Erika J. Tighe

Erika J. Tighe

January 22, 1924-April 23, 2019

Visitation for Erika J. Tighe will be held at Johnson Funeral Home, 203 N. Washington Street from 10:00 till 11:30 a.m. Monday, April 29, 2019. A Memorial Celebration will begin at 11:30. Family Inurnment will take place at Kansas Veterans’ Cemetery at a later date.

Erika Tighe, 95, passed away on April 23, 2019, at Geary Community Hospital surrounded by her family. She was born in Frankfurt, Germany on January 22, 1924, the daughter of Karl and Lucie (Methlow) Wilde.  

Erika was born during one of Germany’s darkest times, and at the age of 19 was called out to leave her home to aid her country during time of war and stress. She became one of the young ladies that worked for the families and cared for the children of officers sent off to war. This was the beginning of the strong work ethics, courage and love that she carried with her throughout her entire life.

It was during this time she met the love of her life, a young American soldier, Joseph J. Tighe, who was serving his country. On May 16, 1950 Joseph and Erika were united in marriage at St. Ursula Kirche in Heidelberg, Germany. Then she began her life as a military wife. Her first trip to the United States landed her in Virginia Beach, Virginia and later in Colorado and Kansas. She and Joe loved Germany and signed up for numerous assignments to Aschaffenburg, Heidelberg, Frankfurt, and Ulm where all three of her children were born.

Erika had various jobs throughout her long life, but she was also a homemaker and dedicated her life to her family. She was known as “Grandma Erika and GiGi to her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She never forgot a birthday or holiday, rarely missed a school event and always encouraged them be kind and do their best. Her generosity and joyfulness were never ending.

She was proud to live independently in her home and took great joy in sitting on her deck, tending her flowers, waving and watching the children walk to and from school each day. For years she could often be seen at the YMCA swimming, at South Park walking her dog or throughout the community with her family. She lived each day as she chose, and lived life to the fullest and never complained.

Erika delighted in travels with her children and grandchildren and attended all of their special events. Their annual ski trips, cruises and adventure parks trips were some of her favorite memories. In 2007 she traveled back to Germany and to her home town with her daughters and granddaughters. She para-sailed at 75 and rode a roller coaster down Peak 8 in Breckenridge at 90. She loved her many pets: parakeets, rescue dogs and cats and enjoyed supporting the local animal shelter and its programs. She was a KState Wildcat Football fan and enjoyed tailgating and attending the games for many years with her “Football Family”.

She is survived by her three children, Angie Greenwood (Steven Roesler) and  Sylvia Wolf (Kelly), both of Junction City, Kansas, and Thomas Tighe (Danelle) of Midland, Michigan; five grandchildren, Shannon Greenwood (Jacob Zeka) and Nicole Greenwood  of Manhattan, KS., Ryan Wolf (Kena) of Kansas City, MO., Petra Crosby (Marc) of Manhattan, KS. and Joshua Tighe of Midland, MI.; and eight great grandchildren; Grayson, Wesley, Beckham and Lennon Zeka, Kale and Kaden Wolf and Ayla and Kord Crosby and Carson and Reece Kraus and Livia Roesler who also proudly called her “Grandma Erika”.  

Erika was preceded in death by her parents Karl and Lucy Wilde and her husband Joseph.

She is deeply loved by her family and made a huge impact on everyone of their lives. Her favorite saying was “Stay Happy and Healthy”. We were so blessed by having in our lives and she will be dearly missed.

Memorial contributions have been designated to Friends of the Animals, P.O. Box 580 in Junction City KS.66441 and “Quality Play for All” (the remodeling of 5th Street Playground Park Phase II) P.O. Box 411 Junction City, Ks. 66441.

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