Kirk Freundt - President
I grew up in Elmhurst Illinois, both of my parents are of German Heritage; my mother’s mom was born in Hannover, Germany and married my Grandfather in Germany. They immigrated to America in 1894 and settled in Elmhurst. They owned a furniture restoration business in Des Plaines. My Grandfather’s brother stayed in Germany, and even fought in World War l.
My father’s Great Grandfather was born in Sternberg in the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern area and immigrated to America at the age of 9 with his father. He settled in the current area of O’Hara Airport where he purchased a farm of 90 acres where he grew onions, cabbage, hops, and potatoes.
I remember one time my father wanted to go out to a German dinner in Lake Zurich, Illinois. I ordered a traditional German dish and was very disappointed in the meal. My father never visited Germany so I wanted him to experience the awesome flavor of a “real German meal”. I took him to Mirabella, an Authentic German restaurant in Chicago. Now he understood and we both agreed the food was outstanding.
Juergen P. Giese
Born is Essen, Germany in 1938, I immigrated to the United States in 1958. I lived in New York City for three years until I was drafted into the U.S. Army, where I served for three years.
When I was discharged, I applied for U.S. citizenship. In 1965 I became a U.S. citizen and six months later joined the New York Police Department (NYPD).
After retiring from the NYPD, I moved my family of four to Colorado where I lived for seven years and then moved to the panhandle of Florida.
I resided in the panhandle of Florida for 19 years and then moved to The Villages in 2004.
I joined The Villages Deutscher Club in 2010 and have been a board member since 2012.
It is the Best Club in The Villages !!!
Sieglinde (Linda) Snow
I grew up in Goerlitz, former East Germany, with one younger sister. In August 1961, just 2 weeks before the Wall was put up, my parents decided to secretly leave the DDR and come by train to West Berlin and apply for asylum. My family was transferred to Straubing on the Danube, about one hour from Munich. There we were given a nice apartment and necessary things to start a new life.
I finished high school and started to work for a government health agency. I met my future husband, Russ, who was stationed in the US Air Force in 1966 in my hometown and I moved to Boston in 1970. There I worked for 25 years at Bank of America and was promoted to Assistant Vice President during my career. I also tried my luck as a waitress after retiring from Banking. I had much fun and success as a server and manager at a well-known Italian restaurant.
After 40 years living in a cold climate, we decided to relocate to The Villages, Florida where we are now living for the last 8 years. I joined The Villages German Club in 2010 as an officer and I am in charge of emails to all the members, taking reservations and helping the President in all kinds of venues. I am proud to say that our club has grown tremendously in the last 7 years.
My wife Pat and I are both natives of New Jersey. Although from childhood we lived on the same street only a few houses away, we did not meet until high school. We moved from New Jersey to The Villages in 2009 and have enjoyed it ever since. Now that we are retired we are taking advantage of the ability to travel to new and different destinations. In our travels, we have had the unique ability to visit Germany many times via River Cruising, and plan to visit again.
My German heritage is not as extensive as many members of the Deutscher Club, but I owe it to my grandmother on my father’s side. “Nana” spoke both German and English fluently and, while she taught me a few phrases in German, what I most vividly remember as a little boy is her teaching me to count from one to ten in German. A valuable skill for the future Treasurer of The Deutscher Club.
I received a BS in Marketing from St. Peter’s College, and an MBA in Information Systems from the same institution. Much of my military service was in Texas and South Korea as an Officer in Air Defense Artillery. My working career has been exclusively in Manufacturing with the emphasis on Production Control and Purchasing.
My responsibility as Treasurer of the Deutscher Club is to manage our finances, but more importantly to develop a detailed system of information that allows us to make the most informed decisions for funding our activities and events. Our efforts are always to provide the best for our members.
Fritz A. Klein
I was born in Philadelphia, PA. My family background is German, as both of my parents came from the Hessen State of Germany. I still visit relatives in Wetter and Volkmarsen and keep in touch with other relatives and friends scattered throughout Northern and Southern Germany. Sometimes, they even come to visit us in the USA.
