Photography

       


Ingrid-Ilse Meyer

November 20, 1924 ~ November 9, 2018 (age 93)

 

 

 

INGRID-ILSE Losch was born to Karl Friedrich and Anna Losch (Lejuge) in Elbing, East Prussia, Germany (now Elblag, Poland). Ingrid always loved music and sang in the opera chorus in Elbing. She went to school at Agnes Miedel Schule. She auditioned and was accepted into the chorus of the nearby Königsberg Opera. But instead, the Nazi government decided she would be more useful as a secretary at Firma Schichau, a local shipyard.

Life was tough during the war with food shortages and rationing. As the Soviet Army approached from the east, the family fled from Elbing on January 24, 1945. The journey began on foot in bitter cold. After a long wait, they boarded a train in Danzig (now Gdansk). After a three-day trip, they arrived in Berlin on February 10. The family stayed with Ingrid’s aunt and uncle, where they endured the rest of the war.

Ingrid got a job at the office that issued ration cards and met Alexander Meyer on February 3, 1946. Alex and his family were determined to emigrate to the U.S. in search of a new life. Ingrid and Alex quickly married on November 16, 1946 to ensure that she could eventually join them.

Alex and his parents left in January 1947 and made the long trip to Seattle. Meanwhile, Ingrid sang with the Theater am Nollendorfplatz for 18 months and even performed the title role in Die Blume von Hawaii.

            In Seattle, Alex worked for Empire Textiles and saved enough money to allow Ingrid to join him. After a great deal of correspondence to various government officials, Ingrid was granted a visa and arrived in Seattle on July 5, 1948.

Ingrid moved in with Alex and his parents in a small house in the Rainier Beach area of Seattle. The family took English classes at Edison Technical School (now Seattle Central College) and went to the movies at least twice a week to learn the language.

One day, while riding the bus, they spotted a church that was under construction in Columbia City. They saw the word “Lutheran” on the sign and decided to join. Alex and Ingrid became members of Bethlehem Lutheran Church on July 10, 1949.

Eventually Ingrid and Alex bought their own house in the Skyway area, between Seattle and Renton. Their first son, Jeffrey Alexander, was born on April 10, 1952. “We became Americanized as fast as we could and citizens as soon as we could,” Ingrid said. She became a citizen on February 7, 1953.

Ingrid and Alex still embraced their German heritage and joined the Arion Singing Society on January 4, 1957. Ingrid remained active for over 50 years.

Ingrid and Alex’s second son, Michael Earl, was born on February 13, 1958.

Singing continued to be a passion of Ingrid. She sang in opera productions for Opera on Wheels, Festival Opera Company, and Seattle

Civic Opera. The University of Washington chose her to sing leading roles in various Mozart

operas. She also sang leading rolls in Die Fledermaus, Manon Lescaut, Sister Angelica,

Madam Butterfly, and Tosca. Singing in the Seattle Opera chorus also kept her busy for

many years.

Ingrid displayed her musical talents at church, too. She sang solos, led the children’s choirs, and eventually directed the adult choir.

Alex’s work took him and the family to Germany from 1967 through 1970. After returning to Seattle, Ingrid studied at Renton Technical College and began a career as a medical secretary at the Veterans Administration.

Jeff married Elizabeth (Betsy) Harrison in 1982, and Ingrid soon became the grandmother of Alexander Benjamin (1987) and Emily Elizabeth (1991).

After retirement, Ingrid and Alex traveled to various countries and even visited Elbing (Elblag) in Poland. Alex died in 2002 and Ingrid continued to be active at Bethlehem Lutheran Church.

Ingrid eventually became afflicted with Parkinson’s Disease and dementia. She spent the last seven years of her life in an adult family home and died there on November 9, 2018, just short of her 94th birthday. She is survived by sons Jeff and Michael, and grandchildren Alex and Emily.

Please be sure to share your memories of Ingrid by signing her online guest book.

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