefall had their share of quarrels.
"It's not normal if you don't fight," he said, laughing a little. "But we always made up. And we had our children. . . . We did everything as a family. They meant everything to her, just sharing their joy and our joy."
From the Feb. 22, 2006 editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
YOU'LL ALWAYS BE PART OF OUR LIVES
Brianna Lynn Kriefall (1997 - 2000)*
Haley Ann Kriefall (2000 - 2000)*
Forest Hill Memorial Park
Created by: Theresa Williams
Record added: May 24, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14404048