Erna (Simon) Hayen

Born: Tue., Sep. 22, 1931
Died: Fri., Mar. 15, 2019


6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Wed., Mar. 20, 2019
Location: N. William St. Location

Funeral Service

12:00 PM Thu., Mar. 21, 2019
Location: N. William St. Location

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Music by The Piano Brothers

Mrs. Erna Hayen (87) of Niles, Michigan, joined her husband in eternity on the evening of Friday, 15 March 2019. Erna was born 22 September 1931 in East Germany to Ladeslau Simon and Eva (Bischo) Simon. On 20 April 1952 in Brockzetel, Germany, Erna (Simon) married Wilhelm Hayen (9 April 1931 -7 September 2003). Erna is survived by her son, Heinz (Eileen) Hayen of Granger, four grandchildren: Stephanie, Katherine (David) Ganser, Christopher (Sierra ) Hayen and Jason Hayen, and four great-grandchildren: Caelynn, Adrie, Emma and Ryder, and her sister-in-law, Gerda Beccue.


Erna's strong will and determination developed early when at a young age, her family had to leave their home and make their way across a countryside at war. And while the stories themselves detailed the hardships of war, eating raw potatoes and working long hours for anyone willing to shelter them, they exemplified her inner-strength and she truly enjoyed sharing them.  


Erna loved music and shared stories of going dancing before and after her marriage, and this tradition continued after they made the difficult journey to the United States in the wake of the war with their young son. Erna and Wilhelm were enthusiastic members of the local German Club and were active with their sponsoring church, St. Paul Lutheran South Bend, Indiana. For over thirty five years, Erna worked as a seamstress at Notre Dame University. She loved interacting with the staff and students, especially the football team to whom she had a strong and abiding loyalty.  


Erna and Wilhelm summered in the quaint neighborhood of Sunset Shores near South Haven MI just off the shore of the lake for many years, indulging in their shared passions of card games, gardening and renovation. In 1996, they decided with gumption and gusto (and familial labor) to dig out a basement...under the current, standing beach house. Like most everything the pair set out to do, they accomplished it. Together.  


Erna's family would like to thank the entire staff of Memorial Hospital: ER, ICU, Leighton Heart and Vascular Center, and the staff of every floor she visited over the years for helping to extend the time we had with her; and finally the entire staff of the 12th Floor who provided all the care and comfort they could have hoped for.  


Funeral services for Erna will be held Thursday, March 21 at 12PM, visitation will be from 6-8PM on Wednesday, March 20 and 11AM-12PM prior to the service at Welsheimer Family Funeral Home, 521 N. William Street, South Bend. Burial will follow at Highland Cemetery. The family requests memorial contributions be made to St. Paul Lutheran Church, 51490 Laurel Road, South Bend, IN 46637. Family and friends may leave e-mail condolences at  


Charitable donations may be made in Erna's memory to the following organization:

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church
51490 Laurel Rd. South Bend, IN 46637

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Vee Manc
   Posted Fri March 22, 2019
My sincere condolences go to the family at this trying time. There is a Bible passage that comforts me greatly. Jesus promised he will resurrect our loved ones. John 5: 28 and 29. When earth becomes the place of peace Jesus talked about at Matthew 5:5, then we will live the promise of everlasting peace. Psalm 37:29. We have a promise from God at Revelation 21:3,4. There will be no more death and pain. There is more comfort to be read about in God's Word, the Bible concerning the resurrection and reuniting with our loved ones. May God’s peace be yours. Isaiah 26:4.