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E. Brigitte Lange Page

1924 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
E. Brigitte Lange Page Obituary
E. BRIGITTE LANGE PAGE E. Brigitte Lange Page passed away at home on December 3, 2013. She was born in Berlin, Germany on the 16th of September 1924. Her father was an attorney and her mother was the principal of a school, in addition to teaching mathematics and chemistry. She had a brother, Hermann, 4 years her senior. Her childhood was idyllic until Hitler came to power in 1933. For years, terror reigned on her and her family, since her parents had never felt the need to tell her that her mother was Jewish. Unable to go to college, as the Nazis considered her a "non-person," she entered business school, because her father told her numbers are the same all over the world. She became fluent in several languages, in addition to proficiency in accounting, typing and shorthand. She worked in the Japanese Embassy in Berlin as a translator. After the war, she got a job in the American Embassy in Berlin and in the summer of 1946, she met "crazy" American First Lt. Wilbur (Bill) E. Page (2005) in the 252nd Army Corp of Engineers, in which she was his boss. She came to America September 9, 1947 on a War Bride quota, as the bride of First Lt. Wilbur (Bill) E. Page. In fact, he had to pay five hundred dollars to immigration in case the marriage didn't work out, so she could be "shipped" back to Germany! They lived in upper New York State and she got a job working at General Electric International beating out hundreds of applicants, because of her proficiency in languages and knowledge of shorthand. In 1957, Bill's health required they move to a warmer climate. They chose Banning/Beaumont, as Bill's mother and stepfather lived in Beaumont. After she moved to Banning, Brigitte rarely slowed down. She was co-owner and business manager of Page Auto Exchange/Page Datsun, which she and Bill began in 1957 as a used car dealership, adding Jeep and Datsun (now Nissan) in 1964/1965. They sold the business in 1979. She was involved in American Field Service, as President and other offices 1960-1968; Commissioner of the Riverside Housing Authority 1970-1973; Co-Chairman of Banning's Re-Development Agency Task Force 1972-1973; She served on Banning's City Council from Oct. 23, 1975 (as an appointed replacement to councilman William Anderson, who resigned) and won a four year term to become the first woman Mayor of Banning 1976-1980 and again in 1982-1984; She was also the first woman of the President Riverside County Mayors' and Councilman's Conference 1978-1980; She was the Founding Chairman of the Riverside County Community Action Agency, 1980-1982 and served until 1989. She served on the Banning Repplier Park Assn., as president and other offices from 1974-1986; she served as the director of Riverside Transit Authority, 1980-1984; founder of the San Gorgonio Pass Hospital Foundation, 1982-1990, president 1986-1990 and named board member emeritus 2001-2013; Riverside County National Date Festival, Indio, director 1984-1992; San Gorgonio Child Care Consortium, founder, president 1981-1986, also serving as its fiscal officer from 1981-1996, and was a board member emeritus until closure 2013; United Way Pass Area Committee member 1986-1993; Banning 75th Anniversary Committee member 1988-1989; San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital Corp., board of trustees, treasurer 1990-1999; board member emeritus, board of trustees, San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital Corp. 1999-2013; "Vision 97" Capital Improvement Campaign, Women's Wing at San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital 1997; She assisted the City of Banning to form a non-profit corp. for A.C. Dysart Park Assn. 1999. In addition, she wrote a weekly column in the Record Gazette titled "Brigitte's Korner" for twenty-five years. She also received several honors and awards, just a few including Citizen of the Year, Banning Chamber of Commerce 1969; DAR Americanism Medal for Naturalized Citizen 1974; Mexican American Community Service Award 1976-1977; Outstanding C.A.P. World Women (California-Nevada Community Action Assn.) 1983; Volunteer of the Year, Riverside County 1986; Community Service Award, Anthropol's Women's Club, Banning 1987 and 1994; Bd. Of Supervisors Volunteer Service Award, Riverside County 1988; Woman of the Year, 68th Assembly District, State of California, Assemblyman Clute's District 1988; California Commission on the Status of Women, Riverside County Awardee for Cavalcade of Women 1991; Town and Gown, University of Redlands Honoree for Volunteerism 1992; San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital First Perfect Partner Award 1995; City of Banning's Community Recognition Award 1999; and The City of Banning's First "Ring of Honor" Recipient 2000. Of all Brigitte's contributions and awards, the one closest to her heart and the one she found most rewarding was the Soroptimist Club Federation, an organization of women helping women. She joined in 1959 and had been the Governor of the Pacific Region, Soroptimist International of Americas, Inc. from 1970-1972. In addition, she had been the Director of the Soroptimist Foundation of the Americas (only one in five) from 1984-1988. Through this club she had traveled many roads in many countries, but her greatest joy was to be a co-founder (1981) of the Soroptimist House of Hope, a home for alcohol and chemically dependent women in Desert Hot Springs, which established a second home in Banning in 1989. In addition, she was the fiscal officer/treasurer from 1981 until 2012 when she became president emeritus. She is survived by stepdaughter Bobbi (Jack) Ferris of El Cajon, from Bill's previous marriage; son, Pastor Gary (Debbie) of Manchester, Michigan and daughter Linda of Banning, plus grandchildren Leah Page, Beth (Chris) Kaufield, and Zac (Lynae) Page, and numerous step-grandchildren, great grandchildren, great great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Interment will be at Riverside National Cemetery on January 9th, 2014 at 10:45 A.M. and a celebration of her life is set for January 11, 2014, 11:00 A.M. at Life Point Church with reception following at the Banning Community Center. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Soroptimist House of Hope, P.O. Box 1055, Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240. Arrangements by Weaver Mortuary, Beaumont, CA 951-845-1141 To leave condolences or sign the online Guest book, please visit www.weaver- mortuary.com

Published in Press-Enterprise on Jan. 5, 2014
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