Ellinor Gottesmann

October 6, 1931 - April 22, 2018


Ellinor (Berger) Gottesmann, was born October 6, 1931 in Berlin, Germany. She passed away at her home in Ashland, Oregon, surrounded by the love of special friends.


Ellinor was a brilliant, complex woman who equally loved making distinctive jellies, listening to the Metropolitan Opera, taking OLLI classes at Southern Oregon University, volunteering at the airport and in Ashland Hospital’s emergency room, and enjoying intellectual talks with her caregivers and friends, especially those she called her “daughters.”


When she was 14, she and her father fled Berlin as Russia invaded. Her father left her in the dark for two days while he went back to Berlin to look for her mother, who was one of four survivors of a bombing that killed hundreds. After the war, they moved back to Berlin and went to hear the Berlin Philharmonic play in the rubble of the bombed building, paying for their tickets in potatoes, as they had no money.


The family later moved to Hamburg, and in the 1950s, Ellinor came to the United States on a coal ship. She met her first husband on an airplane, and they eventually lived in North Africa, where she said she “saw the world, and grew up.”


Ellinor later lived in New York and California, working in the travel industry. At a party in San Francisco, she met Emanuel (Mandi) Gottesmann, an Austrian Jew who had fled to Panama in the early ‘40s and later worked for the Manhattan Project at Columbia University.


Mandi and Ellinor had almost 30 years together before he died in 2004. They lived in Old Greenwich, Connecticut before retiring to Southern Oregon.


Ellinor and Mandi were art collectors and philanthropists, known by the name “Anonymous,” as they were fiercely protective of privacy and of what they believed in. Ellinor did not join any electronic social networks and always listened to her own drummer.


She will be sorely missed, but for each life she touched, she has become eternal. Ave atque vale!

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