I am one of six children. In the 1950’s, I performed with The Edelweiss Club doing the Schuhplattler Knee dances (yes, I wore lederhosen!) in shows for various German Groups in the Philadelphia area. At the age of fourteen, my family moved to Southampton in Bucks County, PA, where I graduated from William Tennent High School. I then joined the Navy and proudly served for 4 years, being stationed with the Sixth Fleet in Ville-France. After my honorable discharge from the service, I joined the United States Post Office in Southampton, PA, where I worked as a letter carrier for 36 years, until my retirement.
I married Belle in 1982, and we resided in Huntingdon Valley, PA, until moving to The Villages in June 2011 (having purchased a new home in August 2010).
I have been active in The Villages Deutscher Club, Line Dancing, Buttonwood Buddies, and Buttonwood Social (now discontinued). In my spare time, I love to bake, having been taught by my father, a baker by trade. Another pastime that Belle and I both enjoy is traveling the world. Cruising has become our favorite mode of travel.
DIRECTOR OF MEMBERSHIP
I was born in the United States in 1933, the first of three children to my parents who had immigrated from Germany through New York. I lived in New Jersey and later in Pennsylvania and then Georgia before arriving in The Villages. While I was still very young, our family decided to travel to Germany to visit my Grandparents, but we found ourselves in an unfortunate set of circumstances while there. Shortly after arriving in Germany, the onset of World War II prevented us from returning to the United States. It was not until 1946 that we eventually returned, and consequently I had learned to speak German quite well.
After completing my education, I worked for several companies over many years in electromechanical research and manufacturing, most of the time in Georgia. I even extended my skills into home decorating by designing and electrifying beautiful leaded glass lamps. I retired in 2003, bought a lot in The Villages, built a house on it, and have lived there for the past 14 years.
I belong to many groups and clubs in The Villages which includes the Deutscher Club, Opera Club, and The Villages Theater Club, which keeps me very busy as I have responsibilities in all of them, particularly in the Opera Club. For two years, working with The German American Club, I participated in organizing the Octoberfest Parade in Spanish Springs. I also love to sing, and for several years also with The German American Club, I sang with the Christmas Choir.
I am currently Director of Membership for the Deutscher Club and have provided such service since the inception of our club in 2004.
My ancestors immigrated from Germany in the 19th Century.
My Paternal Great Grandmother came over with her family in 1839 as an infant from Kleinblittersdorf, a village south of Saarbrucken in the Saarland. They settled outside of Williamsport, Pennsylvania in a German community started by her Uncle Father Nicholas Steinbacher with help from his two brothers.
My Paternal Great Grandfather came over by himself around 1850 in his mid twenties from Bavaria. He worked as a laborer and farmhand, raising thirteen Children.
My Maternal Great Great Grandfather came over Iggengen in Eastern Wurttemberg by himself in 1854. He settled in northwest Indiana and was a farmer. He raised fourteen children by two different wives.
My personal connection started with the family stories my grandfather told me.
Rosemary von Recklinghausen
I was born in Ennetach, Baden Wurttenberg, Germany. I came to the U.S. in 1958 to Rochester, N.Y. At the German Club is where I met my husband Henry. His parents owned the Hofbrau House restaurant where as I worked as a waitress. We had three beautiful children. I helped establish the Shuhplattler verein Heidengold dance group that our whole family was in involved in. In which my son is currently President.
I graduated from Monroe Community College in 1989 with a Business degree. I was the second female Supervisor ever to work at Rochester Delco General Motors, and retired in 1992. Henry and I moved to the Villages in 2002. I joined the German American Club, and became a Schatze Dancer and served as president for two years. I was an organizer for the German American Singing Group for several years. I also belong to the German American Club of Marion County.
It is my wish to support and serve the Deutsche Club in all our joyful endeavors.