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the steuben news







                                                      A NEWSPAPER BY GERMAN-AMERICANS FOR ALL AMERICANS


                                  VOL. 95 NO. 5         DUTY • JUSTICE • CHARITY • TOLERANCE           September - October 2022




      IN MEMORY OF ILSE HOFFMANN (JULY 1, 1934 – JUNE 18, 2022)

         They are passing away, the friends of old
         Like leaves on the current cast,
         With never a break in the rapid flow —
         We watch them, as one by one they go
         Into the dreamland of the past.
         A tribute by Randall Ratje
              ood afternoon to my fellow Steubenites and to all of
              you who have come here today to pay their last re-
      Gspects to Ilse Hoffmann. For those of you who do not
      know  who  I  am,  my  name  is  Randall  Ratje.  I  am  a  past
      National Chairman and the current National Secretary of the
      Steuben Society of America. If you'll indulge me a few min-
      utes of your time, I would like to share with you why Ilse
      played such an important role, not only in the operation of the
      Steuben Society of America, but also in my personal life.
         Ilse's life reads like a clas- was of such a quality that she
      sic  American  Success  Story. gained the attention of a can-
      She was born Ilse Lemm on cer  researcher  in  New  York,     Ilse (center) at the German Parade.
      July  1,  1934  near  Hamburg, Dr.  Ernst  Wynder.  In  1958,
                                                                     She firmly believed in, and
      Germany. As a child she had Dr. Wynder arranged for Ilse
                                                                    often quoted, our motto, "The
      to persevere through the hor- to  immigrate  to  the  U.S.  to  cause ceasing, the effect
      rors of World War II and the work at Sloan-Kettering Insti-    ceases." This meant for her
      post-war  occupation  of  her tute for Cancer Research as a
                                                                     and for all of our brothers
      homeland.  In  spite  of  the lab assistant for Dr. Wynder's
                                                                    and sisters that an institution
      hardships  of  her  youth,  Ilse associate, a young biochemist
                                                                    can only be preserved by the
      was able to begin a career in named  Dr.  Dietrich  Hoff-         attention given to it.
      the field of Science. Her apti- mann.  The  rest,  they  say,  is
      tude for her work in Germany history.                           Dieter and Ilse married in
                                                                    1960,  and  settled  in  Larch-                              Her wedding photo.
      West Point Award 2022                                         mont, New York. They went
                                                                    on to have two sons: Peter and
          by Carol Ann Fischer                                      Ralph. Ralph would go on to
               ay 18, 2022 was a per-
          Mfectly  clear  and  gor-                                 bless  them  with  a  grandson  A picture taken of Ilse Hoffman
       geous  spring  day  at  the  United                          named  Eric.  Ilse  remained  in  October,  1958  after  four
       States Military Academy at West                              eternally  grateful  to  Dr.  months in America.
       Point. This year marked the first                            Wynder  for,  as  she  joked, woman,  Ilse  threw  herself
       time  that  parents  and  invited                            "importing" her to be Dieter's, wholeheartedly into the work
       guests were able to attend in per-                           "bartered bride."             of  the  Steuben  Society.  She
       son the awards ceremonies. You                                 In 1975, Dr. Wynder, Diet- firmly believed in, and often
       could  feel  the  excitement  in  the
       air.                                                         er and Ilse left Sloan-Ketter- quoted, our motto, "The cause  As a young mom.
          Major Frye from the German                                ing  to  continue  their  cancer ceasing,  the  effect  ceases."
       Department  met  us  at  the  West                           research  at  the  Naylor  Dana This meant for her and for all tlieb  Berkemeir  Unit  #985.
       Point Visitors Center and escorted                           Institute  of  the  American of our brothers and sisters that Ilse was also heavily involved
       us  to  Robinson  Auditorium,                                Health Foundation in Valhal- an institution can only be pre- with  the  work  of  the  New
       Thayer  Hall,  where  the  Depart-                           la,  New  York.  During  their served by the attention given York State Council.
       ment  of  Foreign  Languages                                 tenure at Valhalla, which last- to it.  Ilse worked diligently at
       Awards Ceremony was held.     Cadet James W. Ariail                                                                          Although Ilse spent her en-
          It was an honor and privilege                             ed until 2004, Dieter, with Ilse every level of the Steuben So- tire  professional  career  as  a
       to  present  the  National  Council,  Before  attending  West  Point, at his side, gained great repute ciety.  She  was  the  glue  that scientist, she was also devout-
       Steuben  Society  of  America James spent a year at the Marion  as one of the nation's leading held  together  the  Blenker- ly  religious.  Ilse  was  a  loyal
       Award for excellence in German Military Institute in Alabama. At  cancer researchers.      Schmid  Unit  #960  of  White member  of  the  congregation
       to  Cadet  James  W.  Ariail.  The West Point James double majored  In  1972,  Dieter  and  Ilse Plains,   New   York,   the here at St. Matthew's Lutheran
       award, one of the oldest at West in German and International His-  made what would prove to be Westchester-Putnam  District
       Point,  has  been  continuously tory.  He  played  clarinet  for  both                                                                Continued on page 2
       awarded  since  its  inception  in the Cadet Catholic Choir and the  a  landmark  decision  in  their Council and later the Dr. Got-
       1936.                         Cadet Spirit Band. James worked life together. They joined the
          James  grew  up  in  Edwards- as  a  Writing  Fellow  at  West Steuben  Society  of  America.  Steuben Society of America
       ville,  IL  across  the  Mississippi Point’s  Writing  Center.  He  is  a  Fifty years after the fact, I can
       River from St. Louis, Mo. Both of member  of  both  Phi  Sigma  Iota  say without hyperbole that the  One South Ocean Ave., Suite 217
       his  parents  were  Army  officers (language honor society) and Phi  Hoffmanns  stand  out  as  two  Patchogue, NY 11772
       and  his  older  sister  was  born  in Alpha Theta (history honor soci-
       Germany while his parents were ety).                         of the giants of our organiza-  ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED
       stationed  there.  He  began  his  James and his fiancé are head-  tion.  When  Dieter  passed
       study  of  the  German  language ing to Fort Sill, Oklahoma for fur- away in 2011, I had the honor
       while in high school.         ther  artillery  training.  His  plans to speak in this same church
          In 2010 James traveled to Ger- for the future include becoming a  about his many contributions
       many with his family. While there foreign area officer attached to an  to  the  Steuben  Society.  But,
       they  went  to  Oberammergau  to embassy.                    today,  I  want  to  talk  to  you
       see  the  Passion  Play  and  visited  Congratulations  again  to  this  about Ilse.
       Munich and Berlin. Later in 2018 year’s recipient of the Steuben So-
       he visited his sister, who also was ciety of America’s German award,  All  while  balancing  her
       a  German  major  at  West  Point, the coveted ceremonial saber. We roles of wife, mother, grand-
       and  stationed  in  Grafenwoehr, wish  you  a  glorious  career  and mother   and   professional
       Germany.                      future.
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