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last update: July 17, 2021
+ We mourn our members who have passed on in recent years
We are sad to announce the passing of Ilse Brown on July 11, 2021. She was 88. Ilse became a member and active singer of the Washington Saengerbund in 1991. She was also a member of the Concord Club. A few years ago, after losing her husband Harry, she moved to Tucson, AZ where she spent her final days in a senior home.
Ilse loved to sing and over the years became a very dear friend of many of us. The family tells us that "She is finally at peace. Her journey was long and she passed away comfortably." Details for memorial servises are yet to come.
Our sincere sympathy to the family.
It is with great sadness to announce that Herbert Traxler died on April 24, 2021 at the age of 76. He was born in Vienna, Austria and while growing up was a member of the famous “Wiener Sängerknaben”. He became a member of the Washington Saengerbund in 1987 where he met his wife Carol. They got married in 1988 and often visited Vienna together. They had been on vacation there again when he unexpectedly passed away in the small village of Radstadt during a sightseeing trip.
He had an excellent tenor voice and sang with the chorus. He often stepped in as conductor at rehearsals, and also briefly during performances. We shall dearly miss him and his musical talents.
His funeral will be at the family gravesite at Friedhof Inzersdorf in Vienna, Austria on May 14, 2021. May he rest in peace!
With our deepest sympathy to Carol and the Traxler family.
We sadly announce that Edward Heberg passed away on April 19, 2021 at age 83. He became a member of the Washington Saengerbund in 2004; his wife Katharine already was a member since 1977.
For further information and details about the funeral and donations in Ed's memory please see the obituary at Adams-Green Funeral Home.
Our sincere condolences to the family.
ANNELIES R. FOLKER
We sadly announce that Annelies Folker passed away on January 5 at age 87.
She was a member of the Washington Saengerbund since 1993 and a good supporter by attending just about every one of our functions.
Our sincere condolences to the family.
For further information and details about the funeral please see the
Fairfax Memorial Funeral Home.
MANFRED H. BARTH
We sadly announce the passing of our long time member Manfred Barth of Schellsburg, PA. He died peacefully at home on Sunday, July 19, 2020 surrounded by his loving family. He was 86, born in Essingen, Germany on Dec. 22, 1933.
Manfred and his wife Erika were married on May 21, 1960. Manfred served in the U.S. Army. He later retired from the U.S. government where he was a section chief.
Manfred and Erika joined the Washington Saengerbund in 1968 as active singers. Manfred served on the Board of Directors at different times as recording secretary, comptroller and treasurer. Manfred was a talented craftsman: he loved to create stage backdrops for the Saengerbund‘s choral concerts; he also created the framing of historic photos and pictures on display in the Concord Club rooms.
Manfred and Erika were members of the Concord Club of Washington, DC.
A private funeral service will be held by the family. Our deepest sympathy to Erika and the family.
Memorial contributions may be made in memory of Manfred H. Barth to The National Fragile X Foundation, 1861 International Drive, Suite 200, McLean, VA 22102.
Online condolences may be made at www.geiselfuneral.com.
It is with great sadness to inform you that our former conductor Mathias Dickhut passed away on Thursday, March 26, 2020. He was 66 years old and succumbed to cancer. Mathias was conductor of the Washington Saengerbund from the fall of 1996 until spring of 2002 while he was teaching music at the German School in Potomac, MD. During his time in Washington he maintained the good relationship between the two choruses and organized and conducted joint concerts. His farewell concert in May 2002 was Antonin Dvorak's “Mass in D major” at the Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church in Bethesda, MD with the Saengerbund and the Chorus of the German School. When he returned to Germany the Sangerbund bestowed him Honorary Member of the Saengerbund in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the musical quality of the chorus.
In October 2016 he returned to Washington for a visit with his hometown chorus Gesangverein Hofbieber to greet and see his many friends, and give a concert at the United Church in Georgetown.
We mourn a good friend. Our condolences to his wife Ute Dickhut and the family.
We are very sorrow to let you know that our long-time member and singer George Winzer passed away on Thursday, December 12, 2019. He was 86 years old. He was still singing with the chorus at the 2019 spring concert. He had served a year on the board of directors of the Washington Saengerbund, and had also been an officer of the Nordoestlicher Saengerbund of Amerika.
We are told that his funeral will be in the spring of 2020 in Pennsylvania. As soon as we know more details we will make an announcement.
With our deepest sympathy to Jane Winzer and the family.
WINFRIED V. OXFORT
With deep sorrow we announce the sad news that our long-time member, singer, and Honorary President Winfried Oxfort passed away on Tuesday, December 4. He was 86 years old.
According to immigrant records of Ellis Island he arrived in the USA in 1954 on the ship 'Italia'. He came to Washington, DC and worked as a baker, the trade he had learned in Fulda, Germany. His connection with the Saengerbund became imminent when he joined as an active singer that same year, and from then on remained a faithful supporter until his final days; he never stopped to love and care about the Washington Saengerbund. Over the years he served on the board of directors, and in 1964, 1966, and then again in 1968, as President of the Saengerbund. In grateful recognition of his many years of service the club awarded him in 1988 with the title of 'Ehrenpräsident' (Honorary President).
Winfried also joined the Concord Club of Washington, DC in 1954, and in later years was known for his beautiful Gingerbread House creations he donated to the clubs at Christmas time.
Our sincere condolences to his wife Anneliese and the family.
Funeral on Friday, December 14 at 11am at St. Agnes Church, 106 S Duke Street, Shepherdstown, WV 25443. Interment at the Church's cemetery with US Navy military honors.
Obituary at Eackles-Spencer & Norton Funeral Home
MARY RUTH SCHROEDER
We sadly announce that Mary Schroeder passed away peacefully on Wednesday, October 10, 2018, at the age of 57. Mary and her husband Peter, who predeceased her in a fatal traffic accident in September 2015, were for many years active members of the Washington Saengerbund and the Concord Club. Our sincere condolences go to the family.
