Lotte Reyersbach's support of the fight against hunger in Tucson goes back over ten years-longer than the Community Food Bank actually has recorded. "I think she was just a caring person who wanted to support people who weren't as fortunate," said Peter Ryers, M.D., Lotte's son.
There is no way to measure the impact a donor like Lotte makes to our community, or count the number of lives she has saved with her giving. Her support, like her life, has been dramatic.
Born in Mannheim, Germany, Lotte focused on being a pianist from the age of eight. Lotte first played as a soloist with the Mannheim Symphony Orchestra when she was sixteen. She went to the University of Cologne, where she received her Master's of Performing Arts Degree in piano. She met her husband, Ernst Reyersbach (a lawyer), at the university, and they married four years later. She played professionally all over Germany until the Nazis forbade "Non-Aryans" to play in public. She continued to play in chamber groups and house concerts until her son Peter was born in 1936. By 1938, Ernst's job as a judge at the Court of Appeals was taken from him, and they were able to escape the Holocaust through Italy. Most of their family was not so fortunate. They lived in the Philadelphia area for thirty-six years, then followed their son Peter, an ophthalmologist, to Tucson.
Lotte played the piano until she was 98, and loved attending the opera, symphony, and chamber music concerts wherever she lived. She was predeceased by her husband, and her sister, Trudel Rychtarik. She lived long and well, and will live on in the hearts of her friends and family. "At the end she took my hand and said 'remember to do good.' I think that pretty much sums it up," said Peter.
She will also live on in the hearts of those receiving assistance from the Community Food Bank. Her final gift, a $25,000 bequest, will allow her to continue to do good for years to come.
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