Waltraud Traude Grossmann Quinn,our beloved mother, Wally, passed away Tuesday, July 26, due to complications from a long illness at age 80. She was born on December 13, 1930, in Guhlau, Germany, which is now Glogau, Poland. Guhlau was part of German territory until 1945. Her long career in nursing began when she was a teenager, being forced into it by the German Army. When the Soviet Red Army besieged Glogau for six weeks, she was found hiding in the basement of a church and sent off to an internment camp outside Kiev, Russia, where she still served as a nurse. Her mother, Rosa, with the help of the Red Cross, was able to get her released and reunited with the family, which had to flee their home in Glogau because the Soviets had destroyed 95% of the town, which to this day hasnt been totally rebuilt.
She finished her schooling upon her return with her family in Leipzig, Germany.
Wally wanted very much to leave Germany and after much ado, which is still unclear to this day, she got herself to London, England, in 1950, working as a housemaid for a Dr. Bateman who quickly recognized her nursing skills and got her into nursing school at University College Hospital in London, England. She trained in the tropical diseases unit and worked in the elderly ward.
In August 1953, during a holiday trip to visit a sister living in Bremen, Germany, our mother met our father, Jack, on the ferry crossing the English Channel. He was traveling back to Bremerhaven, Germany, where he was stationed in the military after a furlough in Ireland visiting family. They corresponded for several years.
In June of 1955, our father, Jack, with the aid of New York Representive, 36 District John Taber and some advice from his brother-in-law Jim Collier was able get Wally to the United States. They were married on Nov 5, 1955, at St. Marys Church Cortland, NY. She was naturalized as a US citizen on December 9, 1963.
Wally was first employed by Smith-Corona as a nurse until the birth of her first child, Karen, in January 1957. She continued as a mother and housewife through the births of the following two children, Maureen and John.
She resumed her nursing career in 1973, working at the Cortland Nursing Home putting in 25 years of service until her retirement in 1998. She focused her entire career of nursing for the elderly because of the sacrifices they made during the war years so that the young may survive through that terrible experience.
Wally enjoyed her grandchildren and great-grandchildren immensely, she liked to knit, played the piano, dancing and doing the polka, kept up with her scrap books and albums, do-it-yourself projects around the house. She spent a great deal of time in her rock garden, tending to her vegetable garden, yard work, loved flowers and birds of all kinds, looking for the needle in Country Magazine, enjoyed reading Birds & Blooms Magazine, listening to Yanni tapes, watching classic movies and ice skating competitions. She also loved to go to Grisamores Farm to pick her own fruits and vegetables, driving the Tops Supermarket manager nuts with her coupons, trips to Andersons Farm Market were still a priority for her despite her ill health.
Wally was predeceased by her late husband, Jack Quinn of Cortland; parents, Ernst & Rosa Grossmann of Potsdam & Aachen Germany respectively; a sister Erica Schnibbe of Bremen Germany; a sister Ursula Gotwalt of Maastrict Holland; Rita Grossmann of Germany; another sister Elizabeth who died at child birth.
She is survived by her three children; Karen Q. Snyder (Jim), Maureen T. Quinn-Schwarz (Jeff) and John M. Quinn Jr. (Terri). Several grandchildren; Jeffrey Betters, Kristina Betters Russell. Christopher Schwarz, Katlin Snyder, two great-grandchildren; Kiera & Kiley Russell. And lastly, the newest addition to our family, her future daughter-in-law Terri L. Rigge whom she deeply adored, loved and appreciated.
Wally is also survived by family across Europe; Edith Speer (Frank) of London. England, Ilse Kraus (Eduard) of Aachen. Germany, Adolf (Ingrid) Grossmann of Aachen. Germay, Dieter (Marrianne) Grossmann of Aachen. Germany, Margot Ezilius of Aachen. Germany and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Also. there are the surviving in-laws: members of the Betsy Ottenschot (Leonard) family of Homer, NY; Patricia Collier (Jim) family of Lake George, NY, and Jim Quinn (Dorothy) family, formerly of Cortland, now residing in Pensacola, FL.
To respect our mothers wishes, there will be no calling hours or funeral. Interment of her ashes will follow a brief burial service at St. Marys Cemetery at 10:00 a.m. Monday, August 1. Friends, loved ones and all who knew her are welcome to attend. All are also welcome to convene afterwards at the Quinns residence at 49 Mildred Ave, Cortland.
Alles hat ein Ende, nur die wurst hat zwei!
Dear Karen, Maureen, John : So very sorry about your Mom. She and your Dad are together forever now. Love, Uncle Jim Q.