Los Angeles Donau Schwabian Dancegroup

Sharing the Past with the Future

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  D.S. Foundation




The Danube Swabians 

This page is dedicated to all of those who went before us and made the path just a little easier.

Eva Nuss

Tony Schegetz passed away last Thursday, July 23rd of an apparent heart attack. He was 69. Tony was born to Apatin parents, Herr & Frau Valentin & Elisabeth Schegetz on May 14, 1946 in Bogen, Germany. The family moved to Los Angeles in 1952 and were active members of the St. Stephen's parish their entire lives. Among other things, Tony played on Danubia and served as President and Board member of the Vereinigung. For many years he freely volunteered his time in the kitchen for Mother's Day and Kirchweih celebrations. He was typically one of the first to arrive very early to get the kitchen started. If you had lunch at St. Stephen's, you have Tony and the rest of the kitchen staff to thank. He will be missed but I'm sure that he'll send someone in his place; if only to make sure that the beans aren't broken.
Tony is survived by his ex-wife, Frieda, daughter Krista, son Otto and grandchildren Alex, Christopher, Allison and Caroline Schegetz.

Eva Nuss

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Eva Nuss on March 5, 2014. At 93 years old, her life on this earth was much fulfilled and she made her peace in Beaumont, CA where she lived for 32 years. Eva Nuss was born July 30th, 1920 in Yugoslavia. She is survived by her daughter's Marie Parks & Kathy Widak, 4 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. Eva Nuss's family and the entire German community will deeply miss her love, strength and generosity. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time. 


Marianne Herman †

Marianne Herman passed away peacefully at home on September 14, 2010, after a courageous battle with cancer. She was born in St. Martin im Innkreis, Austria in 1948 to Mathias and Anna Poth. In 1952 she and her sister Trudi, parents, grandparents Nikolaus and Anna Nieszer, great grandmother Anna Schisler, and Tante Marisch Nieszer came over to the US in the troop carrier USS General C.C. Ballou. They ended up in Los Angeles with the help of Fr. Lani at St. Stephen's Church. Eventually they settled in Temple City where Marianne and Trudi were joined by another sister, Irene. In 1971, Marianne married Josef Herman and moved to Orange County where their daughter Tina was born. She became the secretary at La Purisima School, a job she would hold for 28 years. Marianne is survived by daughter, Tina, sisters Trudi (Richard) Knoedler, Irene (John) Hirsch, two nieces and three nephews. Donations may be made in her name payable to the La Purisima School Tuition Assistance Fund, 11712 N. Hewes, Orange, CA 92869.


Frau Maria Spitz †

Frau Maria Spitz with the DSV flag that she helped establish. Maria also played a founding part in the German American School and was intrumental in its success. She is survived by her husband, Hans, daughters, Marietta and Pinky and numerous loving grandchildren and great grandchildren.


Heidi Schuessler †

Heidi Schuessler

Heidi was an enthusiastic and fun-loving member of several Danube Swabian groups, including the Dance Group, the Bowling League and the Trachtenchor. One of the things that she loved best was wearing a new Dirndl or Tracht to an event. On Kirchweih she said, "Take a picture of me in my new Dirndl!". Heidi passed away on Christmas Eve.

Herr Stefan Merli Sr.†

Stephan Merli

On  December 12, Stefan Merli Sr. passed away in peace with his family surrounding him. He is survived by his wife, Adela, sons Gunther and Stefan Jr., grandsons and granddaughters.


Frau Theresia Konrad †

Frau Konrad could always been found at a table near the stage at Vater Lani Hall to watch the children dance. She enjoyed catching your arm to share the latest story which generally ended with a pat on your arm and a big smile.

Theresia Knorad


Robert Meadows

On Saturday, July 25th, we lost Robert Meadows (75), the husband of Margaret Meadows. Robert is survived by his wife Margaret, daughters Marie Becker, Denise Meadows and Betty Ann Droves and son Bobby Meadows.

obert Meadows


Frau Anna Nieszer Poth

Anna Nieszer Poth

Anna (Nieszer) Poth, was born to Anna and Nikolaus Nieszer in Perjamosch, Romania in 1922. Anna married Mathias Poth in 1947 in St. Martin, Austria. In 1952 Fr. Lani sponsored the Nieszer/Poth families to come to Los Angeles. They made their home in Temple City. Anna was widowed in 1986 and continued to live in her home until 2007 when she moved to the home of her daughter, Marianne, in Tustin. She died peacefully at home on May 14, 2009. Anna is survived by her daughters, Marianne Herman, Trudi Knoedler, Irene Hirsch and her grandchildren, Tina Herman, Erika Hirsch, Karl Hirsch, Erik Knoedler, and Adam Knoedler.

Frau Irma Welsch

It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of Frau Irma Welsch. Frau Welsch was a long time member of our community and a dedicated parishioner of St. Stephen's. She passed away on April 27th in Seal Beach at the age of 96. She was born on November 11, 1912 in Karlsdorf, Yugoslavia. She is survived by her loving children, Manfred Welsch, Renate Podegracz, and Herbert Schwarz, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.


