Family Laundry: “Half-Naked Woman Found Dead,” by Luanne Castle.

“As a writer, I felt a responsibility to tell her story, which is important to the history of women …”

Some members of the Herman Noffke family. Luanne does not have a photograph of Louisa, the subject of this piece, who was Herman’s mother.
To read this piece as a broadside, drag the image to your desktop.

Half-Naked Woman Found Dead

July 9, 1920

Luanne Finds the Heart of the Story

The death certificate of Louisa Rutkofski, Clara/Louisa’s mother.
Louisa and Charles Noffke share a headstone.
The Grand Rapids newspapers reported on the violence between the Noffke father and son in 1893.
On 8 July 1920, Grand Rapids was shocked to learn the circumstances of Clara/Louisa’s death.
On 9 July 1920, the Grand Rapids News Leader reported on the will.



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