Gerda Dinzes, of Kirkland, died peacefully on December 24, 2017, surrounded by friends and family. She is survived by her beloved daughter, Deborah Dinzes, and her grandsons John and Josef Kauffman, the joy of her life. Memorial services will be held at Holy Spirit Lutheran Church in Kirkland on Saturday, March 10.
Gerda was born in Denmark in 1935 and grew up under occupation during WWII. Despite these difficult times, she maintained a positive, optimistic outlook on life. From an early age, she loved “pretty shoes”, no doubt in part because she had only one pair for five years – her brother’s old rubber boots – “with newspaper stuffed in the toes.” At age 14, she began an apprenticeship as a shoe clerk, learning the craft of fitting and shoe making while earning a business degree.
At 20, Gerda went to England, along with her life-long friend, to learn English. She then moved to Copenhagen, where she worked in a shoe boutique. She met Murray Dinzes, an American G.I. stationed at Munich, Germany, at a party and they married within a year. After a brief time in Germany, they moved to Los Angeles in 1961.
In 1963, Gerda got the one thing she wanted more than pretty shoes – a daughter. The family moved to Seattle in 1966, settling in Kirkland in 1968. In 1971, she started work at Nordstrom Best in Bellevue Square as one of the first female shoe clerks in the company. She enjoyed a remarkable career with Nordstrom; her reputation as an excellent shoe salesperson spread quickly and she soon had a large number of personal clients, many whom became friends. Her charm and candor, along with her great style and skill at fitting clients with care earned her a loyal clientele and numerous customer service awards. She retired in 2001.
Gerda had a warm, outgoing personality that attracted a large circle of close friends throughout her lifetime. She was a vital and important part of her grandsons’ lives and took great pride in their accomplishments. She enjoyed socializing over coffee, PBS, sports, and gardening. She was beloved by many, none more so than her family, who extend their heartfelt gratitude to her friends, neighbors, and caregivers for all their loving support. She was a lovely lady who will be dearly missed.
Please sign her online guest book at www.facebook.com/GerdaDinzes and share a favorite memory.