Irmgard Hess Schlenker, retired nurse and tireless education advocate for German language and culture, passed peacefully from cancer on Sunday May 29, 2011 at her residence in Sacramento. She was 75.
Born in 1936 in the German colony of Bessarabia, educated in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, she emigrated to the United States with her family in 1955. She received degrees in Nursing and German from the California State University of Sacramento and served as a Registered Nurse for 37 years at Lodi Memorial, Mercy General, and Mercy San Juan hospitals. Devoted wife of 52 years to Albert Schlenker and mother of three children; Edgar, Siegrid, and Richard Schlenker. Irmgard was an extraordinarily hard working and generous person whose kind and caring nature was beloved by all that knew her.
Irmgard also dedicated over 25 years teaching German language and culture courses to children and adults through the California State University, Sacramento and San Juan Unified School District foreign language programs, and private programs. For 20+ years, she organized and led dozens of educational tours throughout Germany and Western Europe. From 1999 through 2008, she founded and directed the German Language School promoted through the local Sacramento Turn Verein organization. In 2008, she created an independent German-American Language School, teaching classes at the Central Methodist Church in East Sacramento. She was very active within her community and served on the Mission Oaks Recreation and Park District board.
She is survived by her husband, Albert Schlenker; daughter, Siegrid (Ziggy) Robeson; son, Richard Schlenker; brothers, Hugo and Oskar Hess of Lodi; and grandchildren Margaret Schlenker, Kinsey and William Robeson. Preceded in death by her parents, Emil and Ida Hess; sister, Wilma Hess; and son, Edgar Schlenker.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be directed to the
German American Heritage Foundation
719 6th Street NW Washington, DC 20001
Irmgard's last German Language School schedule