Mrs. Gisela Gallmeister Strand
- April 26, 1939 - November 6, 2013
- Holland, Michigan
of Gisela's Passing
- Land Conservancy of West Michigan
Land Conservancy of West Michigan
400 Ann Street NW, Suite 102
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
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Memories & CandlesPrevious
“Frau Strand war ein toller Professorin - klug und nett. Leider zu hören sie hat entschlafen.
Frau Strand was a great professor - informed and...Read More »
1 of 10 | Posted by: Johanna Swanson - Ypsilanti, MI
“Frau Strand was such a delightful professor! Some of my fondest memories from class involved her usual morning entrance into the classroom when she...Read More »
2 of 10 | Posted by: Renata Okonkwo - Madison, WI
“I did not meet Gisela until I retired. Since we were both retired educators, we spent time talking about our former careers, about our children and...Read More »
3 of 10 | Posted by: Lois Welling - Hinsdale, IL
“I met Gisela when I came to teach a yoga class in Holland more than thirty years ago. We became friends immediately. She opened her heart and home...Read More »
4 of 10 | Posted by: Cheryl Tully - Grand rapids, MI
“I wish to share my sympathies with Frau Strand's family and friends. She was my German professor for several classes at Hope and encouraged me and...Read More »
5 of 10 | Posted by: Kristin Timmer - Hudsonville, MI
“I loved going to Mimi's house to play as a child. mrs. Strand would always have treats after school for us, had the best time at there home. I...Read More »
6 of 10 | Posted by: Sherri (Tubbergen) Kingery - MI
“Gisela was a fine person, filled with gentleness and caring, a good sense of humor, and the wish to live a healthy life. She was sensitive to others...Read More »
7 of 10 | Posted by: Michael Lakin - Ithaca, NY
“I met Gisela at our water aerobics classes held at Evergreen. That was awhile ago and even then I admired her strong willingness to work hard to...Read More »
8 of 10 | Posted by: Martha Woltman - Holland - friend
“Dear Family and Friends of unsere liebe Gisela,
I would like to express my solidarity with you in this time of deep sorrow and mourning. So many...Read More »
9 of 10 | Posted by: Rev. David Zomer - MI
“Dr. Strand was a wonderful/caring professor and mentor teacher. I was a student in her German class for two semesters (1969). We had a great time...Read More »
10 of 10 | Posted by: Thomas E. Gouwens - Chicago, IL
Gisela Gallmeister Strand
November 6, 2013, Holland, Michigan
Gisela was born at the beginning of the 2nd World War II in Hannover, Germany. With her mother Clara and her older brother Horst she was evacuated to rural Bavaria to escape the horrors of war. But when her youngest brother Klaus was born in 1944 Clara needed some rest and Gisela was sent for a few weeks to her grandparents in Hannover. Here she was right in the center of daily bombings and was unable to return to her mother. When her grandparent's apartment was destroyed she could not stay with them any longer and was sent to her aunts for safety. This short term solution lasted for three years, when her father was finally released from POW camp and wanted his family together again. Gisela would have preferred to stay with her aunt, but a child of eight was not asked.
The trauma of the almost daily bombings during the end of the war and the following three years of near starvation were very difficult to shake off but eventually she realized that she was extremely blessed to have survived and that God must have had a reason and a plan for her. Her mother saw to it that she could attend the best girl's school in town so that all the possibilities of life would be open to her. Gisela's interest in languages, history, and opera lead her to the University of Freiburg, the University of Vienna, the University of Chicago, and to Vanderbilt University where she got her advanced degrees, and finally to Hope College in Holland, Michigan.
And here she found the meaning of her life: a happy marriage, two wonderful and gifted children, Mimi and Alexi, a most amazing career involving the exchange of ideas with her students, for some of whom she had a life changing influence.
When her children started their own careers and families she focused on helping others in the community. She was trained as a Stephen's Minister to accompany members of her parish through difficult periods of their life. She also became a counselor at the Center for Women in Transition. She also volunteered at the local Soup Kitchen until her illness forced her to stay away from bigger crowds.
Her artistic endeavors took her to writing poetry, painting, experimenting with wood carving, developing her shade garden into a living sculpture, and finding solace, inspiration, and joy by interacting with nature, family, and friends.
Extended travels took her all over the world both to urban centers in Japan and China and to beautiful natural paradises: Hawaii, Eastern, Northern, and Southern Europe, the Grand Canyon, and the great expanse of the West.
But the greatest joys of her life were being with her grandchildren Sonia, Rye, and Gabriel, her children Mimi and Alexi, her soul mate Jochen, her family in Germany, especially her brothers, and her friends both here and in Germany. Klaus, her youngest brother, already showed her the way into the next life and she had hoped that they, Klaus and Gisela, her parents, grandparents, aunts, and friends would all be with each other again. "Friends are the flowers in the garden of life."
What a blessed life!
The memorial service will be held at Grace Episcopalian Church in Holland on Saturday November 23rd at 2pm. In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the Land Conservancy of West Michigan. The Strand Family is being served by the Yntema Funeral home, 251 S. State Street, Zeeland MI 49464. www.yntemafh.com