Gretel Margit Brekle

March 23, 2014 

Gretel Margit Brekle

Gretel Margit Brekle, full of 91 years of feisty wisdom passed away on Monday, February 24th 2014. A dynamic woman who always maintained a fierce independence, Gretel was born in Stuttgart, Germany. Her early adulthood was surrounded by the war, and with the bombing of Stuttgart, her physical home was destroyed more than once. Fortunately for all of us, she and her siblings, a brother and sister, l survived the war, and Gretel, following her sister, emigrated to the US in 1956 and became a proud US citizen in 1963. With that beginning, Gretel determinedly forged a varied and interesting life across several continents: trekking through the Himalayas, practicing yoga in an ashram in India, shocking the public by wearing a two-piece swimsuit on a Long Island beach in the 1960’s, working for the U.N. in New York, hiking with the Sierra Club, leading religious services as a minister in the Mojave desert are just some of the highlights. She moved to North Carolina in 1990 to be near her beloved sister, nephews, and their families, in 1990, and had been a resident of Chapel Hill, North Carolina ever since. Befriending nearly everyone she met, she lived for the love of and believed in the best of people, spending many years volunteering at UNC Hospitals with AIDS patients and infants in the NICU. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her, but especially by her multi-generation extended family, the Riggles of North Carolina, Colorado, Virginia, Australia, and South Africa and the Brekle, Probst and Eisenbarth families in Germany. Heifer International was one of her favorite charities, and she was an avid supporter of WUNC. Donations in her name to one of these organizations, or to a liberal charity of your choice would honor her.

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