08 February 2007
Erika Elfriede Schmitz Maurer, 1929-2007
My mother, Erika Maurer, died on Saturday, February 3, in a hospital in Waukegan, Illinois, north of Chicago.
She was born in Kobe, Japan, on November 27, 1929, and grew up in Osaka. She and her parents were among the estimated 1600 long-term German residents in Japan at the beginning of World War II; her parents, Emma and Paul Schmitz, had arrived in 1905. In 1948, she and her parents moved to Stuttgart. She finished high school there (at Hölderlin-Gymnasium), went to Ruprecht-Karl University in Heidelberg, and from there transferred to Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. At Northwestern she met her future husband, Harald Maurer (1930-1995), who had transferred there from the University of Oslo.
In June 1952, she graduated from Northwestern with a B.S., and married Harald three days later. In 1955 she received her M.A. and soon began her teaching career. For most of her career she taught German language and literature at Roosevelt University in Chicago. At the time of her death, she was a resident of Arbor View Nursing Home in Zion, Illinois.
My mother is survived by my sister Renee and me. Our sister Ellen died in 1970.
That's all I feel able to write. My mother deserves a public obituary, and I don't know for sure where else she'll get one. The private version is another story.
Tuesday PS: We will hold a memorial meeting for Erika at Arbor View Nursing Home in Zion, Illinois, on Saturday, March 3, at 2 p.m. Many thanks to Sharon Brown for this most recent photo (left), and for her friendship to both of my parents in their last years.