Waltraut “Trautel” Brown, 93, beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, died peacefully at the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers on October 6.
Trautel was born on November 15, 1927, in Hamburg, Germany, to the late Walther and Anna Katherina Schulz. As a child, she witnessed the horrors of war and survived the near total destruction of her hometown of Hamburg.
In 1952, Trautel emigrated to the United States to be married to her first husband Hermann Pundt. After the birth of their sons, Hans and Ralph, and crisscrossing their new land of America, the young family eventually settled on the North Shore where Trautel became involved with the local community, participating in many cultural events and establishing friendships that would last a lifetime.
As a trained educator of young children, Trautel soon followed her passion for teaching and contributed to the education of North Shore’s children over many years. She was a founding member and the first head teacher at the North Shore Nursery School in Beverly, a German teacher for the Manchester-by-the-Sea’s expanded curriculum programs, head teacher at the Blue Steeple school in Gloucester, German and recorder teacher at the Cape Ann Waldorf School, as well as a recorder and knitting coach in Gloucester’s expanded curriculum programs.
In 1972, Trautel married Eugene “Gene” Brown and the couple built a home on Concord Street in Gloucester. In addition to her work as an educator, Trautel became a volunteer with numerous local support organizations, including the Cape Ann Parent Aid Program and Wellspring House.
In 1979, she organized the Gloucester City Fair, and she began serving as activity director at the Gloucester Manor, an assisted living facility. As an enthusiastic life-long learner and musician, Trautel also continued honing her skills on the recorder by attending early-music workshops in Boston and taking up lessons on stringed instruments like the violin and cello. Trautel was a member of Chorus North Shore and various recorder groups. Together with her husband Gene, then a cellist with the Cape Ann Symphony, she enjoyed hosting musical soirees at her home on Concord Street.
In 2012 after losing her husband Gene, Trautel moved to Manchester-by-the-Sea where she enjoyed living an independent life within walking distance to shops, public transportation, and her beloved Singing Beach. During one of her early morning walks on the beach, she soon met Amy Congdon who became a soul mate and travel companion who enriched Trautel’s remaining years immeasurably.
Trautel is survived by her sons, Hans Pundt and wife Lynne of Bayview, Ralph Pundt and his wife Maureen of Brooksville, Maine; four grandchildren, Elizabeth, Marja-Lisa, Kalahn, and Miles; five great-grandchildren, Liam, Carter, Addison, Gavin, and Chandler.
Trautel also leaves behind her niece, Kathrin Rueda of Essex with Curt Siebert and Erik Rueda; her dear friend, Amy Congdon of New Hampshire, as well as extended family and beloved friends both here and abroad.
The family is thankful to Trautel for a life well lived, for her independence, and for her caring for others. Until we may gather together please remember Trautel in your own way by taking walks in the woods or along the shore, or even a brisk swim in the ocean, embracing Nature’s glorious creations that Trautel loved so much.
A celebration in honor of Waltraut will be held on Saturday, December 11, 2021 at the Manchester Community Center at 2 p.m. Relatives and friends are cordially invited.
In lieu of flower, please consider donating in her memory to the Essex County Greenbelt Association, 82 Eastern Avenue, Essex, MA 01929 or online at e.ECGA@ECGA.ORG