The funeral service was held at 10am on Thursday 7th July at St Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church, Ham
Directions for those who are attending are provided below. Following the service, you are invited to join us for a reception at the church hall. The service will be webcast live and details of how to access this are provided below.
WATCH THE LIVE WEBCAST ON THE DAY
HOW TO GET THERE
St Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church
St Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church is located near the pond on Ham Common, just off the A307 Petersham Road / Richmond Road which runs between Richmond and Kingston. There is plenty of parking available at the church and along Ham Common.
FLOWERS & DONATIONS
Should you wish to bring flowers, we recommend ordering in advance from a talented local florist Rose & Mary.
To order flowers, call Leonoor on 07958 293 130 and the funeral director will arrange for the flowers to be there on the day.
You are also welcome to donate to any of our five chosen charities in memory of Frieda:
Would you like to add a tribute? Just click the button below. Please note tributes do not automatically publish.
Our mother Frieda was born in 1942 in Groß Uretschlag in Sudetenland, one of the six children of Anna and Johann Panholzl.
In 1946, the government of a newly restored Czechoslovakia started expelling ethnic Germans and the family had to leave. After much hardship the family was eventually settled in Eggenfelden in Bavaria.
Our mum was an artistic and academic child, and went on to study English at University in Würtzurg, coming to London in 1970 to study her Masters in English Literature, specialising in Old English. She met our father Donald James Bruce and the two were married on 25th March 1971.
Three children, Toby, Anne and Elizabeth arrived, and she devoted herself to the family, also launching some ambitious culinary projects alongside our father, such as smoking herrings, doughnut making and sloe gin production.
When the children were at secondary school, our mum took up work as Associate Editor at The Contemporary Review magazine, a quarterly literary, arts and current affairs publication for which she then worked for many years.
Around that time, our mum also discovered the German community through St Thomas Church in Ham, and had many great times with a close group of “German ladies”.
In 2003 the first grandchild Sophia arrived, followed by Aliya and then Thomas and Maria. This was a great delight to our mother and she became a fairytale grandmother. The “Big Garden” (Kew Gardens) was a favourite haunt, as well as Richmond Park, always with a selection of beautifully prepared sandwiches and snacks on hand, and a well-polished apple or two.
Our mum also honed her baking talents, creating incredible birthday cakes that led to many suggestions that she start a cake business!
Our father sadly passed away in December 2016, an enormous loss to our mother, who found herself bereft without him.
But life did carry on, and the next years were filled with school assemblies and plays, trips to Germany, Dorset and Wales.
Sadly her own health started failing, but she remained stoical in the face of all her trials
She continued to appreciate nature, art and music, as well as embracing new technology, particularly during the coronavirus lockdown. And everyone was surprised when she introduced four bantam hens into her back garden.
A favourite was the daily YouTube broadcast of the Dean of Canterbury, who started recording in the 2020 lockdown from the grounds of the cathedral, along with cats, chickens, pigs, robins, turkeys and other creatures.
Our mother celebrated her 80th birthday in February this year, marking the occasion in style over a three week period.
Her final big outing was to Canterbury, on a beautiful sunny day. She was able to look around the Cathedral and the gardens, and join Evensong, with the Dean of Canterbury himself holding the service. “At least I got to Canterbury,” she said later.
From Toby, Anne and Lizzie
Frieda was a person of great warmth, kindness and humility who endured a dreadful illness with enormous fortitude. She was a loving friend and support to my late wife, Christa, during her last years and terminal months. I am so glad to have known her.
We feel privileged to have known Anselma for the past 16 years. She was a lovely lady who thought the world of her family, as we did of her. Always kindness itself, gently spoken, self effacing, and excellent company. We shall miss her greatly. Rest in peace dear Anselma.
We knew her as Anselma and she was our neighbour for 20 years. She was always ready with a warm smile for us, our three boys and latterly our dog, who she always forgave for barking at her. We will always remember her kindness, tolerance and humour, and miss the sounds of her talking to her hens and playing her classical music. We were very proud and honoured to live next door to her.