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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

January 14, 2010

Funeral in Berlin

Filed under UCG-Germany

My first assignment after returning to Germany was a funeral in Berlin.

Funeral in Berlin
 A brief scripture reading at the gravesite.
Funeral in Berlin
 After the funeral we all had a drink at a cafe.
 Mrs. Wilson’s daughter sits next to me.

Christel Wilson, for many years an employee of the Worldwide Church of God in Germany, died on January 4, 2010 in Berlin at the age of 93. She had a long an interesting life. She was born in November 1916 in a small town in what later became East Germany. She was a gymnastics and swimming instructor in her early years, and it was often visible with her energy and generally good health for many years. She married shortly before World War II and had two children during the early war years, a son and a daughter. Her first child, a son, had polio. After the war she decided that she was not going to stay in what had become the Russian zone (later East Germany), so armed with a bicycle and her two children, she trekked to the Western zones. Along the way her son died, being weakened by his polio. She made it safely to the British zone and was able to go on the Scotland in 1948, where she remarried. Chris later became proficient in photography, and after the death of her second husband that interest brought her back to Germany. In late 1968 she began to work for the Düsseldorf office of the WCG as a photographer and in other capacities. It was there that I first met her in 1971 when I visited the office as a student on a summer break. Chris had a good sense of humor and a way with words, frequently noticing peculiarities about both German and English, since she was fluent in both languages. In late 1995 she moved to Berlin and lived the rest of her life there. We were a small group for the funeral, and I was happy to see her daughter again, who came over from Scotland for the funeral. It was a cold, overcast day in Berlin, somehow fitting for a funeral. We all shared our memories of Chris and took comfort that she has the promise of being awakened from her sleep of death one day via the resurrection.

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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