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Gertrud Relle

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Gertrud Relle Obituary
Relle Gertrud Relle, 93, passed away on Wednesday, March 20, 2013, at her home. Also known as Trudi, she was born in Karlsruhe, a region of Baden-Baden Germany on December 2, 1919, to Eugen and Else Tubach. She is preceded in death by her husband Ferenc M. Relle and brother Artur Tubach. Trudi was educated in vocal music and theater arts. Upon completion of her examinations, she was certified as theater-ready Buehnenreife.) She was employed as an opera singer (coloratura soprano) in the "chorus with solo" at the Mulhausen/Alsace Municipal Theatre/Opera House. She also went to business school and trained as a machine bookkeeper, because her father insisted that in those uncertain times she needed a second profession. After Mulhausen, Trudi lived in Bavaria which became part of the American Zone after the war. Trudi then sang in performances for the American troops - singing a whole new repertoire of songs and doing it in English. She met Ferenc, a Hungarian, in Landshut where they were married in 1946. Their son, Ferenc Jr., was born in Landshut. Later, as Displaced Persons (DP's) in Munich, they stayed in a DP camp of 12,000 people. Trudi, Ferenc and their son were sponsored to the United States by Brookwood Presbyterian Church (Columbus, OH) through Church World Services. With a group of orphans in their care, they arrived at Ellis Island on November 14, 1951 aboard the transport ship, the USNS General C.C. Ballou. After leaving Ellis Island, the orphans were taken to their sponsors and Trudi and her family were put on the train to Columbus where they were met by Rev. and Mrs. Keith Conning. They became members of Brookwood Presbyterian Church, joined the Young Couples Club and served in many capacities throughout their 62 year membership. They led Brookwood's effort to sponsor six more people to the U.S., some of whom were Hungarians from the 1956 Revolution. On December 14, 1956, Gertrud took the Oath of Allegiance and proudly became a citizen of the United States of America. Trudi sang for many functions and with various groups such as the Germania Trio, the Columbus Damenchor, and Vaudvillities. She was a charter member of the Columbus Symphony Chorus. For many years, Trudi sang the Star Spangled Banner for the opening of the Central Ohio United Nations Festival (now known as the International Festival). For 56 years, Trudi continued to sing with the Damenchor of the Columbus Maennerchor, who are scheduled to perform during the Friday evening visitation hours. Trudi had been a lifeguard on the Rhine River in her youth, and continued to swim for exercise. For over 45 years, she tended several large vegetable plots and gardens of flowers. She was a long time member of Civitan, an international service organization, and travelled with Ferenc throughout the U.S. and parts of the world for Civitan functions. She volunteered for Special Olympics held at the local, state and international levels. She enjoyed playing board and card games with her family. On October 9, 2010, Gertrud and Ferenc celebrated their 64th anniversary and Ferenc passed away the next day; ironically on the same day Trudi's father died in 1946. Also, Gertrud passed away the day after her oldest son celebrated his 66th birthday on March 19, 2013. Gertrud is survived by children, Ferenc Matyas (Candace) Relle Jr. of Wooster, OH, Ava (Mike) Gegenheimer of Upper Arlington, OH, and Dr. Attila Tibor (Kim) Relle, also of Upper Arlington; grandchildren, Monica (Amos) Wright of Bath, ME, Dr. Ferenc Nicholas (Rachel) Relle of Wooster, Anneliese Gegenheimer of Chicago, Gabriella and Brigitta Gegenheimer and Ilona Relle, all of Upper Arlington; great-grandchildren, Declan and Frida Wright; Kalie, Calen, and Emmett Relle; her sister, Eugenie Carr of Tempe AZ; sisters-in-law, Eva Relle of Gyor, Hungary and Anne Relle of Cary, NC; niece, Maureen Schandert; nephews, Brian and Paul Relle; cousins, Angelika Palm and Werner Schlag of Bonn, Germany; and a host of other family and friends in Germany and Hungary. Family will receive friends on Friday, March 29, 2013, from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at SCHOEDINGER NORTHWEST CHAPEL, 1740 Zollinger Rd., Columbus OH 43221. Funeral service will be on Saturday, March 30, 2013 at 10 a.m. at Brookwood Presbyterian Church, 2685 E. Livingston Ave., Columbus, OH 43209, where visitation will be 9-10 a.m. prior to the service. Pastor John Birkner officiating. Interment to follow at Dublin Cemetery. Contributions can be made in Gertrud's memory to Ohio Special Olympics, 3303 Winchester Pike, Columbus, OH 43232. Please visit www.schoedinger.com to send condolences.
Published in The Columbus Dispatch on Mar. 24, 2013
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