Blanka Hirschler (1915 - 2017)

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Blanka Hirschler passed away peacefully at Providence Hospital in Anchorage, Alaska, on Oct. 19, 2017, nine days after her 102nd birthday.
She was born Blanka Rosalie Krausz in Vienna, Austria, on Oct. 10, 1915, a subject of Emperor Franz Josef. Her parents were Ignatz Krausz, a manufacturer of wrought iron and an officer in the Austrian army in World War I, and Eugenie Roth Krausz. Of Jewish ancestry, she fled Austria after Germany annexed the country in 1938, and found refuge in England. She never saw her parents again, as they were unable to leave Austria; they died either in or en route to a concentration camp in Poland.
In wartime England, she worked as a maid, a nanny and a factory worker. Always bothered by confined spaces, she sat through the bombings of London in her upstairs room rather than going into bomb shelters.
At the end of World War II, she relocated to Colombia, where her brother Ludwig Krausz had previously found refuge. There she met
Wilhelm Felix Hirschler, her brother's business partner and friend who was also from Vienna. In December 1952, the family immigrated to the United States and eventually settled in San Francisco.
During her husband's long illness, she supported the family by working for the Transamerica Company. Wilhelm died on May 25, 1976. She moved to Anchorage, Alaska, in July 1993, living first in her own home in Jewel Lake, then at Chester Park Retirement Community and, for her final five years, in the home of her daughter, Evelyn.
She is survived by her daughters, Rosemarie Hirschler of San Francisco, Calif., and Evelyn Hirschler Dunham of Anchorage; two grandsons, Samuel and Benjamin Dunham, both of Anchorage; two great-granddaughters, Lily Ryan Dunham and Violet Blanka Dunham; son-in-law, Michael Dunham; and granddaughter-in-law, Chelsea Dunham, all of Anchorage. Other surviving family members include niece, Myriam Krausz and her children; and nephew, Michael Krausz and his family, all of Bogota, Colombia; niece, Madeleine Henze and family of Germany; and cousin, Marianne Mates and her children Jack and Sherry Mates, with their families.
Blanka had a zest for life. Family mattered above everything. She especially loved babies and puppies. Our lives will be forever enriched by her love and spirit.
Donations in her name can be made to Friends of Pets or any organization that benefits humanity.
There will be a celebration of life on Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, at 4 p.m., at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 8427 Jewel Lake Road in Anchorage. A reception will follow.
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Kehl's Legacy Funeral Home
11621 Old Seward Highway
Anchorage, AK 99515
(907) 344-1497
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Published in Anchorage Daily News on Oct. 27, 2017