The family invites friends to
Lee Funeral Home Calvert, 8200 Jennifer Lane, Owings, MD 20736, on Thursday, October 25 from 4 to 8 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at the Covenant Community of Jesus the Good Shepherd Catholic Church, 1601 W. Mt. Harmony Road, Owings, MD on Friday, October 26 at 10 am. Burial will follow at Jesus the Good Shepherd Cemetery.
HERMANN J. HAMBACH
It is with a heavy heart to announce the passing of our longtime friend and singer Hermann Hambach. He passed away on Monday, September 17 surrounded by his family. He was 85 years old. Known as "Hermann the German" he continued his connection to Germany through his membership in the Washington Saengerbund and the Concord Club. As a very talented wood worker he was inducted into the
'Hall of Fame' of the Washington Building Congress in 2009.
Our sincere condolences to his wife Christine and the family.
Obituary at Borgwardt Funeral Home.
The funeral was on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018 at 10am
at Prospect Hill Cemetery, 2201 North Capitol St, NE, Washington, DC 20002.
The Washington Saengerbund sang "Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh" and "Ave verum corpus".
HARRY JOHN BROWN, Jr.
It is with deep sorrow that we mourn the loss of Harry J Brown who died in the morning of May 18, 2018 at INOVA-Fairfax Hospital. He was 77 years old. Harry was one of our tenors and was still singing with us at our recent spring concert.
Harry was born in Louisville, KY and is a graduate of the University of Louisville Speed School and its ROTC program, from which he received a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Civil Engineering. He had a decorated 22 year military career during which time he served as a Seabee in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart, among other honors. He then enjoyed more than 25 years working as a civil engineer in the Washington, DC metro area. During that time he and his wife Ilse became very active members of the Washington Saengerbund, and also the Concord Club. Obituary at Dignity Memorial.
The memorial service was held at Arlington National Cemetery
Old Post Chapel
on Tuesday, October 23 at 12:45pm, followed by the funeral.
The Washington Saengerbund sang 'Ave verum' in memory of Harry.
Commander Harry John Brown, Jr, CEC, USN, retired, was laid to rest with full military honors.
BARBARA LEE HAMMONDS
Barbara Lee Hammonds of Clearville PA, previously of Annandale, VA died peacefully at Bedford Hospital, following an extended illness, on Thursday, April 19, 2018. Barbara and her husband Joe, who preceded her in death in 2008, were members and active singers of the Washington Saengerbund since 1982; Joe had also served for serveral years as the treasurer of the Saengerbund.
Since relocating to Clearville, Barbara was active in numerous local endeavors, including the Bedford County Basketweavers, and established a local Red Hat Society group. She leaves behind many dear friends.
At her request, her body has been cremated. A celebration of her splendid life is planned for a later date.
Akers Funeral Home, 299 Raystown Road, Everett, PA 15537.
EDGAR G. GRUNWALD
We mourn the passing of our longtime member Edgar Grunwald who died on January 24, 2018 at home. He was 90 years old. His wife Christa told us that medical complications had come up in his last few days and he died in his sleep.
Edgar and Christa were active singers for 35 years and regularly attended rehearsals and singing performances. Every time they came to the club for weekly rehearsals they traveled from Middletown, MD where they resided for a round-trip of close to 100 miles. Only in recent times did the driving become too much and they retired from singing.
The memorial service and burial was on Saturday, February 17 at Zion Lutheran Church in Middletown, MD. The Saengerbund participated and sang “So nimm denn meine Hände”, Schubert‘s “Sanctus”, and Mozart‘s “Ave verum”, directed by Herbert Traxler, pianist Robert Staples.
Our deepest sympathy to Christa and the family.
Edgar‘s family suggests that donations may be made in his name to Hospice of Frederick County Md
It is with deep sadness to mourn the death of our long-time member Werner Grabner who passed away on December 22, 2017 at the age of 79.
Werner was a member of the Saengerbund for more than forty years. While he was not an active singer of the chorus, his wife Caroline was and Werner actively supported the club. He was also a member of other German-American organizations, especially the Concord Club where he served as president for 30 years and was awarded the title of ‘Ehrenpräsident’ (honorary President).
Our sincere condolences go to Caroline and the family.
Services will be held privately by the family at their discretion.
Donations can be made in honor of Werner to:
Vitas Hospice Care
National Foundation for Cancer Research, or to the charity of your choice.
ELISABETH M. LEINEMANN
We have received word that Elisabeth Leinemann passed away on Sunday, July 23, 2017. Elisabeth and her deceased husband Manfred joined the Saengerbund in 1968 as active singers, and were always willing to lend a helping hand at the many Saengerbund events. They retired from singing when they moved to Annapolis, Maryland. Our sincere condolences to the Leinemann family.
Family and friends are invited to celebrate Elisabeth’s life
on Thursday, July 27, 2017, 5:00pm - 8:00pm at
George P. Kalas Funeral Home - Edgewater,
2937 Solomons Island Road, Edgewater, MD 21037 -
The Saengerbund remembered Elisabeth with “So nimm denn meine Hände” and Schubert’s “Sanctus”, under the direction of Herbert Traxler.
Interment will be private - see Kalas Funeral Home obituary .
HELEN ANNIE MURTAUGH
Many of our newer members may not have known Helen Murtaugh who passed away on June 24, 2017 at her home at the age of 67. Helen and her mother Anni Eagler, originally from Frankfurt, Germany, joined the Saengerbund in 1968 as active singers. Several years later Helen started to suffer from multiple sclerosis which made her stop her singing activities, and eventually forced her to retire from her job at the Montgomery County Police Department. Her husband James Murtaugh took loving care of Helen for many years after her disability had set in.
Our sincere sympathy to James Murtaugh and the family. A memorial celebration of her life was held on July 1 at their home on Woodhaven Drive in Ijamsville, MD.
WILLIAM ‘BILL’ CALDWELL
We mourn the passing of our “Ehrenpräsident” Bill Caldwell who passed away on March 8 at the age of 86 after a long illness.
