Brigitte Agnes Keilflug (Kacmarek) Howell passed away peacefully on January 23, 2023, at her home in Gilbert, Arizona. She was born in Leibuch Kreis Schwerin an der Warthe in Germany, close to the Polish border to Martha Keilflug Kaczmarek and Roman Ludwig Kaczmarek. After her mother’s death, 8 days after she was born, Brigitte was adopted by her uncle Linus Florian Keilflug and his wife, Martha Wesolek Keilflug.
Brigitte grew up in Berlin, traveled to London working for a British family, then to Washington D.C., and finally joined the American Army as a WAC (Women’s Army Corp). It was in the Military at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, that she met and married her husband, Virstee Howell, Jr. They were married for 67 years.
Brigitte is survived by her husband, Virstee, their children Gwendolyn (AZ), Michael (CA), Kathleen (CA), and Ellen (TX), and her three grandchildren Steven and Kevin Reeves (AZ) and Christine Wheeler (PA). In Berlin, she is preceded in death by her brother Manfred, who she loved so dearly. She leaves behind her brother’s wife, Gerda, her niece Marion Hülsemann and husband Rudi, their children Benjamin, Jacquelin, and Sven, and their grandchildren, Niclas and Julian.
She is remembered ever so fondly by her LDS community for her generous, sweet, and sassy spirit; by her children for her creativity and resourcefulness as a young mother with 4 children, Mutti’s storytelling about her life in Germany, her ability to be funny without even trying, and her unashamed abandonment to laughter that invited you to follow along. She is remembered by her husband for her undying love and fighting spirit through so many trials in life. He lovingly calls her a “tough cookie”.
In lieu of flowers, please send cards to include memories of time spent with “Kitty” that can be shared with her family in the U.S. and Germany. She would have loved this since she was the master cardmaker.
Sincerest condolences to the family. With loving wishes for strength in the coming days of mourning.
Lovely obituary. Definitely a “Tough Cookie” in my book. Thank you for serving our country Brigitte.
Dear Kathleen and family, I felt honored to have learned about Brigitte’s life. Beautifully written.
Wishing you peace and comfort as you keep your mother in your treasured thoughts. I am hoping that with each new day, you will find nourishment as you begin the healing process of your loss. May you be wrapped in special warmth and comfort. I am trusting you will find blessings in your days. With love, Candace
Brigitte and I have been friends for over 30 years. We helped each other through out troubled times. We never met each other in person but her friendship meant the world to me. She was truly an amazing woman and the world is so much less without her.
Brigitte, “Kitty”, was a very special and dear friend of my sister, Catherine Booher McMillen. I’m privileged to have known her as well. She was an angel of blessing in my sister’s life. Having received several of her beautiful cards, I will be happy to send a separate card for Virstee and family, in care of the Bunker Funeral Home, as per your request. May God’s almighty arms of comfort uphold you and carry you through the days ahead. With Heartfelt Love, Barb
I just loved Brigette’s spunky personality. There was no one like her, and she is dearly missed. Thinking of your family at this difficult time and wishing you comfort.