Hilde Gonsenhauser Deutsch

by | Dec 6, 2019 | Obituaries

NORFOLK—Our beloved Hilde passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 24, 2019 at age 95.

Hilde was born on February 13, 1924 to Hermann and Frieda Herz in Hildesheim, Germany. The family left Germany to escape the Nazi persecution, arriving in Cape Town, South Africa in January, 1936. As a child, Hilde had the distinction of being chosen to have her portrait painted by the famous South African artist Irma Stern. At that time, her father could not afford to buy the paint- ing and the family has spent many years searching for it globally.

Hilde married Helmut Gonsenhauser on September 5, 1948. Together they played an important part in the establishment of the synagogue and Jewish life in the town of Milnerton near Cape Town. Helmut passed away on April 19, 1980.

Hilde emigrated from South Africa to Norfolk, in 1986 to be close to her family, settling into her Ghent apartment which was to be her home for the rest of her life. Hilde was a regular attendee at Congregation Beth El.

in 1990 Hilde married Ted Deutsch who passed away after seven years of marriage. despite losing two spouses as well as twice having to establish a life in a new country, Hilde always found a way to move forward.

Hilde was larger than life, always immaculately dressed and ready to celebrate the good times. She was a strong and fiercely loyal woman who loved her family most of all. Hilde, the matriarch of our family was a very generous woman who supported many causes. She was loved and admired by all.

In addition to her parents and her husbands, Hilde was predeceased by her brother Helmut Herz. Hilde is survived by her daughter Joan Joffe and husband Eric, son Mark Gonsenhauser and fiance Michelle, all of Virginia Beach. Also grandchildren Carin Simon and husband Mike, Francine Rossen and husband Jeff, Howard Joffe, David Gonsenhauser and Lauren Gonsenhauser. She is also survived by her great-grandsons Nate and Ari Simon and Clay, Morgan and Evan Rossen.

Memorial donations can be made to Congregation Beth El, Beth Sholom Village, the Strelitz international Academy or a charity of the donor’s choice.

The family thanks all the kind and compassionate people that helped Hilde in her final days.

A funeral service took place at Congregation Beth El with Rabbi Murray Ezring officiating. A private burial at Princess Anne Memorial Park followed.