Elisabeth Eberling †

Regretfully, Elisabeth Eberling passed away on April 6, 2008.  She is the mother of Eva Eberling and Will Kolbow, both long time members of the Dance Group. She was born on May 4, 1923 in Apatin, Yugoslavia.






George & Elisabeth Schuller

For nearly 50 years, George and Elisabeth Schuller were members of the Danube Swabian community. George and his late wife, Elisabeth met and married in Dettingen Teck, Germany.  In 1954, they immigrated and settled in Los Angeles.  They lived with their two sons just a few blocks from St. Stephan's, on 38th and Hill.  In 1965, they moved to Inglewood and then in 1991 they moved to San Marcos.  In the 70's and 80's George made his living in the Aerospace Industry. George and Elisabeth were always very involved with St. Stephan's and the dance group.  After their retirement, they spent much of their free time enjoying the activities of and donating their time to the various German Clubs in the Southland.  They contributed their efforts unselfishly; frequently behind the scenes for the betterment of others.They were very proud of our heritage and did much to preserve our culture.

They are survived by their two sons, Manfred and Robert, grandchildren, Jennifer and Jessica and grandchildren.


Tibor Paul

Tibor Paul was born Sept 14, 1926, in Zichydorf Hungary (Voivodina Yugoslavia/Serbia), in the Banat region. His father was Danube Schwabian and his mother was of Hungarian decent. He immigrated to the US in 1959 from Hamburg Germany to Los Angeles.

His second career and passion was his music. His German-American Broadcast Radio Programs first aired April 1966 in Los Angeles. The German-American Broadcast and European Music Box programs aired for 34 years in the Los Angeles area on several radio stations from 1966 until 2000. In the mid 1970’s the programs moved to KPCC at Pasadena City College until going off the air in 2000. It was listened to by thousands of people in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. At one time his program could be heard as far north as Santa Barbara and as far south as San Diego.

A legend in the German-American community, he received many awards of recognition from German American organizations and social clubs, the City and County of Los Angeles, and a special medal of merit from the German Government for his promotion of German culture.

The love of his life was Maryann Paul, whom he married August 1968, and preceded him in death on November 2003.
Alex Paul (tiborpaul@yahoo.com)


Herr Konrad Weiss †

Herr Weiss was always a smiling figure at all the Dance Group functions. He and his entire family always volunteered generously to St. Stephen's and the Dance Group. He was born in Indija, Yugoslavia on March 28, 1921 and passed away peacefully on July 20, 2007 at home with his family. He is survived by his wife, Maria, of 68 years, sons, Ernie, Helmut and Johnny and daughter Rosemary.


Herr Richard Fer 

More often than not he'd just call you "Spitzbub".

For many in the German and Hungarian community, the first dentist they knew was Herr Fer. His passion was dentistry. He loved making dentures that "smiled". It was a special technique he learned in Austria. Even if the person wasn't smiling, the dentures were!  That was how you knew that those dentures were made by Herr Fer. He made them with tremendous pride and care. 

After dental appointments patients would sometimes just sit and chat away the hours over a glass of wine or two, and then maybe a glass of schnapps.  By the time the Novocain wore off  the schnapps had kicked in and they didn't feel any pain at all.

He leaves behind his wife, Elisabeth, of many years, daughters Brigitte and Ilse and son Oscar.


President George Oberding, of the St. Emmerich Verein, passed away Monday, June 4th.

George was President of the St. Emmerich Verein for 18 years. He contributed generously to the Church, the Verein and the Dance Group.


 Frau Ingrid Scherzinger

After a brief and very unexpected illness, Ingrid passed away Tuesday evening, May 29. All that knew her will remember her kind spirit, generosity and devotion to her family. She was surrounded by her family and Father Herman Rettig in her last moments. Ingrid is survived by her husband of 26 years, Randy, their children, Michael, Tina and Robert, her sister, Renate Fruhner and her parents Lorenz & Magdalena Mayer.  


Herr Franz Seifert Jr.

I regret to inform you of the passing of Franz Seifert Jr.  He was the son of Franz and Maria Seifert, cousin of Lisa Buse, nephew of the Hefner's, Merli's, Greger's and Tuer's  as well as brother to Ingrid Johnson and Mary Lubetzki. On March 2, 2006, he was celebrating his 40th birthday doing what he loves, snowboarding in Lake Tahoe.  He had an accident, hit a tree and died at the scene.  He leaves a 9 year old daughter, Amber and  wife, Kim that are in need of your prayers.


Father Biedermann

 This past January 2006, Father Biedermann passed away in Lichtenstein at age 80.

Born in Austria, the second of 18 children, Arnold Biedermann was ordained Aug. 26, 1945 in Innsbruck. In 1948 he came to America where he learned to speak English in night school, flavored with an Austrian accent which parishioners came to love, and served at several parishes including St. Stephen's and Sacred Heart.

On Sept. 13, 1984, Pope John Paul II bestowed the honor of prelate to his holiness (monsignor) on Sacred Heart's founding pastor. In 1990, Msgr. Biedermann became pastor emeritus of Sacred Heart, continuing to preside at Masses and other church events for the past 14 years.

