Sept. 13, 1927 - March 4, 2021
MISHAWAKA, IN -
Albertina Wassenhove, Mishawaka's Queen of the Blues, departed this life on March 4, 2021.
She was born in Mishawaka, Indiana on September 13, 1927, to Cyriel Antheunis and Martha Van De Walle both of whom immigrated to the USA in 1920 from Belgium and the Netherlands.
While working as a waitress at her parent's bar, The Midway Tavern, she met her future husband, Gus Wassenhove. The couple married Sept. 15, 1951.
During her youth, she attended St. Bavo grade school and was a 1945 graduate of St. Joseph Academy.
Her love of music started early, and her first job was teaching the accordion. She also played piano.
She enjoyed working at the Mishawaka Treasurers Department, Pilot, and Associates, and for nearly 30 years at the University of Notre Dame. Her passion was honoring her mother's memory by continuing to operate The Midway Tavern after her mother passed away, and developing it into the blues music venue of choice in the area. She loved dancing and has many memories of great Saturdays spent dancing at the Wagon Wheel Restaurant and the Palais Royale. She loved supporting musicians and giving young artists a chance to succeed by giving them a place to practice. She enjoyed travel, blues festivals, making friends everywhere she went, and finding treasures at thrift stores and garage sales.
For her work keeping the blues alive, Albertina was awarded the Ole Harv Award in 2001. In the summer of 2018, she was a Celebrating Michiana Women Leaders honoree and earlier that year, was recognized with the prestigious “Keeping the Blues Alive” award from the The Blues Foundation in Memphis, TN.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband Gus, son Mark, sister Antoinette (Toni), and brother Peter.
She is survived by her daughter Susan, her son Daniel (Debra), six grandchildren: Danielle Enos, Lisa Walz Schwaar (Cory), Kelsey Moon (Bryan), Katie Wassenhove, Kylie Wassenhove, and Terrance Wassenhove; and five great-grandchildren, Torren, Trusten, Gabriella, Estella, and Brayden; nieces, Brenda Hoffman, Karen Hoffman, and Kristie McLean, nephew Paul Wassenhove, and a host of other family and friends too numerous to mention.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your favorite charity
, help someone in need, spend time with loved ones or commit a random act of kindness while thinking of her. Wassenhove's business card reads: “Life is short. Dance often!” and this is advice she would want us to take to heart.
Visitation for Albertina will be held on Tuesday, March 9, 2021, from 3 pm to 8 pm, and on Wednesday, March 10, 2021, from 12 pm to 1 pm in Hahn Funeral Home, 505 W. 8th Street, Mishawaka, immediately followed by a service and a graveside ceremony at Fairview Cemetery. Due to current public health and safety standards for COVID-19, social distancing will be enforced and masks required.
To leave an online condolence or to share a memory, please visit www.hahnfuneralhomes.com
Published by South Bend Tribune on Mar. 7, 2021.