Lieselotte (Lilo) F. Reid, whose fairy tale story of want, love, struggle and start of a new life in a distant land from her homeland of Germany came to a peaceful end December 4th 2019. She was 97 and ½ years old.
Born 1922, Lieselotte F. Schlenzig, in Jena, Germany, she was raised from birth by a very loving Hermann and Valerie Arlt who were unable to adopt Lilo because their son was mentality unable to give approval, by German law. Raised as an Arlt all her life until she applied for work in and around 1940 to become a dental technician making teeth and she found out that her birth name was Schlenzig. The Arlt’s were in the import /export business of Chinese antiques, while in China (early 1900’s) they became good friends with missionary Rev. Gilbert and Sallie Reid and their daughter Jean and our father/husband John Gilbert Reid, of Lilo. That’s another long story before John Gilbert and our loving Mom’s fairy tale begins.
John, who worked for the United States Department of State, kept in touch throughout his life as best as he could, from WWI, the Depression, WWII and trying to locate the Arlt’s post WWII. This is when the fairy tale begins, writing letters back and forth to Lilo our Dad proposed and received the answer he wanted, YES. Lilo’s bold and brave journey of leaving her life of 26 years in her home country to marry a man she met for the first time the day before their wedding day in England, December 1948. Our Dad has written that his life began when he married Lilo.
Lilo’s story continues in her learning the English language by reading Superman comic books, going to food demonstrations, listening to the radio etc. She gave birth December 1949, son Gilbert (Gil), January 1951, daughter Lilo (Elvy) and Elizabeth (Liz) December 1951. Living for short stays in Arlington, Virginia and Glassmanor, Maryland apartments with the two first born children and third on the way Lilo and John chose to buy a house and decided on College Park, Maryland. Late 1951 until June 1990 this was her address until moving in with son and wife Eileen McCay Reid to Ellicott City until her peaceful departure.
Lilo spent her very busy life raising three active children, coaching Elvy and Liz in softball, catching Gil when he practiced pitching baseballs and hitting ground balls, managing Saturday Youth Duckpin bowling league. Her free time included also a Tuesday Duckpin bowling league, gardening, stamp collecting, jigsaw puzzles building and home repair anything using her hands. She enjoyed being a spectator rooting for her children/grand-children in any endeavor they were participating.
Lilo always had a sly smile with dimples, was caring to others and proud of her family. Family was what kept her going and she is survived by: son Gil wife Eileen with granddaughter Cathleen, husband Alex, great-granddaughter Lililth and another due in late May, grandson Ian; daughter Lilo (Elvy) husband John Sheahan with grandson John Jr. wife Kelly, Catherine (Katie) great-grandson due mid-December, partner Jeremy; Christine (Chrissy); daughter Elizabeth (Liz) George. Niece Dorothy (Dotty) Kidd Ballow and a half- sister Dorothea Grossmann that her birth mother had years later. A dear friend discovered her while researching Lilo’s birth.
A celebration of life will be held June 6th 2020 and anyone who can join us are welcome.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Gilchrist Hospice.
Gilchrist Hospice Care
11311 McCormick Road, Suite 350, Hunt Valley MD 21031