Ilse M. Lohrer of Carlisle, MA, passed away peacefully in her sleep on July 15, 2022. She was 96.
Ilse was born in Pforzheim, Germany, on July 10, 1926, the eldest daughter of Ferdinand and Hedwig Willadt. After completing her education in Germany, she married George H. Lohrer in 1952 and in 1953 they immigrated to Toronto, Canada. She and George moved to the United States in 1959, settling first in Melrose, MA, and then West Concord, MA, in 1961. They moved to Carlisle in 1980, where she lived for the remainder of her life.
Ilse was thoughtful, friendly, and generous, brightening the lives of everyone she encountered. She enjoyed going out to lunch or dinner with friends and family. She donated generously to numerous organizations supporting social justice, equality, individual rights, and health and disabilities. Whatever she had, she shared.
Ilse was active throughout her life. She loved to swim and continued her daily swims into her 90s. She enjoyed hiking, kayaking, tennis and camping. She engaged in epic tennis matches with her late husband George, complete with safari hats and mosquito netting to ward off the early evening mosquitoes. Ilse was a graceful and talented ballroom dancer, whether dancing with George at area events or in their living room. She walked the trails and roads in Carlisle extensively and continued to log miles with her walker in her 90s. When her family expressed concern, Ilse waved them off, commenting that drivers in Carlisle were careful and slowed down for an old Oma and her walker.
Ilse had an eye for beauty and a talent for creating warm and welcoming spaces. In each of the houses that her husband built, Ilse created a vibrant, welcoming home with her signature European simplicity and splashes of vibrant colors. She spent hours in her garden, creating intricate and beautiful flower gardens that belied the work and design involved.
Ilse and George were devoted to each other throughout their 60-year marriage. They created a highly successful electronics manufacturing business in the 1970s, with Ilse managing the financial and human resources of the business, while George directed the engineering department. The two of them traveled extensively in Europe, China and the United States and especially enjoyed the Cape and the mountains of New Hampshire.
Ilse loved classical music, novels, reading the newspaper beside her pool, working with yarn and fabrics creating gifts and home decor, cooking, and visiting with friends. Once her grandchildren were born, she delighted in spending time with each of them. She had a knack for supporting each person’s individual talents and preferences, and for helping each feel loved.
Ilse is survived by her daughter Eva of Amherst, MA, and two sons, Michael (and his wife Sue) of Carlisle, MA, and Steve (and his wife Neda) of Santa Rosa, CA; and six grandchildren: Ty of Brooklyn, NY; Colten of Denver, CO; Lexie of Westford, MA; Mel of Morrisville, VT; and Arianna and Jacqueline of Santa Rosa, CA. Ilse is greatly missed.