Maude Balke Fenstermaker
December 28, 1916 - April 24, 2013
Maude Balke Fenstermaker was born in Indianapolis the first child of Frank Carl Balke of Indianapolis and Mildred Nulsen of St. Louis, Mo. She lived in Indianapolis all her life, and was of German ancestry on both sides. Her great-grandfather, Frank Fertig, had the first Christmas tree in the city, was given the contract to paint and gold-leaf the dome of the Statehouse for which he hired 100 men and devised the dedication on the war memorial monument on the Circle-"To Indiana's Silent Victors."
Maude attended Shortridge High School which she considered among the best years of her life. She met her future husband, Ward Fenstermaker, her freshman year, and it was love at first sight.
She graduated from Smith College, Northampton, Mass in 1939. A year after graduation, Maude married her long-time sweetheart, Ward Fenstermaker on September 26, 1940. World War II soon started and Ward, who had graduated from Purdue with an engineering degree, worked at Allison's making aircraft engines where he stayed working 7 days a week for the duration of the War.
In 1946 their daughter, Julie was born, and 10 years later a son, David, joined the family. Maude spent most of her married life as a busy housewife and volunteer.
She was a member of the Junior League, Day Nursery Auxiliary, Indianapolis Museum of Art docent program, and Smith College Club. She also volunteered for 7 years as a 2nd grade reading tutor in the public schools and worked for 17 years as a Republican precinct committeeman.
The church played an important role in her life. She belonged to Second Presbyterian Church for more than 60 years, where she was a deacon and active in the Women's Association, and where Ward was an Elder.
Her favorite recreations included the Players Club, golf at Woodstock Country Club, bridge, reading, and travel. Maude was a long time member of the Great Books Club which continued a reading program long after the original one ended.
Walloon Lake, near Petoskey, Michigan played an important part in Maude's life. Her parents met there and 5 generations on both sides of the family continue to spend their summers at this beautiful lake.
She and Ward traveled extensively. They took many trips and cruises around the world including a 60 day cruise around the continent of South America; a trip to Australia and New Zealand; an African Safari; a visit to the Middle and Far East; and a journey to Israel.
The great tragedy of her life was losing her lovely daughter, Julie, at age 15. She is survived by her son, David, Fenstermaker, daughter-in-law, Deane', and three grandchildren, Grace, Raymond, and Sydney, and by 8 nieces, Mary Katherine, Lois, Barbara, Virginia, Susie, Janet, Kris, Holly; and 8 grand-nieces and nephews.
Maude's funeral service will be held at Second Presbyterian Church on May 15th at 10:00 a.m., followed then by a visitation for family and friends. Leppert Mortuary, Nora Chapel , has been assisting the family during their loss.
Memorial gifts may be made to Second Presbyterian Church or the Walloon Lake Trust and Conservancy.