Eva-Maria (nee Erdenberger) Wilson, 79, of Berkeley Heights, passed away suddenly on Nov. 8, at her home following a fall. She was born May 20, 1933 in Dresden, Germany, and moved to the U.S. in 1953.
She is survived by her son Scott and daughter-in-law Melanie of Summit, and their children Amanda, Carly and Matthew; and by her daughter Claudia and son-in-law Ted Howard of Mt. Bethel, PA and their children Peter, Jimmy, Arianna and Alex. She is also survived by her sister Gabrielle Hiltunen of Redding, CT, brother Uli Erdenberger and his wife Hella of Edison, NJ, and brother Peter Erdenberger of Naples, FL and many, many loving nieces and nephews and their children. She is pre-deceased by her sisters Annemarie and Audrey.
Eva lived in Dresden until 1944, and then on the Chechnien border until 1947. She finished school in Oldenburg. From 1948-1952 she was secretary to the president of the Bremer Landesbank while attending business school. She moved to New York in 1953, and was a governess in NY and NJ. During this time she studied Spanish, French, piano and water ballet. She met her ex-husband Peter Wilson while working at McGraw Hill.
During this time, she studied Italian, tailoring, horseback riding, tennis and shorthand. She worked in the Ridgefield Public Schools for several years. Her paralegal certificate from Fairfield University helped her land a position with the general counsel of General Electric in Stamford, where she received two management awards. She was with GE from 1980-89, and then left for Kidder-Peabody until it was dissolved in 1995. Until her retirement in 1998, she worked as an assistant to the Chairman of the American Stock Exchange.
She made her homes in New York City; Great Neck, NY; Princeton, NJ; Ridgefield, CT; Norwalk, CT, and Berkeley Heights, where she lived since 2001.
Cheering her grandchildren on from the sidelines at their many sporting events and their school plays and concerts was one of her joys. Her last sports outing was the day before the storm, when she ventured to granddaughter Amanda’s college swim meet. She was excited for grandson Matthew’s rendition of Gandolf in The Hobbit at the LCJSMS school play later this month, and to Carly’s basketball season at Summit High School.
Peter, Jimmy, Arianna and Alex will miss her a lot, and loved her beef jerky and dried apple care packages. Arianna loved her special phone calls and the many gifts sent by her Nana. Peter will miss discussing history with her.
She was an avid lover of opera and classical music, and was an active participant in Schwaebischer Saengerbund, a Clark-based singing club. She was planning to tour with them this summer to perform in Assisi, Italy. She performed with them in 2009 throughout Germany.
Although she remained without power from Hurricane Sandy through her fall, she ventured out to Overlook Hospital in Summit, where she served as an Emergency Room Volunteer.
In April, she was recognized by Overlook at a Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon as a 2,000+ hours volunteer. She also volunteered every week as a teacher in the English as a Second Language program at the Connection for Women and Families in Summit. Other posts include many years as an election poll worker, most recently this past Tuesday, a door-to-door census taker and as a volunteer food server at the German Club picnics.
Eva remained in excellent physical condition, and swam most mornings at the Connection. She took long walks regularly through the Watchung Reservation, and often stumbled upon raspberry patches which she would pick clean and deliver proudly to her family. She was an avid cook and baker and fan of the Food Channel. Her love of poetry and history has been lifelong and she was fascinated by the lives of the great philosophers. She travelled extensively through Europe, and loved to generously treat her family to Mexican and Caribbean vacations. She enjoyed vegetable gardening, sewing and knitting.
She touched the lives of so many, and will be missed greatly be family, friends and co-workers.
A Memorial Visitation will be held Sunday, November 18 at the William Dangler Funeral Home, 309 Springfield Avenue, Summit from 12-1pm, with a Memorial Service following immediately at 1pm.