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Tributes to Gwen Bernice Black Pritzkau

May, 2006

 

 


May 7, 2006
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Carl Mack (San Jose, CA )

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May 6, 2006
My deepest sympathy goes out to you and your Family.
I to am a descendent of Germans From Russia. And with the work Gwen did I could add more branches to my Family Tree. My Prayer are with you at the time.
Irene Feifer (Roseburg, OR )
ikey@rosenet.net

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May 4, 2006
Sincere sympathies to the Pritzkau family. Gwen made a major difference researching my Wolf(f) line in Alsace. She was incredible.
Richard & Nina Wolff (Castlegar, BC )

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May 4, 2006
I was saddened to learn of Gwen’s death. I enjoyed many of her training sessions on genealogy given at the Germans from Russia conventions. She gave me valuable assistance in finding the birthplaces of my ancestors in western Europe. She will be sorely missed.

Richard Herr
Wishek, North Dakota
Richard Herr (Wishek, ND )

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May 4, 2006
I have worked on German Extraction for several years with Gwen. She has such a wealth of knowledge, and loves to share it with those around her. You could mention a name and she could tell you which town they lived in. One thing I admired about Gwen was her love for her family. She never complained about them being sick or having to take them places. I think maybe she felt needed and loved to do this for them. The only time I ever heard her say anything on the negative side in her joking way about Julius was one time he was sick and she was so concerned about whether he would be able to return home again she took him to the doctors, hospitals, took him food that he would eat while he was in the hospital, never complained. Took care of the home and animals while he was away. Right after he came home she went out and fed the horses, he came out and indicated she didn't feed the horses right. "Well, doesn't he realize I can throw a bale of hay and keep there water filled up?". She also mentioned that after she was gone, he would be okay, he would probably bring his horses into the back bedroom and they would be just fine. Gwen also mentioned that when she went to heaven she would still be working on German extraction. She would be helping us all she could, just like she was still here with us. She was sorry that we didn't get the project completed we were doing, I assured her we would get it completed, and she could be proud of her efforts. I know you're going to be busy in your new home, cause you were always so busy here. Love you Gwen, God bless your wonderful family. And family always know your mom loved you so very much.
Marla Barney (Riverton, Utah)

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May 4, 2006
Gwen will be missed by all of us Germans from Russia. She knew each of us by name and could tell us personally more about our ancestors than most of us knew. The GHRS gatherings will not be the same because she is not with us.
Charles Weisser (Wausau, WI )
jcweisser@prodigy.net

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May 4, 2006
No one should ever think of the Black Sea without thinking of Gwen Pritzkau’s maiden name, Black. If this great inland sea wasn’t named for her, it should have been.

You, her family, will remember her as your dear wife, mother, and grandmother. May you feel the peace that she felt in the gospel that she loved. Know also that she was a hero to countless genealogists and others, including the prisoners at the Utah State penitentiary whom she inspired and served.

I will miss Gwen, my dear friend and colleague. Her selfless service to “Germans from Russia” genealogists and GR organizations stand as but two of many testimonies of the value of her life. She loved her family; her genealogical endeavors are but an extension of that love. Many of those who experienced her help in seeking their ancestry from the Black Sea area did not realize that she had no ancestry from that region. She began GR research because of the ancestry of her beloved Julius and her children. When she started on his genealogy, she felt driven to learn all that she could despite the many challenges. She quickly came to know more about it than any person I have ever known.

May God bless you, Gwen, and comfort and bless your family.
Daniel Schlyter (Salt Lake City, UT)

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May 4, 2006
I was a 25-yr-old "newbie"genealogy researcher in 1975 when I met Gwen Pritzkau at a Germans From Russia conference where she gave her very popular annual genealogy workshops. I requested a few moments of her time for some one-on-one coaching. Gwen told me where to find the family camper parked near the hotel hosting the conference and suggested I meet her there at 8 a.m. the following morning. I'll never forget taking notes during that meeting with my new mentor as she flipped pancakes and grilled sausage for the family breakfast. Then invited me to join them. It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Gwen was as invested in my research as I was. Over the years little nuggets of information from Gwen would find their way to my mailbox. Gwen and Julius were gracious guests in my home where her laughter still rings today. My story is mirrored by hundreds of others whose lives were touched by an encounter with Gwen.

