Gerlinde Proffitt
Gerlinde Proffitt

Obituary of Gerlinde Frieda Proffitt

Gerlinde was born in Mainz, Germany April 13, 1965 and passed away December 18, 2006 at her home in Tacoma, Washington surrounded by her loving family. Click on link below to view video tribute online (high-speed internet access needed) Gerlinde is survived by her loving husband of 20 years, James of Tacoma, WA; 2 brothers, Juergen and Willie Mann of Germany; sister, Romy Mann of Germany; numerous nieces and nephews, foster children, and friends. Inurnment service to be held 10:15 AM Wednesday, December 27, 2006 at Tahoma National Cemetery, 18600 SE 240th St., Kent, WA 98042. Arrangements by Edwards Memorial Center 253-566-1008 BIOGRAPHY FOR: Gerlinde Frieda Mann Proffitt Gerlinde was born on April 13, 1965 in Mainz, Germany. She was the youngest of 5 children born to Richard Mann and Ida Rhudolf Mann. There were 3 brothers: Juergen, Willie, and Ruettiger She had one older sister: Romy. Gerlinde lived with her mother, brothers, and sister in Schwabsburg, a small town in the middle of wine country. Her mother died when she was 16 years old. Gerlinde overcame many obstacles and difficult times. When she was a young child, she and her family worked in the vineyards. She was taken under wing by Frau Peltz who lived across the road. After she completed HS she worked in the Peltz vineyard and winery. She met James Dewayne Proffitt through mutual friends while he was stationed near her hometown. James was from Seattle (9/26/1959). They developed an immediate connection and bond but lost contact with each other for several months. They were reunited by fate on New Year’s Eve 1985. She ran into Jim at the train station while waiting for a train to the city to celebrate the New Year. They have been together every day since and they were married on April 22, 1988 in Germany. Jim was stationed at Fort Lewis. They lived near the base. Gerlinde did some part-time work near Christmas time every year so she could buy gifts for Jim. They were together for 3 years until Jim was sent to the Gulf War; despite being in a new country and learning to read and write English, Gerlinde became a strong proud Army wife and would draw on that strength during many future deployments. Jim's next assignment took them back to Germany for another 3 years. They traveled and visited her family often. In 1997, they moved to Texas for 4 years while Jim was stationed at Fort Hood. During their time in Texas, Gerlinde and Jim began raising their niece and nephew Christina and Jeff. They also became foster parents and raised dozens of children over the years. She loved animals and rescued many into her home. Once again Jim and Gerlinde returned to Fort Lewis. In 2001, they purchased a home on Wilkerson Street in Tacoma. They took great pride in their home. Gerlinde decorated the rooms and worked in the flower gardens. She enjoyed many crafts and creative activities. She painted, pressed flowers, and made arrangements and wreathes. In January each year, she began cleaning and repainting all of her garden figures and all the flowerpots in anticipation of Spring. Being back in Tacoma, she and Jim enjoyed the close family connection to his dad and his sister Carrie and her family. Pappa welcomed Gerlinde as if she were his own daughter. She became acquainted with all her neighbors, and especially with Maria who lived across the street and who is also from Germany. Often they had tea and conversations in German. Jim and Gerlinde enjoyed going to play Bingo, trips to the mountains in the snow, and to the ocean, and staying at the Quinault Casino. She liked playing in the slots tournaments. Jim enjoyed fishing. When his fishing buddies were not available to go out, she would always step up to be his buddy for the day. She enjoyed boating in fair weather. They made a number of trips to Las Vegas. She was an active participant in the Football Pool every year at Jim's work. She was known as “Big G.” She didn’t know much about football, but she was always one of the best players at picking the winning teams. They were homebodies who enjoyed their home and each other. They took pride in their house. It was always clean and there were beautiful things placed everywhere. Gerlinde enjoyed cooking, cleaning, and taking care of Jim and their pets. Soon after they arrived in Tacoma, Gerlinde began having some health issues. During the past 5 years, she fought liver and kidney disease and other complications. She was in and out of Madigan Medical Center over the last several years. Doctors and nurses got to know and admire Gerlinde and did everything possible to help her. A few days ago, she came home for the closing days of her life. She was anxious to make wreathes for the Doctors and family members as a sign of her appreciation for their constant care and support. Before they made it home from the hospital, she insisted they stop at Michael’s and get the materials for the wreathes she was going to make. She persuaded Jim to borrow a wheelchair from the hospital so she could move about in the store. During the last few days, Jim, Pappa, and Carrie provided special care for her. She was able to talk with her sister Romy in Germany with the assistance of Maria from across the street who helped in the language translations. Hospice kept her comfortable. She died peacefully with her loved ones around her in the evening hours of Monday, December 18, 2006. She was smart, funny and proud of her German heritage. She was a determined person and stood for what was right. She had steadfast principles and values and there was no compromising them. She was generous and cared about those less fortunate. She always had a dollar to give to those in need. She was truly a beautiful person with a huge heart . She touched everyone she met in her own unique way. Gerlinde will be loved and remembered by Jim her beloved husband of 18 years. Pappa her father-in-law and friend and his partner Joanne Carrie her sister-in-law who was more like a sister, and her husband Tom and children Christina and Jeff for whom she raised and loved as her own and their families Her brothers Juergen and Willie and her sister Romy, many relatives, friends, and neighbors.
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We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Edwards Memorial | University Place
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