Obituary: Gerharda H. Sanchez, 84

In Memorium — Gerharda H. Sanchez, April 15, 1934-June 11, 2018

Gerharda “Gerda” Hoffmann Sanchez, 84, died peacefully on June 11, 2018, in hospice care, surrounded by family. She was often described as “a force of nature,” passionate about every aspect of life.

Born in Bloemendaal, Netherlands, Gerda spent her first three years on the then-Dutch-owned island of Java, Indonesia, moving back to the Netherlands when the Japanese began invading Southeast Asia at the start of World War II.

After the war, Gerda and older brother Lou joined their mother in the US in 1950. Gerda attended Bronxville High School, Concordia College, and the University of Connecticut. There, she met her first husband, Kenneth R. Hohensee. They both graduated in spring 1955 — Gerda with a B.S. in chemistry — and they married that September.

Their first home was an apartment in Bridgeport, CT. While living there, Ken began his engineering career, Gerda earned an M.S. in Education from the University of Bridgeport, and they welcomed their first two children. After moving to Milford, CT, their third child joined the family. In 1965, Gerda began her teaching career at Milford High School. She could teach it all — chemistry, physics, introductory to physical science — and did, often during the same year.

She and Ken divorced in 1972. Two years later, Gerda met her second husband, Warren R. Sanchez. They married in February 1975. With the addition of Warren’s sons Frank and Mike, the newlyweds had five teenagers to raise!

Warren shared Gerda’s love of learning, books, music, and science. Above all, they shared a passion for travel and adventure, sailing the East Coast and exploring all seven continents. They moved several times and built three houses together, finally settling in Beaufort-by-the-Sea, NC.

Gerda also loved sewing, embroidery, bicycling, kayaking, hiking, and camping. She was a superb cook who lovingly tended her organic gardens and orchard. At home, there was always a cat or two to warm her lap, and often a dog to lie at her feet.

Gerda was preceded in death by parents Gerhard H. Hoffmann and Louise G. Tobi, and husbands Kenneth R. Hohensee and Warren R. Sanchez. She leaves behind children Paul H. Hohensee (Doris), Louise H. Valdov (Juri), and Joanne R. Luce (Randy); stepsons Francis R. Sanchez (Debbie) and Michael A. Sanchez (Nancy); brother, Louis G. Hoffmann (Ann); 3 nieces, 14 grandchildren, and 7 great-grandchildren; and family in Europe.

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