Life Story Celebration
Tuesday, August 15, 2023
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Where food, drinks and stories will be shared.
Wednesday, August 16, 2023
10:30 AM EDT
St. Augustine Cathedral
542 W. Michigan Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Life Story / Obituary
Brigitte Huff (Gitti), a remarkable soul whose grace, kindness, and beauty illuminated the lives of all fortunate enough to know her, has passed away at the age of 80 in Kalamazoo. Born in Sudetenland, Germany on August 31, 1942, Gitti's journey through life was a tapestry woven with love, generosity, and meaningful connections.
Growing up in the aftermath of World War II in Germany, Gitti's early years were marked by resilience and a steadfast spirit. In 1952, she embarked on a new chapter of her life, immigrating to Kalamazoo, Michigan where she not only needed to learn a new language and culture but adapt to her new family. In those years, she quickly endeared herself to all who met her, radiating warmth and compassion that left an indelible mark.
Gitti graduated from St. Augustine High School. She continued her academic journey at Michigan State University, where she excelled in her studies, earning a Bachelor's degree in political science and German with Summa Cum Laude honors. She truly valued her education and would often remind her daughters of her family's past story in that so much can be lost so easily but an education can help you persevere.
It was on the banks of the “Old Red Cedar” that her love affair with Tom Huff led them to the altar, or as they would tell you, a welding shop outside East Lansing, in Potterville. There, they were married. Their love story was one for the ages, a testament to the adage that "one look was all it took." Their bond flourished and endured for over 60 years, a journey marked by devotion, mutual respect, and unwavering companionship.
After they graduated MSU, they moved to Detroit where Gitti taught at Mott High School while Tom attended Wayne State Law School. After three years in Detroit, they returned home to Kalamazoo where Tom joined his dad’s legal practice, and Gitti took on a new role as mother to her two daughters.
Gitti's roles as wife and mother were cherished aspects of her life. She embraced these roles with boundless love and commitment, raising her daughters Heidi and Natalie with the same kindness and grace that defined her character. Her family was the cornerstone of her world, and her legacy lives on through them.
Beyond her family, Gitti's elegance and poise captured the attention of hearts as a model for Jacobsons and other Kalamazoo retailers. Her external beauty was surpassed by her inner radiance and elegance. She is still remembered by her signature scent, Clinique Aromatics Elixir.
Miss Gitti, as her seven grandchildren called her, loved her role as grandmother. She showered them with love and attention. One of her cherished traditions was taking them on special one-on-one shopping trips to TJ Maxx and Burger King. All seven grandkids share that memory of storytelling and shopping with her and getting to pick out one special item each time. All her days with them created lasting memories and deepened the bonds between generations.
Her passions extended beyond family and fashion. Gitti loved reading and enjoyed her time spent with her dear friends at book club. She also loved playing bridge and never missed a So - So sister gathering. She found joy in entertaining and connecting with dear friends near and far.
Gitti was an ardent superfan at Michigan State University basketball and football games. She loved tailgating and when MSU was winning, Gitti, Tom, and their family would follow them through to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena and the Final Four in Minneapolis. Her passion for MSU was only matched by her love for her community. Her generosity knew no bounds, and her involvement as the president of KSOL and her participation on the MSU College of Arts and Letters Board showcased her dedication to shaping a better world. She and Tom established the Tom and Brigitte Huff Scholarship at MSU for students studying abroad in her beloved Germany.
Gitti's love for animals, especially her cherished cats, exemplified her compassion and deep connection with all living beings. She never left a restaurant without a doggie bag, for she believed all her woodland friends would enjoy her meal as well.
To know Gitti was to love her. Her magnetic presence, her genuine interest in others, and her capacity for kindness created a legacy of love that will continue to touch lives for generations to come. In her absence, the world has dimmed, but the light of her memory will forever shine bright in the hearts of all who had the privilege of knowing her.
Gitti Huff is survived by her loving husband Thomas, her daughters Heidi and Natalie, her seven grandchildren, her mother, Ada at the age of 101, her sister Helene and brother Peter, and a wide circle of extended family and friends whose lives she enriched with her radiant spirit. She leaves behind a legacy of love, compassion, and grace that will continue to inspire and uplift us all.
Please join us at a Life Story Visitation where food, drinks, and stories will be shared on Tuesday, August 15, from 4-7 PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo 269-375-2900. Mass will be celebrated Wednesday, August 16, at 10:30 AM at St. Augustine Cathedral. Visit Gitti’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign her guestbook. Those who wish to honor Gitti may do so by donating to a charity of their choice. In this way, Gitti’s own generosity and kindness will be remembered.
If interested in reading more about Gitti’s life, please click or copy the links below.