R.I.P. Christel Van Maurik
Since 1854, the Teutonia always had exemplary people serving our club. Such a person was our First Lady and Teutonia News Editor Christel (Burkhardt) Van Maurik. Christel had been going thru some difficult health issues and lost her battle on June 18th.
The Teutonia lost one of the most devoted people and for all her dedication to the Teutonia and to the German Community we will always keep her in our memory. Christel left behind, besides the many friends, her loving husband and Ehren President of the Teutonia, 6 children, 15 grandchildren and one great grandchild. Christel was born in the small town of Wiehe in Thüringen where she met her husband Cor and married in the “Münster” Cathedral at Ulm an der Donau. This is also the city where this writer hails from.
On our second Teutonia Tour to Germany, in 2002, we were able to visit the town and we could feel the pride when Christel introduced us to family and friends still living in Wiehe. It must have been a day which Christel always kept in her memory because we all could feel her joy in bringing her fellow singers to her former hometown. After arriving in the US, in 1954, they settled in Pittsburgh and both Christel and Cor joined the Teutonia Männerchor.
In 1986, Christel joined the Teutonia Damenchor and had been Editor of the Teutonia News for over 17 years, only giving up her pen when God called her home. Just last year the Alliance of Germanic Societies named Christel “German-American of the Year” at a special Recognition Luncheon at the club. Christel also gave her time to the Heinz History Center and served the German Room Committee at the University of Pittsburgh.
Alice Weinbrenner, president of the Damenchor, in her eulogy at the Memorial Service honored Christel with the words to a song they both always liked. Alice changed the words just a little to “Rote Rosen” red roses.
Rote Rosen wollen wir Dir schenken = Red Roses we are giving to you
Rote Rosen für dich allein = Red Roses just for you
Mit den Rosen wollen wir Dir sagen = With these Roses we are saying
“Auf Wiedersehen” von uns allen. = “Auf Wiedersehen” from all of us.
With that Alice placed two beautiful red roses on the casket. All the singers will cherish her memory and forever keep her in our hearts.