Dear friend, beloved by all, we grieve your passing and hold in our hearts the memory of your time with us.
Carol Just (St. Louis Park, MN )
caroljust@hotmail.com

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May 4, 2006
It is so sad to have to say such a final goodbye to Gwen, who always gave me such warm greetings whenever I met her, here or there. I knew her in our work at Whitmore Library but still didn't know her as well as so many others. But she has been such an inspiration. Today I would mainly like to send warmest wishes to all in the many days ahead. And thank you for this opportunity to say just a few words.
Teddy Stott (Salt Lake City, UT )
teddystott@hotmail.com

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May 4, 2006
Pritzkau family. Thinking of you in this time of sorrow for you. Gwen was such a neat lady; I will cherish the days spent with her last July. Oh she was so patient with me while she taught me how to search those records. I will remember her with fondness. Love hugs Mary
Mary (Jaeger) Marando (Crown Point, IN )
gamampq@aol.com

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May 3, 2006
Our deepest sympathy to you, Julius, and to your family. Gwen was a grand lady. She was at every GRHS convention that my wife and I attended. Talking to her and attending her workshops was always one of the highlights of the convention. She was usually one of the last person to say good-bye to us as we left the conventions. She will be greatly missed by all of us.
Dorothy and Al Feist (Hebron, ND )

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May 3, 2006
We will very much miss our Gwen, who worked so diligently with us these many years on researching our GR ancestors.
Tom & Jan Stangl (Sterling, VA )

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May 3, 2006
Gwen has been my wonderful friend and mentor for many years. She has helped so many people through her kindness and incredible knowledge of family history sources for the Germans from Russia. Who knows how many lives have been changed for the better through her untiring selfless service? Gwen is one of my heroes. May you, her family, be blessed with inner peace and strength for the coming months and years.

Baerbel Johnson (from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City)
Baerbel Johnson (Salt Lake City, UT )
johnsonbx@ldschurch.org

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May 3, 2006
I will not forget the day I met Gwen Pritzkau. She was sitting at the Salt Lake City Library, working on some German research,when I was introduced to her. I had a feeling from the beginning that she was a special person. I told her I was on my last day of research and needed some help with my Dad's Germans from Russia side of the family. I could not read the German and badly needed some asistance.She asked for a little information on Dad's family. Within an hour,she had helped me find lots of information on my Dad's German family. With out Gwen's help, I may never have found all this valuable information. Whenever I'm working on my Germans from Russia family, I'm always reminded of this kind,interesting and very intelligent friend, who I feel very indebted to. I'm very thankful for having met Gwen Pritzkau,a very special, gifted person. To her family, you have my deepest sympathy and may God bless you.
Kate DeMers (Colome, SD )

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May 3, 2006
Please accept my sincere condolences for your loss. I salute Gwen and I'm grateful to have known her a little bit through my genealogy work and the GRHS. She was always so helpful and friendly and will be missed in many ways by many people. What a gift she has been, and what a bright light now shines in the heavens!
Jerry Klein (Dana Point, CA )
kleins2@cox.net

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May 3, 2006
I met Gwen at the Germans From Russia conventions. She is the one who got me interested and started in my family genealogy. I finally persevered and completed my family history book, but regretfully, I did not get a chance to show it to her. She was a great, kind, helpful lady and will be missed.
Mary Ebach
Mary Ebach (Rugby, ND )
mebach@stellarnet.com

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May 3, 2006
Gwen was such a special person -- always willing to give of her time and knowledge to help others. We are all much poorer for not having her with us. I feel most fortunate for having had the opportunity to know her, and shall miss her ready laugh and gentle manner.
Homer Rudolf (Richmond, VA )

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May 3, 2006
We are saddened by the loss of Gwen Pritzkau, but we honor her life and accomplishments. Her memory stands head and shoulders above many others -- she has blessed so many of us by her talented and dedicated research for the Germans from Russia community. May her family be comforted by their memories of this loving and vivacious woman. She leaves an outstanding legacy which will endure in our hearts and in the research to which she so generously contributed her time and talents.
Connie Dahlke (Walla Walla, WA )

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May 3, 2006
Gwen gave of herself to one and all. I was greatly impressed when she remembered my name from year to year and, upon meeting me, immediately knew there was information she could lead me to on my family history. A great lady!
Bernelda Becker (Minneapolis, MN )
berneldas@aol.com

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May 3, 2006
Gwen was a dear personal friend who helped me research my ancestors through Germany, Poland Romania and Bessarabia. She stayed with me many times here in Sacramento, whenever she spoke at a N. California GR gathering. I will miss her smile, her forthright manner, and practical sense. Goodbye, dear friend.
LaVerne R. Graf
LaVerne Graf (Sacramento, CA )
lrgen@sbcglobal.net

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May 3, 2006
It was a privilege to work with Gwen on the various GCRA research projects. She will be greatly missed at the 2006 GRHS Conference in Portland this July.
Jim Klein (Walla Walla, WA )
kleiji@wwc.edu

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May 3, 2006
Our condolences to the family of Gwen Pritzkau. She was one of the 'greats' in GRHS and GCRA

My wife and I greatly enjoyed the presence of Gwen and her husband in the 1996 'Visit to the Homeland"
Harley Miller (Chehalis, WA )
millerh@steckmedical.com

