Obituary of Edeltraud (Traude) Hanger
Edeltraud Irmgard Hanger, of Killeen, lovingly known as Omi, passed away on July 13, 2018. She is survived by her husband, George and two children: Terry Hehr (Roger), Gilbert, AZ; Rex Hanger (Melissa), Ft. Atkinson, WI; and three grandchildren. Traude was born in Zabrze, Poland, April 26, 1931. Her father (Victor Kassel) perished in WWII leaving her mother (Lucie Novak Kassel) and siblings no choice but to flee Poland after the war because German families were no longer welcomed there. Even with the uprooting from their comfortable home and surviving horrendous conditions of war, all of Traude’s siblings became successful. After completing beauty college, she worked in East Germany until unsafe conditions forced her to escape to West Germany. While working in a beauty shop in Bamberg, her future husband, George, walked by glancing in the window where he claims he saw the most beautiful girl in the world. After two years of dating and with the U.S. government’s permission, they married in Fulda, Germany June 2, 1953. George was transferred back to the states and eventually Traude joined him where they made their first home at Camp Irwin, CA. During their 65 years of marriage, they had many varied and enjoyable assignments with Traude carrying the responsibility of raising the kids during her husband’s numerous service deployments. They traveled all over the U.S. and Europe and continued to do so during retirement. During their travels, they walked thousands of kilometers with Volksmarching clubs.
Not only was Traude an intelligent career girl, she was a dutiful wife always sewing a new suit or formal gown to participate in military events promoting her husband’s 32 year career as a Chief Warrant Officer in the U.S. Army. Traude loved to cook and bake for family and friends. She had many hobbies ranging from decorating her home to raising beautiful flowers and creating things for her kids and grandkids. Children’s handmade clothes, doll clothes, quilts and pillows were plentiful in the Hanger home. At Christmas, she turned the home into a magical place and continued to do so even with an empty nest. Traude worked hard her entire life and was extremely proud that she not only received retirement money from the U.S. but also a pension from Germany.
While Traude was proud of her many accomplishments, she was most proud of her two children and grandkids. Her daughter obtained a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University and after retirement from Arizona State University, continues as an adjunct professor with NAU’s extended campuses. Terry’s husband, an experimental helicopter test pilot at Boeing, recently retired. Their daughter, Kristen, holds a Doctor’s degree and worked as a clinical pharmacist in oncology at MD Anderson in Houston and Arizona. Currently she is with Bristol-Myers-Squibb research. Alex, Omi’s grandson, and Dru, Kristen’s future husband, are both engineering majors at Arizona State University. Traude’s son, Rex (TX A&M graduate), obtained his Ph.D. from Berkeley University and is a full professor in the Geology department at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater. His wife has a college degree from Whitewater and is the devoted mother of Craig, the eight year old grandson whom Omi adored.
Traude loved life and never knew a stranger. Her children recall that it was not uncommon to come home and find her having a kaffeeklatsch with Army wives from all over the world. But it was being outside with nature’s beautiful flowers and birds that really made her happy. The family has sponsored a rose bush at the Val Vista Lakes Rose Garden in Gilbert, AZ in memory of their wonderful mother.
Funeral services for Edeltraud Hanger will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, September 4th at Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home in Killeen followed by graveside services at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Roger Hehr, Alex Hehr, Rex Hanger, Dru Keister, Robert Careless and Albert Lopez. Visitation will be from 3-5 p.m., Monday, September 3rd, at Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home in Killeen.
In lieu of flowers, the family request that consideration be given to donations to one of Killeen’s Animal Shelters because of Trude’s love for animals.