Fritzi Walkey Klopfenstein, 98
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Fritzi Walkey Klopfenstein, age 98 passed away on Monday, December 16, 2013 at Churchman Village retirement home in Newark, DE.
The daughter of Dr. Fred L. Walkey and Mable Kintzley Walkey, she was born on Groundhog Day, February 2, 1915 in West Lafayette, Indiana. Fritzi was a 1937 graduate of Purdue University. She enrolled in veterinary school, but switched to biology and botany because, in those days, women were not permitted in veterinarian school. While at Purdue, she sang on her own Indiana radio show and on the weekends with various Big Ten dance bands. She was initiated into Kappa Alpha Theta, Purdue University in 1934, and the P.E.O. Sisterhood in 1937. During her senior year, she met and talked many times with Amelia Earhart. Earhart stayed in her sorority house and taught a course, "Careers For Women". Her Lockheed plane trip was financed by Purdue.
After college graduation, she married another Purdue graduate, Bob Klopfenstein, a young chemical engineer. For their honeymoon, they rode in an open rumble seat of a car from Indiana to New York City for the weekend. Two days later, it was back in the rumble seat for the return to Indiana. During World War II, they lived in Silver Spring, MD, where her husband was assigned to the Johns Hopkins Advanced Physics Lab and the Pentagon. Following World War II, they lived in Cleveland, OH, Weston, CT, then retired to Bradenton, FL. Most recently, she lived at Jenner's Pond and Churchman Village retirement communities.
Fritzi was a dedicated naturalist and nationally recognized as a nature and wildlife artist. In 1950, she received a degree in Museum Science. She was an author and illustrator for the Cleveland Metropolitan Parks and the United States National Park system in Washington, DC. She was a founder of the Nature Center for Environmental Activities, Westport, CT. While in Ohio, she initiated the term "Emerald Necklace" for the metropolitan park system ringing Cleveland. This term is still used today when describing the parks around Cleveland. Her art work can be seen in private museum collections and in exhibits, brochures and nature guides along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Roanoke, VA, Cape Cod National Seashore, MA and Hopewell Village, PA. She also has exhibits in the Museum of Natural History, NYC.
Fritzi was a gourmet cook, studying under Julia Child and winning many cooking awards. She was also a former member of the Ohio Park Executives, National Park Executives, National Pastel Society, National Herb Society and National Rose Society.
Prior to her death, Fritzi was a six year resident of Churchman Village retirement home in Newark, DE. The family wishes to thank the staff of Churchman Village for the wonderful care they gave her during the last years of her life.
Fritzi was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years. She is survived by her three sons, Robert D. Klopfenstein and wife, Moonyeen of Wilmington, DE, John F. Klopfenstein and wife, JoAnne of Newtown, CT and Tom S. Klopfenstein of Colorodo Springs, CO; her daughter, Nancy L. Culton and husband, Gary of Port Orange, FL; her six grandchildren and her six great grandchildren.
The family will receive visitors at the Doherty Funeral Home, 3200 Limestone Road, Pike Creek, Wilmington, DE on Monday, December 23 from 4:00-6:00PM.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions be sent to P.E.O. Sisterhood Chapter A, c/o Jo Elsman, 4830 Kennett Pike, #2505, Wilmington, DE 19807 or Churchman Village, c/o Dean Reid, 4949 Ogletown-Stanton Road, Newark, DE 19713.
Doherty Funeral Homes - Pike Creek
3200 Limestone Road Wilmington, DE 19808
Published in the Journal & Courier on Dec. 19, 2013