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May 3, 2006
Gwen is a great addition to heaven though we mere mortals on earth will miss her so much. Thanks to her and her family for the tireless service, time, and love she gave to shed light on our German heritage. Many generations, past, present, and future will call her blessed.
Brenda (Klein) Christensen (Lindon, UT )
bcdcab@hotmail.com

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May 3, 2006
Pritzkau family: Sorry to hear of your mothers passing. Hope the Lord will comfort you in the coming days of sadness. Sad to see the loss of a former neighbor. Love The George Showell family.
Carolyn Showell (Erda,, UT )

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May 3, 2006
My sincere sympathy is extended to your family at this time of loss. Gwen first came to my attention when we held some of the earliest Germans from Russia Heritage Society meetings in North dakota. No distance was too great for Gwen--be it time or miles. She always made sure that anything you were looking for was found and no matter how obscure, information was her stock in trade. She will be greatly missed.
Karen Retzlaff (Aneta, ND )
karen.e.retzlaff@sendit.nodak.edu

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May 3, 2006
I first met Gwen in Vienna, Austria in May, 2002. We were room partners on the Journey of the Homeland trip to the Ukraine in 2002. I have such fond memories of her on that trip to Glueckstal. She gave me many insights of what to expect having never been to the Ukraine. What an inspiring lady and she made the trip memorable & educational. I had NO idea someone knew SO much genealogy history. That in alone was worth the trip and one year's of college education. My life was made better by getting to know her. Also, our visit with Gwen & Julius in January, 2006 in Tooele at Clifton & Louisa Maes home was fond. Gwen had baked a wonderful cake and served it to us with a wonderful cup of coffee. I will never forget it. Roger and I mailed a memorial to the Gwen Pritzkau Fund at the Heritage Center in Bismarck. God Bless everyone.
Bernadine Lang Kuhn
Bernadine & Roger Kuhn (Owatonna, MN )
bbkuhn@charter.net

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May 3, 2006
Please accept my deepest sympathy. She was a lovely lady who will be greatly missed.
Lola Parsons (New Meadows, ID )

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May 3, 2006
I would like to pass along my sympathies to the Pritzkau family and the entire G-R community, which includes me. We all have lost a treasured person and resource. My ancestor was one of the few original colonists in Glueckstal for whom Gwen could not identify the ancestral Rhineland village. So I must continue that quest without her. I will think about Gwen every step of the way.
Merv Weiss (Saskatoon, SK )

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May 3, 2006
We appreciate your guidance to those of us that are novice genealogists. You leave a legacy of never refusing to help those of us that just couldn't seem to find that one important fact that would propel our own research forward.
Marilyn & Don Ehreth (Fairfax, VA )

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May 3, 2006
David J Foth
Central California Chapter
A H S G R
Fresno, Califorina
David Foth (Fresno, CA )

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May 3, 2006
It has been an honor to have known Gwen Pritzkau in my life. I feel truly rewarded in many ways to have known such a special colleague and friend. She has given so much of her time and knowledge for the Germans from Russia community throughout Canada and the United States helping to uncover the family ties, genealogy and research. She will always be remembered and never forgotten. We have walked together in the former Black Sea German villages in southern Ukraine and in Germany.
Michael M. Miller (Fargo, ND )
michael.miller@ndsu.edu

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May 3, 2006
A great lady. I met her doing genealogy at the LDS Library and she helped me so much. I and all the people she helped as well as all GRHS members will miss her sadly. My prayers and thoughts are with her family.
Betty S (Burke, SD )

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May 3, 2006
As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life’s routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.
Connie Lord (Britton, MI )

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May 3, 2006
Dearest Uncle Julius and Children,
Please accept my deepest sympathy in the passing of Aunt Gwen. Her memory will live in our hearts and thoughts. My prayers that God would bless you with the strength you need to get through these tough times and many times ahead.
With Love,
Wayne and Charmaine Brandt-Sickels
Dawn and John Malakowsky
Christopher, Adison and Hanah
Sara and Samantha Sickels
Charmaine Brandt-Sickels (Albert Lea, MN )

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May 3, 2006
Gwen will always be in my heart and mind. I will miss all the fun, talks and friendship we had. You lost a very dear and loving soul.
Brent Roberts (Sandy, UT )

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May 3, 2006
Words cannot express the loss that is and will be felt and experienced by thousands of people who benefited from Gwen's tireless efforts in assisting people with Germans from Russia heritage in researching their family history. Through her efforts, she helped me find some of my ancestors. It was a blessing and privilege to have visited with Gwen and Julius for a couple days in August 2005. My deepest sympathy extends to Gwen's family, friends, colleagues, and her "boys" who she taught to read German and index records.
Irma Lowe (Sacramento, CA )
ilowe@comcast.net

 

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