Irmgard Stenger

Irmgard StengerIrmgard Stenger, or “Ma,” as she is affectionately called by so many in her Ridgecrest family, died peacefully at 93 with in-home hospice care surrounded by family on May 28, 2020.

After visiting the desert, she moved to Ridgecrest in 1990 without hesitation about leaving Delaware and her life. She was always up for a new adventure. She saw her Ridgecrest granddaughters almost daily, and they each formed their own special bond with “Ma”.

She was enthusiastic about her three G’s- Grandchildren, Golfing and Gambling. Always generous, positive and spunky, calling her walker “her Porsche”, she would walk six circles around “her park” every day. Chardonnay and smoked salmon cream cheese Ritz, the happy hour staple, could be counted on in her daily routine.

She had survived the WWII leaving home in October of 1944, never seeing her parents again, secretly crossing the Iron curtain in 1948 twice to retrieve her little sister, starting with nothing except the physically exhausting farm labor required for sustenance after the War. She became a nurse studying and working in England until 1955 and then immigrated to New York with her sister Cecilia in 1956. She was fiercely devoted to her family no matter where they were located. Always a player in some new activity that her husband would undertake — like sailing up the Atlantic Ocean in a 31-foot sailboat, for example, and always facilitating the family summer vacations between east and west coast.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Richard J. Stenger, in 1985, her sister, Hildchen Rockel, in 1947, and her sister Marie Hoppe in 2009.

She is survived by her son, Peter A Stenger and wife Beth, and her daughter Lisa Stenger-Smith and husband John, her two older sisters Ursula Rockel of Cloppenberg Germany and Cecelia Decker of Princeton New Jersey, five grandchildren, Andrew Stenger, Julie Stenger-Smith, Carley Berg husband Nick, Jenny Stenger-Smith and Jazmine Stenger-Smith, and one great grandchild, Wren Berg. As a victim of war herself, her favorite charity was Wounded Warriors, and she would be grateful and honored for any donations to this organization.

The family will have a small private ceremony at her “yellow bush” in “her” park before laying her to rest near her husband in Delaware. Please think of her whenever you see a yellow blooming Palo Verde tree in May, this was her favorite.

— Submitted by the family of Irmgard Stenger

Story First Published: 2020-06-05