Ilse Rosenhainer Hance
Please join us in a musical celebration of Ilse Hance and her 99 years of life at the Unitarian Church on Sunday, October 30th, at 3 pm. Ilse slipped the bonds of earth August 9, 2022, with her daughter Linda at her side.
Ilse was known for her enthusiasm, her brilliant smile, and her can-do attitude. She was affectionately called “Frau Hance,” the German teacher, by the very many students she taught for 30 years at San Marcos High School.
She was also an outstanding singer, writer, photographer, and world traveler.
She was born in Neustrelitz, Germany on February 24th, 1923 to Adele and Ernst Rosenhainer. In her youth, she was celebrated by her countrymen as a world class athlete, especially in the javelin event.
Under Hitler, Ilse was designated a “mixed race Jew”—part German, part Jewish. The persecution of her family members was one reason she immigrated immediately after WWII on the Truman Transport for Displaced Persons. She was then 23.
Once here, Ilse accepted a typist job to support herself, but in her words, “cried daily” from tedium. Generously, her boss opened her home to Ilse, so she could both work and study. Ilse then earned both a B.A. from Ohio State University and an M.A. from Northwestern.
In 1957, she married Edwin Hance, whose job with Raytheon brought the couple to Santa Barbara. llse raised her young daughter, Linda, while becoming a beloved teacher, sponsoring a popular German Club with an annual Oktoberfest, and teaching traditional German songs and polka dances.
Eventually Ilse was selected by McGraw-Hill to write a German textbook. Next, she translated her father’s war dairy he kept as a German officer at the Russian front in WWI. This historical work was published by White Mane Press in 2001, when Ilse was 77 under the title Forward, March.
A lover of music, Ilse became a soloist and entertainer at many senior residences in her retirement. She also sang in the local Edelweiss Choir for 50 years and the Unitarian Church choir. Ilse gave her last performance at age 96.
Ilse is survived by her daughter, Linda Hance of Santa Barbara; nieces Helen Evans and Florence Hill and nephew Robert Heinrich in the United States; and nieces Angelika Vozelli and Beate Schroeder in Germany.