Obituary of Flora Thieme-Trappenburg
Flora Thieme-Trappenburg, 101, of Stamford, passed away peacefully on August 15, 2023, at home with one of her daughters by her bedside.
Born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, on June 20, 1922, she was the youngest daughter of Willem L. and Gerdina J. (Kaptein) Thieme, Ph.D.
In 1939, she became the youngest and only female high school graduate from the Libanon Lyceum, Rotterdam where her father was also a teacher. Despite the beginning of WWII, she continued her education in Home Economics, graduating from the Rotterdamsche Huishoud School and earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Teaching and Nutrition from the Amersfoortse Industrie-en Huishoudschool.
In the middle of WWII while under German occupation, she took a job as the dietician for the Diocese Hospital in Naarden, The Netherlands where she serendipitously met the hospital administrator, Herber Trappenburg. They worked as colleagues for the duration of the war and together endured the most harrowing, intense experience of their lives. They fell in love ice-skating on a moonlit, frozen Dutch field after curfew, and eventually married in 1947 to begin a new chapter together, enjoying 49 years of matrimony until Herb’s passing in 1996.
In 1951 she joined her husband on an exploratory residency in Stamford, NY living at the Uplands House of the Rexmere in historic Churchill Park. After returning to the Netherlands a year later, the couple decided to immigrate to Stamford in 1965 with their 4 children to continue the success of Herb’s import business, Delaware Mercantile, Inc.
Flora spent 58 wonderful years as a Stamford village resident, dedicated to her community through many volunteer positions with CORE Thrift Shop, the Stamford Hospital coffee shop, the church choir, and membership in Inner Wheel.
She enjoyed crossword puzzles, knitting (baby booties to ski sweaters), was a superb seamstress (her mother had her own haute couture design studio), and loved to make hors d’oeuvres for many fun cocktail parties at home. Flora was also the family’s handywoman and mechanic, especially adept at repairing anything electrical.
She tried skiing at Scotch Valley and golfing with fellow golfers who quickly learned her Dutch expletives! She enjoyed playing couples Bridge and was an avid gardener, always filling her home and yard with plants and flowers.
Famous for her chocolate truffles, cheese fondue and hot-spiced wine, Flora & Herb hosted many Xmas tree-cutting parties, and big breakfasts after a morning of deer hunting by family & friends.
More recently, she was proud to be the oldest “Greeter” at the Presbyterian Church’s annual Xmas Eve service, and looked forward to seeing old friends at the coffee hour. Until April 2023, she always attended the bimonthly Stamford Trivia night where she made many new friends, and her team often won thanks to her expertise in geography, math, chemistry, and science!
Flora’s greatest joy and happiness, however, was being with her family. She is survived by her four children, Cornelis (Yolanda) Trappenburg of Punta Gorda, FL, Johanna Tordai of Cobleskill, NY, Pieter Trappenburg of Spring Hill, FL, and Liesbeth Trappenburg of Stamford, NY; her four grandchildren, H. Stephan and Carey (Sable Eldridge) Trappenburg, Kristina (Koral-Tordai), and Laszlo (Dahiana) Tordai; her ten great-grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews and cousins in the Netherlands and throughout Europe.
Flora was a kind, wise, humorous, intelligent, and trustworthy woman ahead of her time. A devoted matriarch of the Trappenburg family, she set a high standard for herself and all. She lived an amazingly full 101 years, and witnessed many historic moments and technological inventions. We shall miss her dearly.
A funeral service will be held at 11AM, August 24, at the Presbyterian Church, Stamford, NY.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Flora’s memory to Helios Care, Oneonta, NY; the Stamford Fire Dept., Stamford, NY or a charity of your choice.
Arrangements are by the MacArthur Funeral Home, Stamford, NY. Share fond memories with Flora’s family online at www.macarthurfh.com.