Gertrude “Trudy” Mary Brandstetter Fox, in her one hundredth year of life, passed away gently at her home on July 25, 2020, surrounded by her grateful family whom she said she would love forever.
She was born on January 1, 1921 in Stuttgart, Germany to John Jacob and Rose Müller Brandstetter. With her parents and her brother Ernie, she immigrated through Ellis Island to reside in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There, she met her future husband and then handsome lifeguard, Leo Joseph Fox. They married September 27, 1941 and were blessed with 73 adventurous years together. She was initially employed by Aussendorf Clinic, and she worked at the Fort Leonard Wood Officer’s Club while Leo was in officer training. While Leo served in the Pacific theater, she attended Miss Brown’s Business School where she became the consummate typist and then worked for several years as a legal secretary for patent attorneys. After World War II, Leo was hired by DuPont, and they spent their early married years in Mexico and Chile. Trudy raised their three daughters and embraced the Spanish language and culture while living there. They moved to Birmingham, Alabama, where they lived during the early years of the civil rights movement. Later, in her fifties, she fulfilled her aspiration to attend college, graduating summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota at Duluth in 1978. Having lived in and traveled to many different places, they chose to retire to their favorite area, Hagerstown, Maryland.
Trudy was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church, where she served on the Church Council, Senior Fellowship, Evangelism, Fine Arts and Memorials, and Altar Committees. She served as Vice President of Lutheran Church Women and Chairperson of Senior Ministry and taught in the literacy program. She was a fierce “prayer warrior” for her family and friends. She cherished the camaraderie of friends through FHCC bowling, golf, bridge, and garden clubs; she continued line dancing until almost ninety years old. Her disciplined and healthy lifestyle, her strong will, and her belief in fairness and respect for all people were inspirational. She also loved playing games with her grandchildren, and they have all inherited her spirit of healthy competition.
Trudy had a gift for comforting those in need. She was one of the very first volunteers for Hospice of Washington County and served there for 22 years as a caretaker and bereavement volunteer, on the volunteer advisory committee, and on the Board of Directors. She also found great fulfillment volunteering at the John R. Marsh Cancer Center. Having survived breast cancer, she was a strong supporter of Breast Cancer Awareness - Cumberland Valley. In her last year of life, she herself was the beneficiary of wonderful care from Hospice. Her every need was lovingly attended to by her amazing and compassionate caregivers, for whom her family will be forever grateful.
Trudy was a devoted wife, a loyal friend, and a loving, supportive mother. She was incredibly proud of all her grandchildren, whom she adored and loved unconditionally. She was and will remain a strong and loving presence in all their lives.
She is survived by brother Rudolph Walter Brandstetter; daughters Holly Fox Harris (spouse Bob), Carol Fox Schofield, and Pamela Fox Bradford (spouse Norman); grandchildren Jonathan Fox Harris, Laurel Harris Marnell (spouse Rob), Sarah Fox Schofield Wright (spouse Mychael), Katherine Schofield Yallaly (spouse Brian), Elizabeth Schofield Schappert (spouse Mike), Christopher Ryan Bradford, and Caroline Rose Bradford; great-granddaughters Reagan James Yallaly, Gloria Wren Schappert, and Virginia Lark Schappert; and nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband Leo Joseph Fox, brother Ernst August Brandstetter, and son-in-law James Hamlin Schofield lll.
Due to ongoing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, a service to celebrate Trudy’s life will be held at a future date. A graveside service will be at the convenience of the family with Pastors David Eisenhuth, Gregory Shook, and Sarah Wright officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to John R. Marsh Cancer Center, c/o Meritus Healthcare Foundation, 11116 Medical Campus Road, Hagerstown, MD 21742; Trinity Lutheran Church, 15 Randolph Avenue, Hagerstown, MD 21740; or to getusppe.org.