Marianne Dreier, age 82, of Coon Rapids, formerly Glencoe, Minnesota, passed away Sunday, January 12th, 2020, at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, Minnesota.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, January 16, 2020, 11:00 A.M. at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Glencoe, Minnesota, with interment following at the church cemetery.
Visitation will be held Thursday, January 16, 2020, from 9:00-11:00 A.M., two hours prior the service.
Marianne Marlene “Mama” Dreier (Lutz) was born on April 10th, 1937 in the city of Pillau, East Prussia Germany. She was the wonderful daughter of Gustav and Johanna (Perplies) Lutz. Marianne was baptized in Pillau East Prussia and was confirmed later in Elsheim, Germany in 1951. Marianne’s story of determination to live and never give up started as a child. Marianne and her family were separated by war. Her father Gustav was drafted into the German Army leaving behind her mother, Johanna and four small children: Gunther, Marianne, Juergen and Winifred. Marianne’s first few memories of childhood were spending time with her brothers and her mother in their home in Pillau. As the war in Germany progressed Pillau would continually be bombed by allied bombers. Marianne could recall hearing air raid sirens and running to the bunkers at night, and many times not making it to the bunker. Marianne could remember German SS soldiers in long black jackets knocking on the door to their home as the SS searched their house. This was German protocol for them to search homes. As Germany was soon to be over run with the Russian Army, Marianne’s mother decided it was time to flee East Prussia. Marianne and her family were told by the White Russians that the Russian Army was nearing Pillau. They were told if young women and children were captured by the Russian Army, they were taken to Siberia, and never heard from again. The Russians were known to rape the women as they moved westward through Germany. Marianne’s mother was told to dress like an old woman as they did not rape old women.
On April 22, 1945 Marianne, her mother and her three brothers fled Pillau. Marianne was 8 years old. Marianne and her family escaped south about ten miles to her grandmothers’ home. It was necessary to go by foot to the coast of the peninsula. Ten miles is a long span for a mother and 4 small children. Marianne stated they were bombed no less than 10 times as they made their way along the road. The road was littered with dead and injured bodies and horses. Many of them had been hit by phosphorus bombs at night and were critically burned. Imagine the emotions of a small child as she stepped over and around the dead and injured. Finally reaching the shores of the Baltic Sea Marianne said there was a lot of panic and the family managed to get on a troop transport ship, one of the last to leave East Prussia and head to Denmark. The ship had a shortage of food and conditions were bad. Lice, bed bugs, sick children and disease made the cramped, unsanitary four-day journey to Denmark unreal. Eventually they landed in Copenhagen on May 1, 1945. The entire family was then moved north to Aalborg, Denmark where they were put in a prison refugee camp. For the next three years they were prisoners. Conditions at the camp were awful, as lice and bed bugs were in the straw beds Marianne and her family slept on. The camp was continually fumigated. Marianne could recall having to have kerosene doused on her head to kill the lice on her head. Food was scarce in the camp. Marianne and her family ate horse meat and small rations of bread. Many prisoners in the camp were given inoculations to include Marianne and her family. They were never told what for, but it was possible much of it was given for experimentation. Marianne said no one was allowed to leave the barb wired fence and those who tried to escape at night were shot. Marianne recalls seeing the dead bodies in the morning. Throughout all of this turmoil, Marianne recalls her mother telling her children to never give up and believe in yourself. Her mother told her children God is not done with us yet, God is not ready for us. God has better things for us. While Marianne and her family were in Denmark her father Gustav searched those three years with the help of the International and German Red Cross to find his family. They were reunited in 1948 at the camp. In 1948 the family went back to Germany in what was then the British Sector. Back together again the family continued to move to better homes within Germany over the years. Marianne resided in Hammel, Elsheim, Ingelheim and finally to Budenheim south of Frankfurt. Marianne worked at the Kupferburg Champagne factory in Mainz, Germany for many years. She loved the area around Mainz and Budenheim. She was a teenager at this time and recalled spending time at school and with her friends and family and going out dancing and having fun. Marianne said her parents could not see their children grow up in