Bill, together with his wife Inge, became members and active singers of the Saengerbund in 1962. Over the years he served on the board of directors in various positions, and was elected president for 11 years. At the annual meeting on January 12, 1980 he was given the titel of honorary president in recognition of his outstanding service to the Saengerbund. Bill will not only be remembered for his many contributions to the club but also as a fun-loving singer during his many active years. He was instrumental in arranging for the publication in 1981 of the Washington Saengerbund History, written by Frank Pierce with research by Frank‘s wife Nancy Pierce.
Bill had also received the 'Bundesverdientskreuz' (Order of Merit) from the Federal Republic of Germany for his many German-American activities.
Our sincere condolences to Inge Caldwell and the family.
A memorial service was held on May 23, 2017 at Annunciation Catholic Church,
3810 Massachusets Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. The Saengerbund sang "Der Lindenbaum" and "Sanctus" by Franz Schubert, under the direction of Rudy Becker.
HARLAN ‘HAL’ KELLY
Our first-bass singer Hal Kelly passed away on February 21, 2017. He had been in the hospital and then committed to a rehab facility where he died at age 86.
He was a 1948 graduate of Gloucester High School and a 1953 graduate of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. He served in the U.S. Army's 11th Security Agency Field Station 8611 in Baumholder, Germany from 1953 to 1956.
Hal was an avid music lover, especially classical and opera, and became a member of the Saengerbund in 1999. He played piano, guitar, wrote music. He was a computer programmer and also recorded audiobooks for the Blind.
Interment private in Haddonfield, NJ.
The Washington Post obituary Mar. 1, 2017.
MARIANNE S. WALKER
With much sadness we heard that our long-time member Marianne Walker passed away at her home in Alexandria, Va on Tuesday, January 24, 2017. She died peacefully at the age of 95.
In her many years with the Washington Saengerbund she had become a dearly regarded friend, always with a smile on her face and a song in her heart. She was an active singer, and also served as a member of the board of directors for a total of twenty years, two years as vice-president and 18 years as recording secretary.
Our sincere condolences to the Walker family.
Memorial Service and Interment on March 8, 2017 at 11am
at Fort Myer‘s Old Chapel, and Arlington Cemetery.
The Washington Saengerbund had received permission to sing in the Old Chapel, and presented the ‘Sanctus’ from Schubert's Deutsche Messe under the direction of Herbert Traxler.
Obituary at Jefferson Funeral Chapel
PETER M. SCHROEDER
We mourn the tragic and sudden death of Peter "Pete" Schroeder who died in a serious
traffic accident on Saturday, September 5, 2015. He was 59. He and his wife Mary
were hit in a front end collision about 16 miles from their home when a pick-up truck
crossed the median and slammed into their vehicle. Sadly, Peter did not survive.
Mary suffered serious injuries and was transported by helicopter to the Medstar
trauma center in Washington, DC.
Peter and Mary, as well as Peter's parents Paula and Fred Schroeder, have been
dedicated members of the Washington Saengerbund and the Concord Club for many years. It is with
great sadness that we extend our deepest sympathy to the family.
The viewing will be on Thursday September 17
between 5:00 and 8:00 pm at Lee Funeral Home, 8200 Jennifer Lane, Owings, MD 20736, phone 301-855-0888.
The Washington Saengerbund will sing at 7:00 pm Schubert's Sanctus and Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh.
The Funeral and Burial is on Friday, September 25 at 12:30 pm at
Jesus the Good Shepherd Church,
1601 W Mt. Harmony Road, Owings, MD 20736.
SIEGFRIED K. ROGALL
We have received word that Siegfried Rogall passed away on March 30, 2015.
He sang in the chorus in the early 1960s, and later remained a member of the Washington Saengerbund. He and his wife Rose
have in recent years helped at Saengerbund events.
Our sincere condolences go to Rose and the family.
An obituary appeared in the Washington Post on Thursday, April 9, saying that
‘Siegfried Karl Rogall was preceded in death by his first wife Waltraud Rogall’.
Visitation Saturday April 11, 2015 from 1 p.m. until funeral time at 3 p.m. at
Advent Funeral and Cremation Services, 7211 Lee Highway, Falls Church, VA 22046 where the Washington Saengerbund is going to sing.
NANCY P. PIERCE
We have received word that Nancy Pierce quietly passed away on January 5, 2015
at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville, Maryland.
We mourn the passing of Nancy and extend our sincere condolences to daughter Marie and the family.
Nancy, together with her late husband Frank Pierce, was a longtime member of
the Saengerbund not only as an active singer but she also at times served on
the board of directors back in the 1980s. The Washington Saengerbund History
book published around the 125th anniversary of the Saengerbund was authored
by Frank with the help of extensive research done by Nancy. Together they
were able to create an interesting picture of past Saengerbund history by
finding, contacting and interviewing descendants of earlier members.
Nancy herself spent many days at the Library of Congress reading old newspaper
stories, with their son Frank IV (always called Hutch) doing translations of
German publications. In recognition of her research in German-American history she was honored
in October 1989 by the Embassy of Germany with the ‘Bundesverdienstkreuz am Bande’
(Federal Cross of Merit).
An out-of-town burial service was held in Princess Anne on Friday, Feb. 6.
During a local Mass on Saturday, March 7 in memory of Nancy at St. John the Baptist Church,
12319 New Hampshire Avenue Northeast, Silver Spring, MD 20904 (301-622-1122)
the Saengerbund sang from Schubert's Deutsche Messe "Introid" and "Sanctus".
We have been notified that Marie Kador passed away on December 28, 2014 at
the age of 91. She was the mother of Peter Kador, who is Ehrenpräsident and
a former president of the Washington Sängerbund before moving to Omaha, NE.
Marie was a non-singing member of the Washington Sängerbund.
Our sincere condolences to the Kador family.
GRETEL ELISABETH DAHNCKE
We are mourning the unexpected death of our singer Gretel Dahncke
who passed away on Thursday evening October 9, 2014. She had been
taken to the hospital
where she was diagnosed with cancer of the liver.
