Walburga Hoffmann, née Wuchenauer, was born September 17, 1935, in Lindau im Bodensee, Germany. She was raised in a rural, agricultural area of southern Germany, the oldest of 6 children. She was preceded in death by her husband of 45 years – Herbert, her father – Balthasar Wuchenauer, her mother – Walburga Langen, 3 brothers - Karl, Klaus, Hans and 1 sister - Eva. She is survived by her brother – Lorenz, son – Robert, daughter-in-law – Mary Ellen and grandchildren – William and Catherine.
As a teenager, following completion of an internship as a men’s tailor, and reaching the legal age of 18 (her father would not provide his approval of her leaving Germany sooner), she emigrated to Montreal, Canada where she found work as a domestic and nanny with the Meier family. She learned French and English while helping her wards with their homework, daily. She met her future husband, Herbert, at a dance for German Ex-Pats living in Montreal. A few years and numerous dances later, Walburga agreed to follow Herbert to New York City and worked in the garment district applying her tailoring skills. The loving couple married a few days after Walburga reached NYC. She remained in NYC for the next 57 years, an initial year in a Bronx apartment followed by 50+ years in their home, in Queens. Walburga became a loving mother in 1964 with the birth of her only child, her son Robert. She loved the beaches on the North Shore of Long Island, NY and the Hoffmann family spent hundreds of Sundays on the sand of Sunken Meadow State Park.
Walburga was a life-long loving wife and mother. She was most proud of being a beloved Oma at the birth of her grandchildren. The successes of her grandson, William and her granddaughter Catherine were her successes also and she celebrated each one as only a loving Oma can. In later years she became the steadfast primary caretaker for her husband, when he was diagnosed and struggled with the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease, until his death in 2006.
Living independently, Walburga continued to explore the various attractions and activities available in the NYC area and became expert at traveling throughout the city using the extensive bus, subway, and ferry systems of the 5 boroughs. She especially enjoyed days walking through the botanical gardens, zoos, and innumerable museums alone or with her best friends. Walburga had a unique and quirky ability to find four-leaf clovers in any clover field. A simple stroll through a field would often effortlessly result in several four-leaf clovers being brought home as trophies.
In 2016, deciding to live closer to her son and his family, Walburga left NYC for Aberdeen. She happily resided at the Garden Suites Assisted Living facility located behind Monroe Regional hospital where she built friendships with staff and residents alike. Walburga found enjoyment in watching television in her room (especially Western marathons on the weekends), reading books and magazines, embroidering gifts for friends, and completing innumerable crossword puzzles, in German. She was well known in Garden Suites for her collection of German Oktoberfest music and her enjoyment of all varieties of herbal teas.
Although a fearless traveler and urban adventurer, Walburga found comfort in the roots of home. Even at the age of 87, she continued to consider Germany “home”. Walburga was exceedingly generous with her experiences, wisdom, and treasure. She was grateful for the blessings the Lord bestowed upon her and shared them with friends and strangers alike. She enjoyed Aberdeen and all it has to offer. She loved all types of gardens; enjoyed being driven around town to see the various flowers, blooming trees and shrubs that exploded from early Spring through Autumn and listened to the early morning birds outside of her window. Walburga was especially taken with the variety of colors displayed by the crepe myrtles and the size and beauty of the magnolia blooms. She marveled at the tenacious banana plant, behind the hospital, which seemed to miraculously return each spring. In winter, when the gardens slept, she always commented on the beautiful Christmas light displays on Commerce Street.
Walburga would at times speak of the past but was always far more interested in discussing the goals of the future and how she would play a role in them. She always inspired the best in her family and friends, and her memory will be treasured forever.
The Hoffmann family gratefully thanks the staff at Garden Suites Assisted Living with special thanks to Ms. Cindy Beasley. Cindy and her staff provided exceptional care and attention to “Miss Wally” over the years, and she often spoke of how she loved them.
A private family service will be held.