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Gerda Miller

GERDA  A. MILLER, 91, of Largo, Florida, passed away July 5, 2017, just shy of her 92nd birthday, and we all know how she loved those birthday parties.

Gerda was born on July 6, 1925 in Berlin, Germany, a daughter of the late Ferdinand Altwasser and Anna Gargon Altwasser.  Her life in Berlin as a young woman in her teens during WWII was not something she openly discussed, but what she did share showed how strong and determined she had to be.  The bombings from the war had left the cities with “tons  of rubble on the streets, and not enough men to do the work. “ Gerda was one of Germany’s historical group known as rubble women, or Trummerfrauen.    They cleared away tons of rubble left by the bombings by hammering out small pieces of the concrete and stone, which were then moved by buckets to a little wagon pulled away by the women.  (Google German Rubble Women.)

Gerda was sponsored by her sister, the only person she knew in this country, and arrived in the United States in June 1953.  She became a citizen January 1959.    She was “proudly German” as we all know, but she was also a very patriotic American and loved the 4th of July celebrations.  The monthly meetings of the Berliner Club where everyone spoke German and had to have origins from Berlin were a very important part of her life. Gerda joined the Seminole Elks Lodge 2519 in 2009 and was a regular at the twice a week dinner dances.  She loved the dinners but she loved to dance more.  Gerda was a strong supporter of the Elks programs, particularly for young people and veterans, and she also always supported the Disabled American Veterans.

Gerda was an avid and high scoring bowler for 47 years and stopped only a couple of years ago when her shoulder would no longer allow her to bowl. She had many funny stories to share about one of her first jobs in a butcher shop because of the language differences,  and she was very proud of her last job as a dental lab technician which she retired from in June 1990.  She enjoyed having fun at the casinos,   the cruise to Alaska in 2010 was a highlight in her life, but watching the Rays was her passion.  She was  a proud and independent lady, never turning control over to someone else, very active and outgoing with a wonderful sense of humor, and a pleasure to know.  She kept her friendships for years, including one with the friend she shared her first apartment with in the 50’s, even though her friend accidently threw dry ice instead of rice at Gerda and Bob on their wedding day in 1956.

Besides her parents, Gerda was preceded in death by her husband, Roman “Bob” Miller, two sisters and two brothers.

At Gerda’s request, some of her cremains will be scattered at sea in the same coordinates as her husband and the rest placed with Bob at the Bay Pines National Cemetery in a private service.


In erinnerung an Gerta, Slafe in Ruhe in Gott’s Hands

In rememberance of Gerda, Sleep Safe in peace in God’s hands.


Women of the Rubble Silhouttee

1950’s arrival

Dental Lab Technician  1990

Bowling Champs 2003

Alaskan Cruise 2010

Our Sweet Gerda 2012 (car)

Valentine’s Day at the Elks

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  • Gerhard Fock says:

    In Gedanken an unsere Besuche bei Dir in Florida ruhe wohl. DEINE NICHTE Brigitte und Mann

  • Beate Konkel says:

    Mit Freude erinnern wir uns an Deine Gastfreundschaft während unserer beiden Besuche bei Dir in Florida sowie an unsere gemeinsamen Unternehmungen in Largo und an die Besuche in der einzigartigen Elks Lodge.

    Ein langes, erlebnisreiches Leben ist Dir beschert worden. Die Nachricht von Deinem Tod kam für uns völlig unerwartet. Rest in peace!

    Deine Großnichte Beate Konkel und Knut Ragozat aus 12167 Berlin/Germany

  • Horst Erdmann says:

    Unerwartet müssen wir von Dir Abschied nehmen. Wir denken gerne an Deine Besuche bei uns in Berlin zurück, auch erlebten wir schöne Urlaubstage bei Dir in Florida. Wir werden Dich vermissen.

    Dein Neffe Horst Erdmann und Gisela Erdmann, 14532 Kleinmachnow/Germany

  • Karin Konkel says:

    Unerwartet bist Du von uns gegangen und hast Deine letzte Reise angetreten. Meine Gedanken gehen zurück an Deine Aufenthalte in Berlin, die etwas Besonderes waren.

    Du bleibst in meiner Erinnerung. Ruhe in Frieden

    Deine Nichte Karin Konkel, 12167 Berlin/Germany

  • Edna (Wright) Binkowski says:

    My Dearest Friend,

    Sharing an apartment with you was great fun. I will never forget those times.

    I treasure the lifelong friendship we shared, and will miss you always.

    Rest In Peace.

    Edna. Green Valley, AZ

  • Pat Thoele says:

    Gerda was a dear friend of mine for many years. She lived across the street from me and my husband when she had her house in Largo. I really enjoyed our visits…we would sit and talk for hours. She was a very strong woman and enjoyed and appreciated the good life she had here in the United States. She loved and was proud of her German heritage and it showed in her face when she talked about Germany. We will miss seeing her smiling face at the Elks. Rest in peace, Dear Gerda…until we meet again. Love and miss you! Pat