Gretel had been a singing member since 1997, and in recent years
served on the board
of directors as financial secretary. Until only a few weeks ago she
in all Sängerbund events. She loved to sing so much that she
organized popular sing-alongs at the club house
for members and guests, always laughing and enjoying life.
A memorial service was held on Sunday, October 19, 2014 - 2:00
to 3:30pm at the
United Church, 20th and G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006. The
"Im schönsten Wiesengrunde", "Frisch gesungen", and "Ave
There was a reception after the service at the Concord Club (above
the Old Europe Restaurant).
Our sincere condolences to Gretel's family on the loss of their dear
mother and Omi.
MANFRED 'FRED' LEINEMANN
We are in deep sorrow about the sudden death of our member, retired
singer and good friend
Manfred Leinemann. He was tragically killed on Saturday, August 30,
in a freak accident at the home of one of their sons
in Woodbine, MD when a large tree suddenly broke off and struck him
causing fatal injuries. He was 76.
Manfred and his wife Elisabeth joined the Saengerbund in 1968, and
were active singers for many years.
They lived in Landover, MD at the time, and retired from singing
when they eventually moved to Annapolis, MD.
The funeral service will be on Friday, September 5, 2014 at the
George P. Kalas Funeral Home, 2973 Solomons Island Road, Edgewater,
Funeral Home Phone: 410-956-4488.
Visitation hours on Friday are from 4 pm to 7 pm,
with a service at 7pm where the Saengerbund is going to sing
"Wanderers Nachtlied", "So nimm denn meine Hände",
Our sincere condolences to Elisabeth on the loss of her dear
husband, and to the family.
You may see the
obituary for Manfred at the George P. Kalas Funeral Home website.
JULIENNE 'JULIE' SCHNABL
We are very sorry to report that Julienne "Julie" Schnabl, wife of
Sepp Schnabl, passed away on Tuesday afternoon, April 8, 2014. She
had a severe case of pneumonia which the doctors thought they had
under control. But the pneumonia returned and caused further serious
Julie was an outstanding supporter of the Concord Club and the
Saengerbund for many years and she was a personal friend to many of
us. She will be greatly missed.
Our deep sympathy goes to Sepp and his family on the loss of his
The funeral service for Julie will be on Tuesday, April 22 at 2pm at
St. Leo the Great Catholic Church, 3700 Old Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA.
Directly following will be a reception at Stacy C. Sherwood
Community Center, 3740 Old Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA, which is about a
block from the church; the Sängerbund is going to sing at the
We have received word that Dagobert Ruetten passed away peacefully
on Friday morning, April 4, 2014 at about 3am. He was 83. Dagobert
had been suffering from Alzheimers, and was just recently diagnosed
with terminal throat cancer.
Dagobert, and his wife Anita, have been members of the Washington
Sängerbund for many years, both, as singers and later as non-
singing members after they moved to Elizabeth City, NC. They always
were dedicated members ready to help at the many Saengerbund
functions. In his professional career, Dagobert was a first rate
stone mason. His specialty was not just putting stone upon stone but
he made it an art to create appealing structures - like a true
craftsman. He also loved to take care of his manicured flower
Our sincere condolences go to Anita and the family.
The funeral will be on Friday, April 11 at 2pm at Holy Family
Catholic Church in Elizabeth City, NC.
ANNA M. KOLB
We have been informed by the family that our former singer Anna Kolb
has passed away on Wednesday March 12, 2014. Anna joined the
Saengerbund in 1974 and sang with the ladies until she decided to
retire from singing. She did, however, continue to be active, and was
helpful with club activities such as often selling tickets for
Sängerbund functions. For her tireless efforts she had been
awarded the Sängerbund Ehrennadel. Her late husband
Patrick Kolb was also a member and served as the club‘s
Treasurer for several years.
Her daughter Annemarie has notified us that friends and family are
welcome to come and say goodbye at Robert A. Pumphrey Funeral Home,
300 W. Montgomery Avenue, Rockville, MD 20850, on Sunday, March 16,
2014 from 3:00 to 5:00pm, or 7:00 to 9:00pm. The Sängerbund is
going to attend the second viewing where we will offer to sing
Schubert's SANCTUS; Herb Traxler has graciously agreed to conduct.
JOHN J. O'MALLEY
We have received word that our former singer and good friend John
O'Malley has passed away on Thursday, February 27, 2014. He died
peacefully at home at the age of 89. He had wished to reach his 90th
birthday this coming September but it was not to be.
John joined the Sängerbund in 1985 when he came to Washington,
DC. His love for the German language brought him to the
Sängerbund and he continued to be an active singer until he and
his wife Grace moved to Fredericksburg, Texas at the end of 1993
where he then sang with the Fredericksburg Männerchor. He had
immersed himself into the Sängerbund family and stayed in touch
by sending letters and emails, usually with his own German vocabulary
and very often humorous and lighthearted.
As a US veteran it is his wish to be buried at Arlington cemetery.
His body will come to DeVol Funeral Home on Wisconsin Ave when
funeral arrangements have been made. The funeral at Arlington
National Cemetery will be on April 1 at 1pm.
Dr. DEAN H. MARTIN
We are very sad about the passing of our good friend and fellow
singer Dean Martin. He died at his home on February 7, 2014 at the
age of 88.
He was known in the Saengerbund as “Dr. Dean” when he joined after
his retirement from a long career as a medical doctor. One of his
former nurses as well as one of his patients were members of the
Saengerbund and encouraged him to attend rehearsals. He found
camaraderie and became a dear friend of all with his quiet and
pleasant personality. Always ready to tell a funny story from his
professional career and his time in the military service made him
good company to be around. Despite failing health he remained a
dedicated bass until his final days.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, February 14 at 2 p.m. at
Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church on Nebraska Avenue NW,
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the American Heart
Association or the charity of your choice. The Washington Saengerbund
is going to sing at the service.
JOHN F. HEATH
We are saddened to announce the passing of John F. Heath on April
21, 2013 at the age of 84, husband of Evelyn "Schatze" Heath who has
been a member since early childhood when her parents Alois and
Gertrud Graef introduced her to the Saengerbund. She later sang in
the alto section for many years. Together with Schatze, John attended
Saengerbund concerts and other events, and was always ready to lend a
helping hand. We are very grateful.
