Karla Anna Fuchs

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  • "Dearest Cornelia and Family, So many happy memories of..."
    - Shane Ellis
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PORTLAND - Karla Anna Fuchs, 92, of Portland, died surrounded by her family on Friday, Nov. 30, 2018, at Gosnell Hospice House in Scarborough after a period of declining health. Born on August 14, 1926, in Bremen, Germany as the only child of the late Karl and Martha Strich, Karla attended the Kleine Helle Gymnasium in Bremen from which she received her Abitur in 1944. World War II began in Germany when Karla was 13 years old, and she grew up under the authoritarian Nazi regime. She came of age during the period of time when her home and hometown of Bremen were destroyed by Allied bombs. She lived to see cousins, friends, neighbors and classmates killed during the War, but found strength in her family and her large circle of friends with whom she remained in close contact throughout her life. Karla met her future husband, Arnold J. Fuchs, after the war through her work as an interpreter at the American Joint Distribution Committee Emigration Service in Bremen. She emigrated to the United States at the age of 25 to marry Arnold, who previously emigrated, and arrived in New York City on July 1, 1952. While in New York, Karla and Arnold lived in Jackson Heights where they developed a close circle of friends including other recent German emigrants. Karla worked for many years as an interpreter and confidential secretary at the New Yorker-Staats Zeitung in Manhattan, the leading German language newspaper in the United States, until the birth of her only child, daughter Cornelia. In November, 1963, after Arnold was hired as a psychologist at Maine Medical Center, Karla, Arnold, and Cornelia moved to Portland, where she resided for the remainder of her life. Karla and Arnold spent many happy years together raising Cornelia in Portland, at their camp on Thomas Pond, and on family trips to Germany to visit Karla's mother in Bremen and to travel throughout Europe. In addition to serving as the office manager for Arnold's private practice, Karla served on the Board of Directors of the Visiting Nurse Association, the Women's Committee of the Portland Symphony Orchestra, and volunteered as a Big Sister at Ingraham House. Following her divorce from Arnold after 30 years of marriage, Karla resumed her formal education at the University of Southern Maine in Portland, from which she received her B.A., cum laude, in history in December, 1984 at the age of 58. Karla worked for 10 years as the administrative assistant for the Departments of Political Science and History at the University of Southern Maine before retiring in 1995. Thereafter, Karla served as a docent at the Portland Museum of Art, where she led tours and gave gallery talks. When she retired as a docent, she was recognized as a docent emeritus by the Museum. It was also during this period that Karla embarked on annual trips with her close circle of childhood friends exploring historic sites and museums from Helsinki to Provence and from Amsterdam to St. Petersburg, but only after first returning to her beloved hometown of Bremen.Greater even than her love of travel, exploring museums and reading, most notably biographies, classic literature, and The NY Times, was Karla's love for her two grandchildren, Karl Jacob Fisher and Anna Elisabeth Fisher. Karla, long revered by Cornelia and her friends as being a loving and supportive mother, embraced her role as Omi to Karl and Anna. Karla nurtured and supported Karl and Anna and imparted in them, as she had in her daughter, the value of education, the desirability of advance planning, and the importance of lifelong friendships with friends who are strong. Above all, Karla epitomized unconditional love.Karla was a devoted mother, grandmother and friend. She loved without reservation and she led by example instilling lessons of determination, strength, independence and loyalty.Karla and her family want to thank, in particular, the Staff of 75 State Street in Portland, where Karla resided since 2016, for their unwavering kindness and support, as well as Dr. Wendy Cathcart, Dr. Helen Ryan, and their respective Staff for their years of compassion and care.Karla is survived by her daughter, Cornelia S. Fuchs; her grandchildren, Karl Jacob Fisher and Anna Elisabeth Fisher, and her son-in-law, Christopher C. McGorrill of Portland. A Celebration of Karla's Life will be held on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. at the Glickman Family Library on the USM Portland Campus in the University Events Room on the 7th Floor. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Karla's memory to the:Portland Symphony Orchestra50 Monument Square2nd FloorPortland, ME 04101

Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Dec. 9, 2018
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