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Karin Halusa 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 Washington, DC.
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 Karin.


Anne 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 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.


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 athletic achievements.



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 all.

Alfred Lorenz

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.

Wilhelm Wenzel

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 22042.

Published in The Washington Post on 10/1/2006.


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 8/6/2006.



Ed Smith 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.
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.

Johanna Johanna & Alfred


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.

There was visitation on Thursday, August 4, from 5 to 8 pm at Devol Funeral Home, 2222 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC. The Washington Sängerbund sang music from Schubert's Deutsche Messe at the funeral service on Saturday morning, August 6, 2005, 9:30 am, at St. Anne's Catholic Church at Wisconsin and Nebraska Avenues, NW. Following the service was burial at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, 13801 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20906; Phone (301) 871- 6500. (The cemetery is located north on Georgia Avenue, before Leisure World.)
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.
Johanna's daughter Angelika asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Washington Sängerbund or to Sibley Hospital in Johanna's memory.

Interview with Johanna Lorenz, geb. Hoffman
by Charlie Schwab for the Washington Sängerbund "Quarter Notes"

Most of us have heard of the Yalta Conference and know what Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin agreed to for the structure of post-war Europe. But for Johanna Lorenz Yalta was deeply personal. She and her mother fled their home in Breslau-Neukirch, Schlesien, in January 1945 on a "mother-child" train as the Russian front advanced on them, and struggled through the remainder of the war in Crottendorf/Erzgebirge. In June 1945, they headed home to Breslau. The train took them as far as Dresden, and then they walked to Gorlitz only to find a new border, and it was closed. This was now Poland. It meant that she, along with seven million other Germans, no longer had a home. This could not be. They waited for weeks for a change, but there was to be no change. They were refugees in their own country. In order to survive, they found work helping with the harvest on a big farm, and it was backbreaking work from sunup to sunset. But they received twenty-five cents per hour pay and most importantly food and lodging. And she vividly remembers the Russian soldiers constantly verbally harassing them with rabotti! rabotti! work quick! For the harvest was going to Russia to feed Russians. On this same farm was the Productionsstätte of The Asid Serum Institute, producing serum from horses and snakes. The Russians were very interested in the production of the serum and therefore allowed it to continue. This was to prove lucky for Johanna.

In Breslau, Johanna had attended Catholic grade school and had participated in her Third Reich required year in a Landjahrlager. This service to the Fatherland was mandatory for all Germans before they could obtain employment. Johanna's service was done in Pommern in 1939 when she was 14 years old. If you look at a 1939 map of Germany you will quickly see that she was right in the path of the beginning of the war. She still vividly recalls how frightened she was of the noise of the artillery bombardment, and she was so far from home and her family. After her year in the Landjahrlager Johanna returned to Breslau and remembers very fondly working as an instructor in a sports club there. It was a rare opportunity for a female, but all the men were in the Army; someone had to do it and she was lucky enough to get the job. Johanna also apprenticed in an office in Breslau as a bookkeeper, and had worked for almost five years in the office of Germany's biggest men's clothing factory (which operated 24 hours a day because of the "total war") at that time producing only a modest quantity of men's and boys clothing and nearly 80% military uniforms, mostly for the Air Force and the Africa Corps.

Back to the lucky break for Johanna at The Asid Serum Institute. Because of her background and acquired skills Johanna was rewarded by being selected to replace a secretary who had to leave due to illness. And her mother became the cook in the work kitchen. So life although not good, was better.

Johanna's only brother had been killed on the Russian front and her father was wounded there. She still remembers her father always telling her "Maedel, das Leben ist ein Kampf." How right he was. After the war Johanna and her mother were finally reunited with her father through his efforts with the Red Cross.

But Johanna must have had time to write some personal letters too. During the war, German citizens were encouraged to write letters to those serving. Johanna and some of her friends took up the challenge, and she posted her letter to einen unbekannten Soldat. That soldier was Alfred Lorenz and after some further correspondence and finally meeting, they were married on August 9, 1947 in Rosslau-Elbe, DDR. (We all recognize Alfred as one of the most dedicated non-singers in the Washington Saengerbund. No matter what the event, if Johanna is singing, Alfred is there, not only to listen & support his wife, but also to help in any and every way possible.)

After becoming Frau Lorenz, Johanna and Alfred moved to Wilhelmshaven, FRG. In December 1949, a son Helmut was born, in January 1952 Angelika was born, and Guenter was born in June 1953. In 1951 Johanna's mother came to live with them upon the death of her father. Johanna, at that time was working at the Olympia Typewriter Company, so it was a big help to have her mother there to assist with the children.

January 1956 was the beginning of a new life in a new country as the Lorenz family left Germany aboard the "SS America" for Washington, DC where a sister-in-law lived. And it wasn't easy. Alfred worked long hours plus overtime as a night chef at the Shoreham Hotel. Johanna has worked for Woodward and Lothrop, and Sears, been a bookkeeper at a Doctors office, and a bookkeeper with A1 Cabling and Consulting. Despite the hardships and obstacles, they worked hard and persevered and in 1959 were able to achieve the American dream and buy their own home, where they still reside.

In 1965 another son, James, was born. James, who is afflicted with Downs Syndrome, lived at home for 24 years before moving to a house in West Virginia with two other challenged persons. We all have fond memories of James' presence at our functions, and who can forget his always-wonderful smile and enthusiastic support of his mother and sister. The other three children are all still in the DC area. Angelika sings with the Sängerbund, and Johanna and Alfred have two Grandchildren.

Johanna joined the Sängerbund in 1966 and has been an active singer ever since, serving many times as alto Stimmführer. She also has been the Sängerbund Entertainment Chairman and has served as Treasurer and Financial Secretary of the Concord Club. She has sung with St.Ann's Choir, The Washington Civic Opera Association Choir, and the Welcome to Washington Choir. Other than singing Johanna enjoys dancing, swimming, sports, reading and she says "I love food - period!"

This past year has been a difficult one for Johanna, but we are in awe of her determination, openness, enthusiasm, and energy, and encouraged by her remarkable progress. She adds a wonderfully vibrant spirit to the Sängerbund. We salute her and wish her all the very very best.


Nancy Mulinex

Renate Sass

Hilde Zimmet

Erich Schmidt

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