The following obituary appeared in the Washington Post on April 25,
Loving husband of 57 years to Evelyn B. Heath; beloved father of
four children, adored by seven grandchildren and survived by one
sister. Born in Proctor, MN on October 4, 1928, and at 14 moved to
California. He graduated from Loyola University and Georgetown
Medical School. He entered the Navy and became a distinguished
Psychiatrist where he practiced in Fairfax and Prince William
Counties until the age of 81. He co-founded the DC Masters Swimming
Program and dedicated his life to helping others. A Life Celebration
is planned for Friday, April 26, 6 p.m. at Lutheran Church of the
Redeemer, McLean, VA. Reception to follow. In lieu of flowers,
donations can be made to the American Heart Association.
ERIC B. MILLER
The conductor and musical director of the Washington
Dr. Eric B. Miller suddenly passed away on Thursday, February 28,
According to his wife Barbara he suffered a fatal heart attack at
Dr. Miller had accepted the directorship of the Sängerbund in
January 2011 and led the chorus for all the annual concerts and
musical presentations. He put his whole energy into teaching and
conducting. He was also the conductor of the Arion Gesangverein of
Baltimore for more than 30 years.
During his career he had achieved many academic accomplishments,
including studies at Peabody Conservatory, American University,
Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, and doctoral studies at
UMBC in musicology.
He was buried in a private ceremony.
We mourn the passing of Walter Burkardsmaier.
He died peacefully on February 23, 2013 in Saarbrücken, Germany
at the age of 79. He had suffered a brain hemorrhage.
Walter was a very active member of the Washington Sängerbund
for more than 50 years. He sang in the bass section while he was an
Among his many contributions as a professional graphics artist he
was instrumental in designing and supervising the renovation of the
Concord Club rooms in the 1970s. Later he also developed the plans
for renovating the outside of the Concord Club building.
After retirement he and his wife Erika decided to spend their time
in Leesburg, Virginia and Saarbrücken, Germany to be close to
their daughters Karen and Annette, and their grandchildren. Whenever
they came for a visit to Leesburg they made a point of meeting their
many friends in the Sängerbund.
There won't be a funeral in Germany. The family will celebrate
Walter's life in the US this Spring with his friends, family, and his
WSB family. That's what he would have wanted.
CHARLOTTE L. BEERS
It is with regret that we must announce the passing of Charlotte
Beers. She died on September 17, 2012 at the age of 92. She was one
of our long-time members who joined the Saengerbund in 1976; she sang
in the 1st Sopran section. She was also known to show up at our
masquerade balls with the most ingenious and funny costumes. When she
was no longer able to participate as a singer she continued to
regularly attend the Saengerbund concerts.
Charlotte originated from Berlin, Germany and showed her Berliner
spirit wherever she went. As she said at one of the concerts: "Tears
come to my eyes when you all sing "Das ist die Berliner Luft! So mit
ihrem holden Duft!". We shall miss her smiles and her fun loving
The services are private. A reception remembering Charlotte will be
held on Saturday, September 29, 2012 from 4 to 6 pm at Chez Andree
Restaurant, 10 East Glebe Road, Alexandria, VA (the intersection of
East Glebe and Commonwealth). Unfortunately, this date conflicts with
the Saengerbund's participation at the Oktoberfest in Lovettsville,
Va. That committment was made months ago and for that reason we, as a
club, won't be able to sing for her as is our tradition. We sincerely
regret this conflict and are asking members who are not working on
that Saturday to drop by at Chez Andree to pay their respects to
KARL W. ZIMMET
It is with sadness to report that Karl Zimmet passed away on January
9, 2012 after a battle with bladder cancer. Karl and his wife Hilde
joined the Sängerbund in 1977 and were active singers until
health forced them to become inactive. Karl was a loyal singer and,
for a time, served as music chair. He was always available to help
out on any project or activity in which the club was involved.
The Sängerbund will honor Karl at a memorial service on
February 4, 2012 at 11:00am in the New Apostolic Church located at 21
North Quaker Lane at the intersection with Duke Street (Rt. 236) in
MARTIN K. SCHALLER
Our long-time friend and Ehrenmitglied Martin Schaller passed away
on Sunday, November 20, 2011. He had recently undergone gallbladder
surgery and appeared on the way to recovery. Then the situation
worsened and he returned to the hospital where he died on Sunday
As a representative of the government of the District of Columbia
under Mayor Walter Washington, Marty knew of the Sängerbund's
historical significance as one of the oldest organizations in the
city, and also the only remaining German Choral Society. His own
family's connection with German ancestry inspired him to become an
active supporter. While he never was an active singer he still lent
much advice and assistance on many occasions to help organize public
musical and cultural events of the Sängerbund. He and his wife Leni
(Helene) enjoyed many evenings at our Concerts where he frequently
brought greetings from the mayor. He was a wonderful public speaker
and for several years acted as the Master of Ceremonies at our
Masquerade Balls in Fairfax.
For all his contributions over the years Marty had been awarded the
Bundesverdienstkreuz by the German government, and he became an
Honorary Member of the Washington Sängerbund.
We deeply regret his passing. Our sincere sympathy goes to the
The Family will receive friends on Sunday, November 27, 2011 from 5
to 8pm at Fairfax Memorial Funeral Home, 9902 Braddock Rd., Fairfax,
Va. A funeral service will be held on Monday, November 28, 2011 at
11am at Hope Lutheran Church, 4604 Ravensworth Rd., Annandale,
We are very sad to hear that our good friend Manfred Knoop of
Newark, NJ has passed away on Monday, February 14, 2011, at the age
of only 62 years. He had stomach cancer, his family said. He is
survived by his wife Birgit, and 13-year-old twins Kira and
While Manfred was not a member of the Washington Sängerbund
many of us remember him from Sängerfests and other singing
events, where he appeared with his Sängerchor Newark singers and
often invited us to join in the singing. Most recently he was one of
the two Festdirigenten at the 50th Sängerfest in 2009 here in
Washington, DC, which was sponsored by the Washington
We shall miss this wonderfully good natured and spirited chorus
RUTH DeLONG CHRISTIAN
Ruth Christian slipped quietly into death on Sunday morning,
December 19, 2010. She suffered with Alzheimer’s for several
years and has finally found release. Ruth is survived by her loving
husbund of 50 years, Don. While Don has been an active singer of the
Saengerbund for more than 50 years, Ruth has always provided a
helping hand in the background.
