Gertrude “Trudi” Vrabel, born on January 25, 1926 in Zell am See, Austria, peacefully passed away September 18, 2022. She was pre-deceased by her parents, Franz & Gertrude Breitfuss, a brother, Franz, who was killed during WWII, and her loving husband, Ernst Vrabel.
Survivors include her children: Gerhard (Diana) Vrabel and Erika (Mick) Linsdell, her Grandchildren: Shaun (Jackie) Vrabel, Christopher (Katie) Vrabel, Michael (Susan) Vrabel, Monika Vrabel and Krista Vrabel; step-Grandchildren: Stephanie (Josh) Ector and Nicholas Rivera and her Great-Grandchildren: McKenzie, Morgan, Raemi and Mylan, along with a very dear friend, whom she considered a daughter, Consuelo Bernard.
Gertrude grew up in Salzburg, Austria, a city that would remain in her heart. The cultural side of Salzburg with its traditional music, folk dance and art instilled in her the love of her heritage, which she was so proud to share with everyone. She grew up during WWII and began her teaching career during this time as a Kindergarten teacher.
She met her husband, and Austrian-born American, and in 1951 she received her Visa and came to the USA, where they started their family in New Jersey. When Ernst was hired to teach in Ithaca, they moved to this city, where it’s hills and lake reminded her of her beloved Austria and she embraced this area which became her 2nd home.
Trudi is a founding member of the Community School of Music and Arts (CSMA) where she would continue teaching recorder and German even into her 90’s. She started the CSMA Recorder Ensemble which still exists today, under the direction of a former student of hers.
She worked for many years as a German teacher alongside her husband at DeWitt, and would continue teaching German privately after her retirement. Her latest student was her Postlady up to 2 days before her death and whom Trudi took great pride in.
Trudi was a lifetime member of Immaculate Conception Church, and never missed a Sunday nor Holy Day. She sang with the choir up to its hiatus in 2020 from the Pandemic. Her belief and Faith was so strong, she would incorporate it into how she lived every day. She had a strong set of morals which came through in all her everyday dealings.
Her first love was and always remained her family. She considered her children her “treasure on earth” and enjoyed getting together and hearing from all her Grandchildren during her weekly “Oma Sunday Calls”. She never missed a week.
She had such a loving and generous heart which she shared with everyone she met, and everyone who met her just couldn’t help but fall in love with her.
Calling hours will be held on Friday, September 30, 2022 from 4-6pm at Bangs Funeral Home, 209 W. Green Street, Ithaca, NY. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, October 1, 2022 at 11:30am at St. Catherine of Siena Church, 309 Siena Drive, Ithaca, NY followed by committal at Calvary Cemetery.
Please send any donations in her name to CSMA, Immaculate Conception, or the Salvation Army. Livestream will be available through www.tinyurl.com/StCatLivestream.
Online condolences may be made to Trudi’s family at www.bangsfuneralhome.com.