Hortense “Tensie” Criswell

December 22, 2020

Hortense Dagmar Marion (Damke) “Tensie” Criswell, 90, of Frankfort, passed away December 22, 2020 at IU Health Arnett Hospital in Lafayette.  She was born on June 23, 1930 in Mariendorf (Berlin) Germany to Willi Paul and Emma Irma (Schulz) Damke.  She married Howard Lee Criswell on June 20, 1964 in Indianapolis and he preceded her in death.

Tensie was a seamstress since childhood and owned Tensie’s Alterations in Frankfort for many years.  She was a member of Scotland Christian Church and attended First Christian Church in Frankfort.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Tensie’s honor to First Christian Church, 58 South Columbia Street, Frankfort, IN  46041.

Visitation and Services

Graveside Services will be held 10 a.m. on Thursday, December 31, 2020 at Scotland Cemetery in Kirklin, Indiana.  Archer-Weston Funeral & Cremation Center is honored to assist the Criswell family. 

Survived by:

Surviving are her Step-Daughter: Theresa Lynn (David) VanderJagt of Tennessee; Brother: Joachim Siegfried Damke of Australia; Sister: Rita Irma Emery of Tucson, Arizona; 4 Grandchildren: Rebecca, Rachel, Jonathan, and Faith; Nephews: Charles (Kathy) Emery of Tucson, Arizona, Dean (Daphne) Emery of Mooresville, and Danny J. Emery of Frankfort; Niece: Rusty Hopkins in Tucson, Arizona; Close Friends: Alberta Hewitt of Frankfort and Savilla Mennon of Kirklin.  

Preceded by:

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and a brother.


Leave your Condolences

16 Condolences for “Hortense “Tensie” Criswell”

  1. MaryAnn Stockberger December 28, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    Tinzie, you were the best! A fantastic seamstress and beautiful lady. You are missed

  2. Jannine Rule December 28, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    Tinzie was a beautiful woman inside and out. Never afraid to share her faith and loved to tell stories of her childhood. She will truly be missed by many.

  3. PAM FREELAND December 28, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    To Tensie’s family:
    I’m sending my condolences and prayers for peace for all of you. She was a very kind, sweet person, and a wonderful friend. She shared many of her WWII experiences, and I was amazed at her strength and courage. I am very privileged to have known her. I’m so glad I thought to take some pictures of her pulling weeds in her front yard just this last fall.

  4. Phyllis Dye December 28, 2020 at 5:05 pm

    So sad to hear of the loss of a great friend. I will miss her greatly. We both love to shop; all I had to do was call her and she was ready to go. She was one of the smartest people I know; she could talk about anything.

    Condolences to her family and other friends.

  5. Priscilla E Worth December 28, 2020 at 6:15 pm

    I loved her , at Scotland church when I was 5 years old she made me a gingerbread house. ..hugs and prayers to the family

  6. Kristy Miller December 28, 2020 at 7:55 pm

    Tensie was the sweetest woman. She stitched multiple prom dresses and other clothes for me. She was a ray of sunshine and always had such a caring and kind heart!! I haven’t seen her in many years, but she will always hold a special place in my heart!! She will be missed!! 💜

  7. Renita Watkins December 28, 2020 at 8:17 pm

    Tensie was such a lovely lady and an excellent seamstress. I loved hearing about her life. She often had candy in her shop that was made in Germany that she would give to my small son. He was just learning about the world so receiving candy made in Germany was a very special treat to him! It was such a pleasure to know this very special lady!

  8. helen mcdonald December 28, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    Tinzie was always upbeat and such an interesting lady to talk with. I don’t think she ever met a stranger. She will be missed by all who knew her.

  9. Susie Plunkitt December 29, 2020 at 10:11 am

    I thought she was a lovely lady & I actually have one of her pretty business cards under glass on my computer desk now. I loved hearing her great accent! My regards & condolences to the family during this loss.

  10. Jackie Kingery December 29, 2020 at 10:27 am

    Tensie was such a beautiful lady. Enjoyed being in her company. And of course, the alterations she did for me were just perfect!

  11. Ellen Mosson December 29, 2020 at 11:14 am

    I only met Tensie once when she came to my house with my sister Pam. She was such a joy to host-very friendly and kind-VERY personable! I felt like I had known her a long time. i still have the plant she gave me. Tensie was one of a kind and will ALWAYS be missed!

  12. Olivia Rothenberger January 2, 2021 at 12:58 pm

    I first met Tensie through her alterations business on Clinton Street, and through the years, she did many an alteration for me. What a sweet, generous woman she was and what a great seamstress! Her craft is a lost art. We spent many times talking about different subjects: Germany, food, gardening, etc. I remember my husband and I going to her house for an “Okterberfest” celebration where we had authentic German food. I have a couple of her recipes and I remember her telling me to always buy the Bavarian sauerkraut, which I do! Aww, Tensie, you will be missed…our conversations, your bear hugs and your delightful accent. We will see you again, though.

  13. Debra Koppelmann January 10, 2021 at 3:19 pm

    It was my pleasure that I got to know you. You were the sweetist lady with always a smile that I have ever known. I had the pleasure to work with you at the dress store (owned by Peggy Knight) for several years. You helped me with the dress I wore to my sons wedding and I looked as good as the bride. Sorry for the loss to your family as I know you will be missed.

  14. Peggy January 23, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    My heartfelt sympathy to the family of Hortense, Tense to me. She was a beautiful and talented individual. There are many memories of her in my treasure chest of unforgettable moments. Today, she is dancing in heaven.

  15. Theresa VanderJagt March 3, 2021 at 3:45 pm

    In every way that defines a mother…
    this was my mother.
    A godly woman of great strength.
    I miss her SO much.

Please fill out this form to contact the staff of Archer-Weston Funeral & Cremation Center. We will respond to your message as soon as possible.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Family Information Guide

Archer Weston obituaries are created from information contained in the Family Information Guide.

The Family Information Guide is a no-cost service provided by Archer Weston for families and individuals who wish to record their personal information during the funeral preplanning process.

Begin your Family Information Guide today. Learn more about preparing yourself and loved ones for difficult and emotional decisions in the future.

Start my Family Information Guide

Funeral Arrangement Planner

Begin planning a funeral with our simple funeral arrangement planner.

The funeral arrangement planner was created to help guide you through the basic steps of planning a funeral. You may send your funeral plans to our office with any questions you may have about the funeral planning process.

Funeral Arrangement Planner