Her ashes will be returned to Nova Scotia and scattered in the
community where she was born.
JAQUELINE “JACKIE” ELLISON
Jackie Ellison passed away on Wednesday, May 5, 2010 as a result of
a tragic car accident. Jackie joined the Sängerbund in 1982 and was
singing in our alto section. In 1988 she became a member of the Board
of Directors and served as Corresponding Secretary. She really
enjoyed being part of the chorus until she had to discontinue her
participation because of an ailment that curtailed her physical
activities. For her own safety she was only allowed to drive short
distances to go shopping or visit in her neighborhood. The accident
happened on May 1 when she went to the grocery store. Our sincere
condolences go to her son Kurt Ellison and family.
The funeral service is scheduled for Friday, May 14 at 2:00pm at St.
John's Episcopal Church, 6701 Wisconsin Ave, Chevy Chase, MD 20813.
The Sängerbund will participate in the service.
Elsie Messina, a long-time member and supporter of the Washington
Sängerbund passed away on Saturday, April 24, 2010.
Elsie was the daughter of Marie and Louis Busse who had been very
active members of the Washington Sängerbund. She grew up
experiencing the family atmosphere of the Sängerbund and
recalled many of the happenings in her early years. Together with her
husband Joe, she raised a family in the area and continued her close
relationship with the Sängerbund. She and her husband Joe became
members and dedicated supporters of the Sängerbund’s many
functions and activities. Elsie eventually served for a number of
years as Recording Secretary, as Treasurer and as Comptroller of the
In 2005, when the Washington Sängerbund was featured in the
July 17 Washington Post nationally syndicated series called
“Flashbacks” by cartoonist Patrick Reynolds, Elsie
donated the funds to purchase the original drawing from the artist;
it is now on display in the Concord clubrooms.
Elsie spent her later years living with her daughter Susan Fleri.
The Sängerbund extends sincere sympathy to the family.
The viewing will be on Thursday, April 29, 2010 from 2 to 4pm and 7
to 9pm at Borgwardt Funeral Home, 4400 Powder Mill Road, Beltsville,
Funeral services on Friday, April 30, 2010 at 10am at
St.Joseph’s Catholic Church, 11007 Montgomery Rd, Beltsville,
MD 20705, followed by burial at Fort Lincoln Cemetery, 3401
Bladensburg Rd, Brentwood, MD
Walter Mueller passed away at his home on Monday, April 12, 2010.
Walter Mueller in 2005 at|
Shirlington rainy Oktoberfest
Walter had joined the Washington Sängerbund in 1952 and was a
faithful member for more than 58 years. He was an active singer in
the bass section until just a few years ago when Alzheimer's disease
prevented him from attending the weekly rehearsals which he enjoyed
so much. Over the years he became one of the most active members
offering his help whenever help was needed. He is remembered for
working long hours on weekends of the Sängerbund’s annual
Oktoberfest. At Sängerbund partys he would bring along his
accordion which, with a grin on his face, he called his
“squeeze box” to strike up a tune for sing-along. He
served on the board of directors in various capacities and for years,
with the help of his wife Renate, was the editor of the newsletter
“Quarternotes”, which was published every three months
with Walter’s words of wisdom and funny lines. He received the
Sängerbund’s "Honorary Membership" for his many years of
The funeral services will be on Friday, April 16, 2010 at Ascension
Lutheran Church in Landover Hills, MD. It was Walter’s wish
that the Sängerbund sing “Das Morgenrot” as a final
farewell. May he rest in peace.
Maurice Gress passed away on the afternoon of December 24, 2009.
Carol and Herb Traxler called Maurice and Oksana following the
Christmas Eve service at United Church, where his ilness was
mentioned, to talk and share Christmas wishes. They learned from
Oksana that Maurice had died that very afternoon. Maurice died at
home after a long illness.
The funeral mass will be at 1:30 on Tuesday, December 29 at Saint
Thomas More Catholic Church in Arlington, VA with the burial to
follow at Columbia Gardens cemetery.
ALAN E. LUEHRMANN
Alan Luehrmann passed away on Monday, December 21, 2009. Alan was
one of our very enthusiastic singers in the bass section. Despite
suffering from cancer for many years he came back so many times after
fighting his illness and returned to rehearsals, concerts and
Sängerbund functions. He participated with the Kammerchor when called
on and really enjoyed his knowledge of the German repertoire. We will
miss him as a singer, and also his positive outlook on life and good
Obituary in The Washington Post Dec. 25, 2009:
Alan E. Luehrmann died on Monday, December 21, 2009. Beloved husband
of Phyllis Dobin; devoted father of Naomi Luehrmann (Greg) Madsen and
Owen Luehrmann; dear brother of Carol Painter and David (Joan)
Luehrman; loving grandfather of Olivia and Max. Funeral services will
be held on Sunday, December 27, 2009, 1:30 p.m. at Temple Sinai, 3100
Military Rd. NW, Washington, DC 20015. Interment following at
National Memorial Park, Falls Church, VA. After the interment, the
family will receive relatives and friends at the home of Kenny and
Marsha Dobin. Memorial contributions may be made to the Temple Sinai
Cantor''s Discretionary Fund. Arrangements entrusted to TORCHINSKY
HEBREW FUNERAL HOME.