post-war Germany. They all decided as a family to immigrant to the United States. In 1954 they started the process to leave Germany. Marianne and her family were sponsored to come to the United States by the World Relief foundation, Peace Lutheran Church in Hutchinson, the families of Eldred Miller, Ray Plath and Virgil Goebel in Hutchinson, MN. Marianne, her parents, her brothers, Juergen and Winifred were cleared to leave Germany and left Bremerhaven, Germany on October 14th 1956. Her older brother Gunther Lutz stayed in Germany. Marianne and her family sailed on the United States General Harry Taylor Naval Ship from Germany to the United States. They arrived in New York harbor on October 24th 1956. Marianne was 19 when she arrived in the United States. Marianne and her family were issued green cards as they passed through Grand Central Station in 1956. The train ride from New York to Minneapolis took 2 days. Upon arriving in Minneapolis, Virgil and Delores Goebel of Hutchinson, MN picked the family up in Minneapolis. The family arrived in Hutchinson, MN and resided in this home together. Marianne spent a year in Hutchinson working at Hutch Café and for the Goebel Fixture company. Marianne taught herself English by listening to the radio and watching television. She recalled how hard it was to learn English but was determined to learn English and she did. In in 1957 she met her husband Raymond Dreier and were married on November 3rd, 1957 by Rev. Martin Kirsch at Peace Lutheran Church. Marianne and Raymond moved to Glencoe, MN and were blessed with three children, Bernhard, Ursula and Tamarra. Marianne worked at 3M in Hutchinson, Hutchinson Technology, and StrutWare and Coborn’s in Glencoe. Marianne moved to Coon Rapids to live with her daughter in 2017.
Marianne loved to cook many German meals for her family and was well known for her German red cabbage dish, rouladen, and königsberger klopse. She loved to garden and every summer she planted flowers outside her home in Glencoe and Coon Rapids. Marianne made every house she lived in a home to include her last home in Coon Rapids. Her German curtains that she was so proud of hung in every room of her homes. Marianne loved to talk about her life in Germany and travel back to Germany many times, just recently in 2018. She talked with her cousins and family in Germany at least weekly via phone. Her thick German accent made her so unique. Marianne had an impact on so many people within her life and community in Hutchinson, Glencoe and Coon Rapids. Marianne could talk to anyone and was so compassionate of others. She always thought of other people first and put herself last. Marianne loved cats and in fact her children used to tease her that there was a vacancy sign outside each home she resided at, as stray cats always found a way to Marianne. Marianne’s dedication to her family and particularly her children was noticed by them and many others. She loved to spend time with her family. She was an angel that truly gave her time to everyone she met. She listened to others and offered so much wonderful advice. Marianne’s favorite time of year was Christmas and loved to decorate her home particularly in putting up her Christmas tree and all of her beautiful German ornaments. Marianne’s’ determination to live and never give up was so profound in her life and even in her last weeks of her life. She would always tell people God is not ready for me yet, I still have something to do on this Earth. She was inspiration to so many as she never gave up and believed in herself to keep going. Marianne’s spirit and love of laughter could be felt by all she came in contact with. Many people were drawn to her. Marianne loved to hug people and hugged them with compassion and care. Marianne’s hugs came from her heart.
Marianne used to say she was an ordinary person, no Mama you were an extraordinary person.
Marianne passed away peacefully in the early morning hours on Sunday January 12th, 2020 at Mercy Hospital. Her true last gift of love and determination to live was passed onto to a special family member. God finally was ready for Marianne.
Marianne is survived by three children: Bernhard Dreier of Hutchinson, MN, Ursula Wingate and her significant other, Curt Templin, of Glencoe and Tamarra Dreier of Coon Rapids, grandchildren Scott Wingate of Glencoe, MN and Ashley Teubert of Glencoe, MN; great-grandchildren Prescott Wingate and Leena Wingate; brother Winifred Lutz and his wife Barb Lutz of Janesville, MN, sisters-in-law, Marlene Lutz of Cloquet, MN, Anne Marie Lutz of Wittmund Germany, Bernice Wolter of Glencoe, MN; many nieces, nephews cousins here in the United States and in Germany to include 2 nieces and one nephew in Germany, other relatives and so many friends.
Marianne will be missed by her four cats: Zorro, Otis, Missy and Andy.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Gustav and Johanna Lutz, her brothers Juergen Lutz and Gunther Lutz, and the father of her children Raymond Dreier.