News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Gitta Storch, July 30, 1933 — March 30, 2021

Mom, Nani, friend, teacher, and mentor Gitta Eva Storch passed away on March 30, in Walla Walla, Washington in the arms of her children. Born Gitta Eva Feierabend on July 30, 1933 in Berlin, Germany, to Erich and Clara Feierabend, Gitta had a love for life like no other!

Growing up during the War, she spoke about hiding in bomb shelters and long visits to the country to find safety with her aunt. After the War, she went to nursing school to become one of the youngest students to graduate. She met her future husband, Werner, as a patient in Berlin (he complained of cold feet — she snuck him extra socks), and in 1957 they immigrated to America, settling in Portland, Oregon. Together, they learned to speak English by going to movies and reading dictionaries.

She worked for several years as a nurse, then became a full-time mom to Andrea (Jeff), Craig (Norma), Danielle (Kevin), and Tyson (Melissa). Her life was a whirlwind of horse shows, sports games, and swim meets! Later in life, she adored her role as a grandmother of six children — Kalie, Brennan, Joshua, Olivia, Isabelle, and Sebastian — climbing trees, attending plays and soccer games, and trying hard to pass down her native language.

In the 1990s and 2000s, with an empty nest and newly single, Gitta hit the retail world, working at Meier and Frank, Saks Fifth Avenue and finally, Louis Vuitton, selling beautiful handbags. She took her work very seriously and once hauled her 90-pound 4-foot-11-inch frame at top speed after a young man who stole a bag off the counter — high heels and all! He only got away because he had a bike at the bottom of the stairs. She also taught at a German Kinderschule working with kindergartners — a job she adored.

After retirement, she moved to Sisters, to be near her daughter Danielle. There, she continued to teach German to children and adults. She was active in her church and volunteered at Sisters Park & Recreation District preschool and Sisters Kiwanis Food Bank.

In 2017, Gitta moved to Walla Walla to live near her daughter Andrea. She deeply enjoyed Walla Walla and was active in the Life Church, where she continued to volunteer with children. On Saturdays, you could find Gitta at the local farmers market, doling out samples for the Walla Walla Cheese Company with gusto!

Though we are truly heartbroken she is gone, we will do our best to live life as she did — with love, enthusiasm and kindness toward all. She often told us, “Halt die Ohren steif” — “Hold your ears stiff” or “Stay strong” — and we’ll do our best.


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