Passed away on August 23, 2009 at Age 79, as a result of injuries
suffered from a fall in July. He is survived by his wife Gloria, his
daughter Carolyn and her husband Jim, his son Richard W., a sister
Betty and her husband Raymond and many grandchildren and great
grandchildren who adored him. He was a Steamfitter and a member of
Local 602 for over 55 years. He volunteered at the New Carrollton
Public Library and also volunteered over 10,000 hours at Doctors
Community Hospital. He was an avid gardener and loved music, baseball
and beer. He was a lifetime member of the Washington Sängerbund;
after his years as an active singer he continued to volunteer his
help at Oktoberfests. Members of the Washington Sängerbund
visited at Gasch's Funeral Home in Bladensburg, MD on Wednesday,
August 26 and sang Schubert’s
“Sanctus” and “Wanderers Nachtlied” in
memory of Richard.
Our long time member Karin Halusa passed away on Friday, May 22,
2009, after a long illness.
Karin had been a singing member of the Washington Sängerbund
for many years, and recently served on the board of directors.
She had been looking forward to be part of the Sängerfest 2009
in Washington, DC but her illness gradually worsened and
it became apparent that she might not be able to be there. She died
on the opening day of the Saengerfest.
Her husband Gerd is also a member of the Sängerbund.
She was buried on Tuesday, May 26 at Prospect Hill Cemetery in
Members of the Washington Sängerbund attended the burial at
Prospect Hill and sang Schubert’s
“Heilig, heilig, heilig”, “Wanderer’s
Nachtlied”, a canon “Abendstille überall” and
“Hab’ of im Kreise der Lieben” in memory of
ANNE FRANCES MOELLER
Anne Moeller suddenly passed away on Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at
the age of 68 after suffering a severe heart attack. She was a
longtime member and active singer of the Washington Sängerbund,
together with her husband Karl Moeller. Our condolences go out to
Karl and his family. Anne also was the sister-in-law of
Sängerbund members Werner and Margaret Moeller.
Sängerbund members attended a memorial service on Monday, April
27 at Oakdale Emory United Methodist Church in Olney, MD and sang
Schubert's “Heilig, heilig, heilig” and
“Wanderer’s Nachtlied”, and also Silcher's
“So nimm denn meine Hände”.
Lysle Sexton passed away on Sunday, November 23, 2008. He was an
honorary member of the Washington Sängerbund and a long-time member
of the Concord Club.
Over the years his Lysle Sexton Orchestra played at countless
concerts, dances, Oktoberfests and Sängerfests of the German
community and always brought fun and merriment to these functions.
All of us will miss Lysle very much.
The Sängerbund members sang at his funeral on Nov. 30 at DeVol
Funeral Home in Gaithersburg. He was buried on Monday, Dec. 1 with
military honors at Park Lawn Memorial Park.
Our long-time singing member Joe Hammonds passed away on September
The following obituary appeard in the Washington Post:
JOE W. HAMMONDS (Age 66) Of Clearville, PA, previously of Annandale,
VA died Tuesday, September 16, 2008. He was born a son of the late
Colonel and Lily Hammonds. His wife, Barbara survives; along with a
brother, Don Hammonds, a niece, two nephews and two sisters-in-law,
Jeanne Lee Nienhuis of Atlantic Beach, FL and Nancy B. McCarthy, of
Vienna, VA. He was a 1964 graduate of the Virginia Tech with the
corps of cadets, then entering the U.S. Army as a 2nd Lieutenant
stationed in Ansbach, Germany, honorably discharged in 1966. Joe then
worked as a CPA with Price Waterhouse in Alexandria, was a partner
with a small CPA firm, and later trained with the IRS, serving as an
agent, and then worked at the Federal Dept. of Labor, managing the
Federal Black Lung Benefits accounting program until retiring. Joe
was a member and past president of the German American Society of
Bedford County, who enjoyed singing with the Washington Saengerbund,
traveling throughout Germany and the UK, and was a talented
woodworker, guitar and banjo player.
Joe and his wife Barbara joined the Washington Sängerbund
because of their wonderful memories during Joe's army time in
Germany. They both sang with the Sängerbund for many years until
they decided to move to Pennsylvania upon their retirement.
On Friday, February 1, 2008 at Holy Cross Hospital. Irmel had been a
long-time singing member of the Washington Sängerbund where she
met, and married, her husband Peter Fuchs who also became an active
singer of the chorus. Peter passed away in 2007.
On July 7, 2007 at his home in Wheaton, MD. Peter came to Washington
from Germany in 1973. He married Irmel Ellerman, an active singer
with the Washington Sängerbund, and Peter who had been an active
choral singer in Germany, immediately joined the chorus. He loved to
play Skat and also continued his passion of training and competing
for the annual "Deutsches Sportabzeichen", a German award for
FRANK HUTCHES PIERCE III
On December 24, 2006, at his home in Silver Spring, MD. Frank had
been operations manager in the Office of the Chief of Naval
Operations before his retirement. As a student at Salisbury
University, Frank played a saxophone and fronted a band, and was also
a DJ on the local radio station, talents that would later foretell
his long association with the Washington Sängerbund. An
accomplished photographer and writer, Frank published works about
genealogy and history on the Eastern Shore and "A Boy's Eye View of
World War II," and is the author of the indispensable "History of the
Washington Sängerbund". It was his idea in 2005 to suggest the
Washington Sängerbund story to cartoonist Patrick Reynolds, who
made it the subject of his nationally syndicated "Flashbacks" cartoon
published on July 17, 2005, the original of which is on display in
the Concord clubrooms. Up to the time of his passing, Frank had been
writing a weekly column on America for Franz Kadell's newspaper
Volksstimme, in Magdeburg, Germany. (Franz Kadell sang with the WSB
in the early 1980s.) He was cremated and set to rest in the family
plot in Salisbury, Maryland.
Frank is survived by his wife of 54 years. Nancy Seville Pierce of
Silver Spring; two children, Frank Hutches Pierce IV of Silver Spring
and Marie Rundquist of Gaithersburg; and one grandson. Those of us
who were fortunate to know Frank even briefly will always have fond
memories of his warmth and good humor, and his passionate commitment
to the Sängerbund. He will be greatly missed by
ALFRED J. LORENZ (Age 83)
On Saturday, November 4, 2006, at his residence. Beloved husband of
the late Johanna Lorenz; beloved brother of Marianne Walther;
loving father of Helmut (Christine), Angelika, Guenter (Linda) and
James; beloved grandfather of William and Amanda Lorenz.
