Gerlinde Else Wahnbaeck, age 92, of Waterville, passed away peacefully at Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Perrysburg on February 15, in the presence of her son and daughter.
Born on May 7, 1928 in Schoenfeld, Germany, she grew up happily on a farm, but during World War II, she witnessed incredible changes to her world. As a teenage girl at the end of WWII, her family was forced to leave their home, which later became a part of modern Poland. They were considered as displaced persons, traveling by train (boxcars with straw on the floor) through Russian-occupied territory to the western sector. There she later met and married her husband, Gerhard Wahnbaeck. They immigrated to Houston in 1952 and became naturalized citizens. The family moved to Waterville, via Morrow, Ohio, in the 1970s.
Gerlinde worked in Central Supply at St. Luke’s Hospital, Monclova, for 20 years and after retirement enjoyed volunteering for an additional 18 years at St Luke’s. Gerlinde enjoyed traveling with her family, gardening, playing her accordion, German music, dancing, local Red Haven peaches and frequent visits to the beaches on Marblehead Peninsula and Mackinaw Island. Although she was small in stature, she was very outgoing and had a presence that stood out; her warm smile would brighten a room. She was energetic and willing to do anything to help others. She had many stories to tell and was very proud of her family. She was proud to be a citizen of the United States and she understood the freedoms and responsibilities of that citizenship.
Gerlinde was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Heinz; her husband of 29 years, Gerhard Heinrich Wahnbaeck in 1979; and her daughter, Melissa Ingrid Wahnbaeck, in 2010. She is survived by her sister, Christa Hoelz, and two nephews (Germany); son, Rainer (Lori) Wahnbaeck, of Maineville, Ohio; daughter, Rosemarie (John) Hammond, of Laurel, Md.; grandchildren, Rachel (John) Harrison, Micah (Janie) Wahnbaeck and John Christopher Hammond; and great grandchildren, Ella, Marie and Lukas Wahnbaeck; and Brinley Harrison.
The family would like to express heartfelt thanks to the staff of Hospice of Northwest Ohio for their assistance and support. There will be a memorial gathering to celebrate her life, followed by interment in Wakeman Cemetery in Waterville, in late spring. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.dunnfuneralhome.com.