August 18, 1924—January 24, 2018
Leonore Victoria Luise Rush of Elko, Nevada passed away January 24, 2018. She was 93 years of age. For the past 10 months she lived at the Highland Manor.
Leonore was born August 18, 1924 in Ravensburg, Germany to Gustav E. Bischoff and Frieda Luise Lang Bischoff. She was an only child.
When World War II started with Germany attacking smaller European Countries, everyone had to participate in the war effort, even teenage girls. Since every available male had to serve in the military, this left a gaping hole in the civilian labor force, especially among farmers. Germany needed its farm products, but no one was left to produce them. This deficiency in the farm labor force was repaired by recruiting city living teenage girls. The girls lived in camps in various farm communities. Every morning each girl would mount her bicycle and pedal out to her assigned farm. There they would work until late evening and then pedal back to camp for a meal and some rest. For entertainment the girls would sing and do folk dances. In Leonore’s camp she provided music for singing and dancing by playing her accordion.
When Germany started losing the war the girls camps were in big trouble. The Russians were closing in from the East. Since Leonore’s camp was in East Germany this meant that she had to get through the Russian forces in order to get to Stuttgart which is where her parents were then living. It took a lot of courage and wiles to get this done. To illustrate a couple of instances: Leonore came to a river and on the other side the Russian soldiers were whooping it up in a partying mood. She hid in the bushes on her side of the river until late at night when all of the soldiers fell asleep. Then with bicycle in tow, she swam the river, climbed the opposite river bank, crept through the sleeping soldiers then bicycled down the road heading west.
Another instance was: she came to a larger river. This one had a bridge across it, but the bridge was controlled by the Russians. Now, somewhere along the way, Leonore found a Red Cross arm band. She picked it up and kept it. Now, at the Russian controlled bridge she slipped the arm band on her arm; went up to the Colonel who was in charge of the unit holding the bridge, and told him she was on her way to the village on the other side to help with the wounded soldiers. Since most of the wounded were Russian soldiers he waved her on. And so it went until she reached Stuttgart and was reunited with her parents.
Fast forward to 1947, the year Leonore started her professional training at the College for Teachers of Domestic Science at Kirchheim/Tech, Wutemberg. After passing the state board examinations as a teacher of Domestic Science, Needlework, and Gymnastics, she went on to do some practical training at the Infants and Babies Hospital in Stuttgart.
At this time, there were few jobs for teachers since Germany was still rebuilding its educational system after the war. So, Leonore answered the call of the English Government for women to serve as domestics in wealthy English households. She was one of those women chosen, but on the condition that she return to Germany when teachers were once again needed.
Upon arriving in England, she was assigned to serve as a governess to Mr. and Mrs. James Martin’s four young children. Leonore was treated as one of the family. She had meals with the family and had her own room in the Southlands Manor. She enjoyed working with the Martin kids, but it didn’t last long. Within a year, she was called back to Germany to take a teaching position in one of the newly built schools in Stuttgart.
The next adventure Leonore had was with the Educational Exchange Service under the U.S. Dept. of State. Under this program, many teachers from various foreign countries were exchanged with teachers from the United States for the purpose of study, lecturing, and promoting understanding between the United States and other foreign countries. During the 1952-1953 academic years, 110 young German teachers were exchanged with the same number of American teachers. Leonore was one of the German teachers chosen for this exchange. Since Home Economics was one of her specialties and the Oregon State College had one of the best Home Ec. Programs in the country, she was sent to Oregon State College.
Now, it just so happened that Yours Truly was a student at Oregon State at this time. We met and sparks began to fly almost instantly. But, since Leonore was obligated to return to Germany after finishing the program not much could be done about the romance. However, we did become engaged. We agreed that both of us would work for a year, save our money and then marry. I dropped out of school, found a job, saved my money then flew to Germany to marry my dream. After getting her visa for entering the U.S., we crossed the Atlantic by ship. We docked in New Your City then flew back to California where I was employed.
We had three kids: Alex, Angela and Norman, all of whom brought us much joy. Leonore and I lived happily together for 63 years.
A memorial service will be held for Leonore at the Greater Life Church at 685 Juniper St. on Saturday, March 24th at 10:00AM.