Friends may call on Friday, at the Lutheran Church of St. Andrew at
the Cardinal McCarrick Center Archdiocese of
Washington at 12247 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD on Friday,
November 10 from 9 a.m. until time of funeral Mass at 10 a.m.
Interment Gate of Heaven Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial
contributions to Washington Sängerbund.
On September 3, 2006, of Falls Church, VA. He is preceded in death
by his first wife, Else Wenzel and daughter, Waltraud Rogall. He is
survived by his wife, Inge Sander Wenzel; one son, Bernhard H.A.
Wenzel; one step-daughter, Ilona S. Savage; two grandchildren, Denise
K. Rogall-Lauman (Joseph C. Lauman) and Kirk S. Rogall (Melissa M.
Rogall); and three great-grandchildren, Curtis Lauman, Kendall
Rogall, and Macie Rogall. A memorial service will be held Tuesday
October 3, 2006, at 12:30 p.m. at NATIONAL FUNERAL HOME, 7482 Lee
Hwy., Falls Church, VA 22042. Private interment at National Memorial
Park Memorial Contributions may be made to Capital Hospice, Attn:
Development Office, 6565 Arlington Blvd, Suite 501Falls Church, VA
Published in The Washington Post on 10/1/2006.
WALKER, DeMELT EUGENE, COL. USAF (Ret.)
On Sunday, July 30, 2006 at his home in Alexandria, VA. Husband of
Marianne S. Walker of Alexandria, VA; father of Louisa Woodward of
Los Angeles, CA, Mark G. Walker of La Plata, MD and Jill M. Reinhart
of Millersville, MD. Also survived by 12 grandchildren and three
great-grandchildren. Funeral services will be held on Friday,
September 1, 2006 at 9 a.m. at Fort Myer Chapel. Interment in
Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. In lieu of
flowers, contributions may be made to Capital Hospice, 6565 Arlington
Blvd., Suite 501, Falls Church, VA 22042. Arrangements by DEMAINE
FUNERAL HOME, 520 S. Washington St., Alexandria, VA.
Published in The Washington Post on
On Thursday, November 10, 2005 at 5:45pm surrounded by family and
close friends. Ed had been a long time singing member of the
Washington Sängerbund and acted as librarian in charge of all
printed music for many years. Viewings were at Everly Wheatley
Funeral Home, 1500 W. Braddock Road in Alexandria on Sunday, November
13, from 2-4 pm and 6-8 pm. The Washington Saengerbund sang at 7:30
pm on Sunday, November 13, at Everly-Wheatley Funeral Home. The
Funeral was held at Del Ray Methodist Church at 100 E. Windsor Ave.
in Alexandria at 1 pm on Monday, November 14, with a graveside
service immediately following at Ivy Hill Cemetery, in Alexandria.
The obituary below ran in the Washington Post on 11/13/2005:
EDWARD "Ed" BUREL SHMITH (Age 59)
After a sudden illness with complications, on Thursday, November 10,
2005. He was a long time resident of Alexandria, VA. He is survived
by two daughters Reba Winstead (George) and Stephanie Smith; two
grandchildren; a large extended family and many caring friends.
Family will receive friends on Sunday, November 13, from 2 to 4 and 6
to 8 p.m. at the EVERLY WHEATLEY FUNERAL HOLME. A funeral service
will be held Monday, November 14, 1 p.m., at Del Ray United Methodist
Church, 100 East Windsor Ave, Alexandria, VA. Interment will follow
at Ivy Hill Cemetery. Contributions may be made in his name to the
Del Ray United Methodist Church.
on Saturday, July 30, 2005. Survivors include her husband, Alfred,
and their children Angelika, Helmut, Guenter, and James,
and their families and the grandchildren. We all will miss our
longtime singer with the Washington Sängerbund.
At the funeral service on Saturday, August 6, 2005, 9:30am at St.
Ann's Catholic Church at Wisconsin and Nebraska Avenues, NW the
Washington Sängerbund sang music from Schubert's Deutsche
Messe. Following the service was burial at Gate of
Heaven Cemetery, 13801 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD.
Following the burial, friends and guests gathered in Johanna's
memory at the Concord Clubhouse, above the Old Europe Restaurant,
2434 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Washington. According to Christine
Hambach, Angelika likes the idea of honoring her "Mutti" with coffee
and cake. Angelika said, "Mom would say - Kaffee und Kuchen,
vonderful !" Members of the Washington Sängerbund and the Concord
Club brought food.
NANCY TODD BRES MULENEX
May 25, 1951 — July 15, 2004
This notice appeared in The Washington Post on 7/18/2004:
Nancy Todd Mulenex (nee Bres), 53
On Thursday, July 15, 2004, of Alexandria, VA. Daughter of the late
COL Edward S. Bres, Jr., USA (Ret.) and Frances Griffin Bres; sister
of Edward S. Bres, III and his wife Susan of Arlington, VA, John P.
Bres and his wife Lori of San Antonio, TX and Robert A. Bres of San
Antonio, TX; niece of Elizabeth Bres Robbins and her husband Dr. Gwin
Robbins of Tennessee and Nancy DuBois and her husband Fran DuBois of
California. She also leaves her nephew, Daniel; her niece, Emily and
six cousins. Family will be receiving friends at the Murphy Funeral
Home of Arlington, 4510 Wilson Blvd., on Saturday, July 24 from 4 to
6 p.m. Memorial service will be held at the All Souls Memorial
Episcopal Church, 2300 Cathedral Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20008 on
Sunday, July 25 at 3 p.m. A private interment will be held at Rock
Creek Cemetery. The family would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr.
Richard A. Binder for the compassionate care that he has given Nancy
over the past 19 years. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made
in Nancy's name to All Souls Memorial Episcopal Church or Capital
Hospice, P.O. Box 1576, Merrifield, VA 22116.
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