Anneliese Hoelker of Wellesley, Massachusetts, died on February 25, 2013, six weeks shy of her 87th birthday. A former resident of Huntsville, Alabama, Mrs. Hoelker was born on the Baltic Sea. She married Dr. Rudolf Hoelker, a mathematician, physicist, and rocket scientist, who was living in the area while working on the team of Dr. Wernher von Braun.
The Guest Book is expired.
Dr. Hoelker was relocated to the United States as a member of the "rocket team" that would later found NASA. Mrs. Hoelker joined him in the U.S., leaving her family behind and traveling to the unfamiliar landscape of Fort Bliss, Texas. The Hoelkers drew on each other's strength as they and the other immigrant scientists struggled to assimilate in the American South.
As a couple, they shared and nourished a mutual interest in the humanities, social justice and respect for all living creatures. Dr. Hoelker tutored Mrs. Hoelker in English, and they read Shakespeare, Homer, and Goethe together. Having been deprived of a complete education by the war, Mrs. Hoelker continued throughout her life to educate herself-learning languages, literature, and history in her spare time. The pair shared a strong interest in art song and would often sing and accompany each other. Both played the violin as well and were members of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra along with their only daughter, Melanie.
The family moved to Wellesley in 1965, where Mrs. Hoelker began working as the decorator for Wulf Larsen Antique Restoration, Upholstery, and Decorating the following year. She eventually became the owner of the business, accumulating a large base of long-term customers, many of whom became life-long friends.
At home, Mrs. Hoelker was an avid gardener, creating beautiful outdoor spaces at her home in Huntsville and later in Wellesley. She wrote of her garden as "her paradise," and it has always been a source of great joy and solace for her family, especially her late husband. As she nurtured her garden, she also nurtured those around her. Her daughter remembers her as "the kind of mother that every child should have." As a grandmother, Mrs. Hoelker would happily squeeze into the linen closet with a flashlight to play with her grandson. Fiercely protective, generous to a fault, ever-optimistic, and deeply committed to her family, she had a faith in people and in life that touched everyone around her.
Mrs. Hoelker is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Melanie and Paul Milde, as well as her only grandson, Christian.
A celebration of her life was held at the Milde residence on Saturday, March 9, from 2-5pm. Details are available from the Duckett-J. S. Waterman & Sons Funeral Home (978) 443-5777 or by calling the family at (781) 235-0713. The funeral service was private.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Mrs. Hoelker's name to the Hospice of the Good Shepherd through their website, hospicegoodshepherd.org.
For additional information, tributes and guest book, please visit www.duckett-waterman.com.
Published in The Wellesley Townsman from Mar. 14 to Mar. 20, 2013