Sweetpea (1916-2011)

A very young Toots

The one and only Sweetpea, aka Mrs. Louise Marie (Katterfeld Hoffmann) Alexander, my grandmother, passed away yesterday at the age of 95. She would have been 96 in January.

Here’s the official obituary, written in a hurry to get it into the next day’s paper.

But a much better description was written by the woman herself in 1999 for a family directory. Typewritten — she worked the hell out of that typewriter.


Louise Marie Alexander (Also known as Toots, Tootsie, Tootie, Sweetpea /Katterfeld, Hoffmann, Alexander)

Chicago, Kansas, Long Island, New York City

Present Job

Chief Cook & Bottle Washer for husband, Frank Alexander & my wonderful Daughter, Harriet Hoffmann Morgan, & assorted friends & strays.


I’m a people person & like reading, birding, gardening, cooking, sports. Also keeping up with Margie, Freda, Tom & Bill – their wives, Evie and Anna. I have daughters-in-law Nancy Little Hoffmann, wife of son Pete & Nan Hopkin Hoffmann, wife of son Roger. Also grand children, Karen & Sarah Hoffmann. And I do mean grand for all of the above.

A paragraph about yourself (and your family);

In Spring of 1915 my parents Dutch (Ludwig) & Bertie travelled across country by train to Seattle, Washington. Nine months later I was born in Everett, WA. That year Dutch ran for Governor of Washington on the Socialist ticket. He did receive quite a few votes but did not become Governor!

My earliest memories are of Dighton, KS, on my grandfather’s (Dr. Eusebius Pierce Horn & wife Ruby Howe Horn) 2,000 Ac. ranch/mostly wheat. I climbed the ranch windmill at age 2 1/2; broke one whole crate of eggs (from Ruby’s chickens & her spending money source) & assisted sister Freda in setting the prairie on fire! Scared the horses & had townspeople from Dighton put out fire. (We didn’t plan this beforehand).

Meanwhile, our family lived in many places across these United States. In 1937 I married George Hoffmann. (Anna Marie Katterfield is George’s sister). George is the father of Pete, Roger & Harriet Hoffmann. In 1953 [sic] we moved to Atlanta, Ga., (job transfer for George). George died in 1960.

In the meantime I began a 40 year career in real estate as agent, secretary & advertising agent. I retired in 1996 at age 80.

In 1973 I married Frank Alexander, a real Southern born & bred gentleman. (Y’all come see us, heah!)

While growing up I am happy to note that my sisters, Margie, Freda & brothers, Tom & Bill & I grew up in a world without indoor plumbing (for awhile). We had coal oil lamps, well water using hand pumps, wood & coal burning stoves, no T.V. Radio came along a little later. No cars. We had horse & buggy, trains & our feet for walking. We had two caring parents, a big round table for eating, crafts, games, family talks & MUCH READING from Book of Knowledge, other books & magazines.

AS THE FAMED CORNELIA SAID WHEN ASKED WHAT JEWELS SHE TREASURED, she replied: ” My children are my jewels ” I think all of you can say “Amen” to this.

She had style. I think the guy is her friend’s husband.

I personally think that her being conceived on a train had to have somehow traveled down the generations, because I haven’t been able to stay still.

We’ll miss you, Grandma.


4 thoughts on “Sweetpea (1916-2011)”

  1. Thank you guys so much. She was a phenomenal lady. And I only knew her from 65 on!

    BTW, today I got the rest of the prairie fire story from her sister Freda (age 98). Apparently Freda was playing “house” with an oil stove outside. How she got the matches, she wouldn’t say, but they were in big trouble…


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