Dorothea Elisabeth (Schneider) Peters

Tributes~Dorothea Elisabeth (Schneider) Peters

Dorothea Elisabeth (Schneider) Peters
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Date of Birth: 
March 26 1926
Date of Death: 
September 24 2012

This was written by Dorothea's son Oliver and his wife Kim Marie Fischer Peters. It was not published in a newspaper.

Dorothea Elisabeth Schneider was born on March 26, 1926 to Ernst and Marie Schneider. Dorothea's father was a merchant in Frankfurt but the European economic downturn hit the family hard and they eventually settled in the quaint town of St. Goarshausen on the Rhine River near the legendary Lorelei.

While still a teen, Dorothea was called to serve in WWII as a spotter identifying enemy airplanes. As the war drew to a close, Dorothea and others in her unit in Czechoslovakia struck out on foot to return to their families and their homeland. They made their way from one farm family to another seeking shelter, food, and safety from the incoming Russian troops. A chance encounter with a small military unit would shape the remainder of her life. Dorothea recounted the meeting saying that she was attracted to Klaus at first sight as he looked exactly like a very handsome and popular German actor Carl Raddatz, and he had soap and toothpaste! The two went their separate ways returning to their families, however, fate had not brought them together merely to have them part. Dorothea and Klaus were reunited three years later and married in June 1950. Their only child, Oliver, was born in April 1953.

During the time after the war, Klaus became friends with U.S. Army Major Hennings. Through the help of the Hennings family, Klaus, Dorothea, and Oliver immigrated to the United States in 1956 to start a new life in the small rural community of Umatilla. Going from the picturesque Rhine River Valley to orange groves and pastures was a bit of a shock. Dorothea felt she was truly at the ends of the earth. She quickly adopted her new home, however, learning English by watching soap operas on TV.

Dorothea was a doting mother when Oliver was little, but in 1963 she accepted a position at the Eustis Lake Region News. She was a reporter, photographer, and columnist, becoming a regular fixture at city council meetings and local social events. in 1970, Dorothea became the bookkeeper at H. Jennings Rou citrus company, continuing in that capacity until her retirement.

Dorothea and Klaus loved to travel. They made many trips to Germany to visit relatives and old friends. There were summer vacations with friends in Key West, Daytona Beach, the Smokey Mountains, and grand trips from Florida to California and on to Canada and a cruise to Alaska. But perhaps most of all, Dorothea loved to travel north in the fall to witness the brilliant hues of the autumn leaves.

Dorothea loved opera, attending performances in Orlando with friends and family. She was a member of the Faith Lutheran Church, for many years singing soprano in the choir. Dorothea encouraged her grandchildren in their musical endeavors, and was very proud when her granddaughter performed with the Orlando Opera.

Even more than opera, Dorothea loved Christmas! She loved to listen to the old German Christmas carols and enjoy the company of her friends and family. She held tight to German traditions, celebrating on Christmas Eve, making German Christmas cookies, and there was always a live tree. Christmas was even on her mind the day before she had the surgery that led to her death. After being briefed on the long recovery she would face, Dorothea commented happily that she would be back to normal by Christmas so she could decorate her tree and go to church on Christmas Eve.

One of Dorothea's favorite Christmas hymns was Stille Nacht. The last line of the first verse is our prayer for her today - Sleep in heavenly peace.

Place of Birth: 
Frankfurt, Germany
Place of Death: 
Orlando, Florida, United States
Primary State of Residence: 
Eustis, Florida, United States

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