Hedwig Weidner Apfel Dishart 1914 – 2018

by Kathleen Huebener in Inspiration

Hedwig Weidner Apfel Dishart entered into glory at the age of 103.

Proverbs 31: 30 states:

 “…a woman that fears the LORD, she shall be praised.” 

My beloved Aunt Hedy should be praised, for her whole life not only demonstrated her faith, her trust, and her respect for God, but also was a beacon for others to follow.


Her faith was forged from the beginning. Born with a pioneer spirit, Aunt Hedy grew up in the atmosphere and influences of our rich German-American heritage. The oldest daughter of the Weidner family, she became a nurse and was self-sufficient like her parents. My mother, her younger sister, always looked up to her with respect and awe combined with love. I did too.


Her faith continued as Aunt Hedy stepped into marriage with the love of her life, Steve Apfel. He was a great guy. Their marriage was wonderful, because they were best friends, always laughing with each other, and always supportive of each other. Their faith continued with their daughters Janet and Marilyn, who were always fun to be around. Laughter was in their home. I remember a story of Aunt Hedy hemming Uncle Steve’s new pair of slacks one day. She hemmed one leg first and must have gotten distracted, because after hemming the other leg, she discovered that she had hemmed the same leg twice. Aunt Hedy and my mother laughed and laughed about that. Uncle Steve did too. I still laugh when I think about those slacks with the extra-short leg, as I hem my own slacks. 


Aunt Hedy’s trust in God became apparent as she faced uncertainties and hardships. One of the hardest occurred when Uncle Steve got cancer. I remember their last visit to our house in Devils Lake, ND. He had come to say good-by. He was sitting by himself on the back steps at the house. Mom thought someone should be with him, and told me to go sit with him. But Aunt Hedy said not to go, that Uncle Steve needed to have some time to himself. So I watched him out the large back picture window. He was just sitting there, watching the beautiful sunset and I could hear his labored breathing. The sunset was so gorgeous and the colors beamed God’s glory so powerfully that I believe it gave Uncle Steve peace. He seemed better when he came in. I will always remember that scene.

I was amazed at this same time the loving wisdom Aunt Hedy had. She knew what Uncle Steve needed and gave him his space. Even though, she probably would have chosen to keep her arms around him to keep him safe. Throughout this horrible time, she nurtured Uncle Steve and her daughters with such strength and courage, which could only have been God-given, for I knew her faith in the Lord was strong. She told me so, “Keep focused on God and He will get you through anything.”


Aunt Hedy’s faith and outlook on life goes with a particular framed calligraphy that Grampa Weidner always had on his wall. I suspect it was Aunt Hedy who gave it to him, because she knew the saying before I even quoted the second line. It goes like this:

“Only one life

Twill soon be past.

Only what’s done

For Christ will last.” 


Aunt Hedi’s wisdom and wit was found in many other adages too:


“Make friends – play cards. But play to win.” (Like my mother, Aunt Hedy was ruthless at cards and always played for blood.)


“You can’t be all things to all people.”


“Be your own person. You can’t be what other people expect or demand you to be. Be your own person.”


And as I get older, this adage is becoming more meaningful:

“You can only do what you can do. Nothing more, nothing less.” 


So I say, “Thank you, Aunt Hedy, for your encouragements, your strengths, your inspirations, and thanks just for being YOU!” I love you forever!


You will definitely be missed here on earth,

but I imagine a happy heavenly party is waiting for you,

as Christ spreads out His loving arms to welcome you into heaven

and says to you, His daughter: 

“Come, ye blessed of My Father,

inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
Matthew 25: 34

Praise GOD for His faithfulness! 


Hedwig Weidner Apfel Dishart has entered into glory at the age of 103.