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Preston's Elsbeth Soderman, who fled East Germany, dies at 84

August 8, 2014 · 8:54 AM
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Elsbeth Soderman of Preston, wife to Earle, died Sunday, July 6.

Elsbeth was born on May 13, 1930, in the small farming community of Gross Heinzendorf, Germany to Gustav and Louisa Hartert

At the end of World War II, when the Polish border changed, her family was forced to move from the farm where they had been for three generations. They moved south into the Russian quadrant, and rather than work in labor camps, Elsbeth walked to West Germany.

She worked in Duisburg and later in Steinem, and met her future husband, Earle Soderman, at the Frankfurt Zoo in 1955.  They were married on May 11, 1956 in Steinheim Germany, and moved to Preston.

Soderman used Scrabble to master the English language, and after five years, became an American citizen.

The family lived in the 1904 house built by Gabriel Soderman, where they cared for Gabriel & Charlotta until their deaths, and raised two sons.

Soderman is survived by her husband, Earle; son Ernst (Melisa) Soderman; son Eric (Cindi) Soderman, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A celebration of life was held Saturday, Aug. 2, at Flintoft's Issaquah Funeral Home. A reception followed at Vasa Hall.


 

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