Nature 42

Waltraut Karoline (Urbann) Beenhakker

October 3, 1941 ~ May 21, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old


Waltraut Karoline Beenhakker, born October 3, 1941 in Wels, Austria, died on Sunday, May 21, 2023 in Catonsville, Maryland. Though the final years of her life were very challenging as she bravely lived with Alzheimer’s Disease, Waltraut will always be remembered for her elegance, love, and true joie de vivre. Having grown up in the early years of World War II and its aftermath, Waltraut appreciated life, living, and all that she had to the fullest. Waltraut left her hometown and the Urbann Konditerei of her family to study at Sorbonne University in Paris for college. She decided at age 21 to travel to the U.S. for six months with her best friend; while there, she met her husband Henri in San Francisco and changed her path. She and Henri traveled extensively to and lived in a number of countries, ultimately settling down in the Washington D.C. area. She worked as an English and French teacher. 

Among Waltraut’s favorite things were her decades-long international dinner group and New Years Eve Celebration group with dear friends, her French book club, traveling, art museums, downhill skiing, lake swimming, hiking, and sunsets. She could always find a reason to celebrate and loved spending time with her family. She was an immense support to her three children. Waltraut was a dear friend to many lifelong close friends from around the world; Waltraut was a loyal wife of 58 years to Henri Beenhakker; Waltraut was a beloved mother who cherished and nourished her children and their spouses; and Waltraut was an absolutely smitten Oma who adored her seven grandchildren. Waltraut could light up a room with her grace, wisdom, kindness, compassion and sense of humor. She will be sorely missed forever. Waltraut’s husband, Henri, and older brother, Gerhard Urbann, predeceased her. Waltraut is survived by younger brother Helmfried, daughter Barbara Beenhakker, son Mark Beenhakker, and daughter Britta (Beenhakker) Mullany, in addition to daughter-in-law Judy Beenhakker and sons-in-law Brian Parr & Luke Mullany, and seven grandchildren Sophia, Nicolas, Annika, Liesel, Hayden, Connor & Athira.

In lieu of a formal funeral service, the Beenhakker family will be honoring Waltraut with a Celebration of Life ceremony and graveside burial at a later date. 

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Celebration of Life At a Later Date


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