Anna-Irmgard Haken

Anna-Irmgard Haken

CHAMPAIGN – Anna-Irmgard Haken, 87, of Champaign passed away in her sleep at home on Tuesday (April 4, 2017) after a long illness.

Irmgard was born in Berlin, Germany, on Nov. 11, 1929, to Lippold Freiherr von Bredow and Irmgard (Reichel) Freifrau von Bredow. She married Wolfgang Haken in Flensburg, Germany, on Nov. 23, 1953.

In 1959, she earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Kiel. The couple immigrated to the U.S. in 1962 with their three children so that Wolfgang could take a position as professor of mathematics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Three more children were born in the U.S.

Besides a brief stint teaching mathematics at the University of Illinois, Irmgard devoted her life to taking care of her large family, making all of her children's clothes, teaching them to swim and ensuring that they practiced violin daily. The family spent many weeks each year camping all over the U.S.

She was an expert at preparing meals for large groups and regularly had friends and extended family over for dinner. The hard German bread she baked was especially popular. She was featured in Nina Rubel's 1981 book "Heartland Beat."

From 1993 to 2005, Irmgard led the Saturday Hike - a group of mostly university people who spent Saturday afternoons hiking and picnicking in the woods in every kind of weather - and continued to hike with them until illness prevented her. Her family will hold a memorial hike for her in the near future.

Irmgard was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Gisela Bredo of California; and her brother, Dietrich Freiherr von Bredow of Schwerin, Germany.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by her brother, Hasso (Lotti) Freiherr von Bredow of Taufkirchen, Germany; sons, Armin (Shantha Ramagopal) of San Francisco, Calif., Lippold (Beth) of Champaign and Rudolf (Jasmin Arakawa) of Urbana; daughters, Dorothea (Steven) Blostein of Harrowsmith, Ontario, Canada, Agnes (Christian) Debrunner of Conifer, Colo., and Armgard of Urbana; and 13 grandchildren.

In honor of Irmgard's love for the great outdoors, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Champaign County Forest Preserve.

Arrangements were completed by the Morgan Memorial Home, 1304 Regency Drive West, Savoy.