In 1995, Msgr. Biedermann returned to Austria to celebrate the golden jubilee of his ordination, accompanied by more than three dozen Sacred Heart parishioners. The entire parish celebrated this special anniversary upon his return.

Although the church, school, and parish hall are physical manifestations of Msgr. Biedermann's long, devoted tenure, his gifts of the spirit will endure forever. His love for each of his parishioners was revealed both in homilies and in everyday encounters as he lived our Lord's commandment: "Love one another as I have loved you."


Herr Valentin Schegetz

April 27, 1920 - May 9, 2005

Valentin Schegetz passed away Monday, May 9th. He had just turned 85 on April 27th. Whether you knew him as "Valentin", "Schegetz" or just "Valding" he was a joy to be around and a genuinely nice person.

You can be sure that the menu in Heaven tonight will include fish paprikasch!

Valentin is survived by his wife Elisabeth Schegetz, his son, Tony, his daughter-in-law, Frieda, his grandson Otto and wife, Celia, his granddaughter, Krista and husband, Todd and 4 great-grandkids Alexandra, Christopher, Allison and Caroline who he enjoyed so much.


Frau Theresia Wurm

January 2, 1928 - March 12, 2005

She passed away peacefully in her sleep and is survived by her daughter Terri Glenn, her son Martin Wurm, her grandchildren Stefan Kurz, Sandy Kurz, Brian Glenn, Heidi Wurm, Megan Wurm, Crystal Wurm, Sammie Joe Wurm and her great grandchild Kirsten Kurz.

She loved to cook, sew and crochet, but her greatest joy was being with her family. She always made each of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren feel very special and unique. She always said that he had no favorites. She just loved them all.


My brother Tony and I first met Frau Wurm on May 5, 1952. We were quite a bit younger then. I was 13 months old and Tony was just 1 month old. The Wurm, Seitz and Fehr families were immigrating to America. Unlike most other immigrants, we flew from Germany to America on Flying Tiger Airlines with a stop-over in Iceland. Because we were families with infants, the Red Cross arranged for us to fly to America. Oh, I can't forget, there was one other member along for the ride - more about that in a minute. We arrived at LaGuardia Airport in New York on May 6 and boarded a train for Los Angeles. The Red Cross had arranged for our family to go to L A because my father had asked that we be sent "to a place where it never snowed." What a wonderful wish - it made all the difference in our lives. Well, we arrived at Union Station on May 9th and like so many others before, we made our way to St. Stephen's. You know the rest of the story. Oh, about the other member of our flight, it turned out to be Terri. You see, Frau Wurm was 8 1/2 months pregnant. Terri was born two weeks after we arrived and we've been friends ever since.

These three pictures were taken just a week before Frau Wurm passed away. I think she was happy knowing that she was with friends and family that meant most to her.


  Ramana Stransky 
1955 - 2003


Ruhe in Frieden

All who knew Ramana will remember her genuine congenial manner and her helping nature.

  Joe Widak 
Feb. 4, 1953 - Jan. 22, 2003



Ruhe in Frieden

A Memory of Joe

I once introduced Joe to a friend by saying "Joe has had more cars than God". Joe grinned and said "and I have the pink slips to prove it"! I have no doubt that when I'm in front of those pearly gates, that Joe will be on the other side revving up a white GTO and telling me to get in and hold on.         Karl

For Pictures of Joe's Funeral, Click here


Sierra Katherine Ward
December 6, 1999 - July 3, 2002

The Little Angel


The little angel was new to heaven and she was very little. Her hair was the color of bright sunshine on white painted walls, and she was so young her wings were still pink.

Even though she was small, she was not afraid to walk right up to Archangel Michael and tug on the bottom of his robes. He had to bend down very far to talk to her. "What is it, little one?" he asked. The little angel looked around at all the other souls in heaven, so much larger and older than her. She said, "All these older people had lives on earth bigger than mine, they all did big things, and they brought back to God all the things they won and all the things they lost. But I didn't bring back any big things."

Archangel Michael smiled and picked up the little angel (he knew how much she liked to be held). He carried her to the edge of the clouds so she could see. When she looked down she saw the great family of man; so many people, laughing, crying, breathing, praying, bring born and dying, over and over. And he said to her, "Little one, there is only one thing that we can bring back to God when we die, only one gift. Everything we gain or lose, we build or destroy, we fight or make peace with, is very small compared to this gift. It is the true love you bring to this earth and the love you take back home to God; nothing else matters."

The little angel looked down at her mother and father and all the people she loved. "It doesn't matter how long you live little one," Archangel Michael gently said, "It only matters how much you love and are loved."

He turned and carried her towards God's warm, blessed light. And her gift, the greatest that could be given, shone all around and through her, growing larger and brighter with each step: love given to the world, and returned, one hundred-fold.

For Sierra

Auntie Mo and Auntie Antoinette


Käte Friedrich 
January 24, 2002

Ruhe in Frieden




Christina Burmeister
December 1, 1980 - August 18, 2001

May the good Lord grant you everlasting peace and a choir of angels greet you home.


Herr Nikolaus Friedrich
September 14, 1928 - June 9, 2001

"Dein gutes Herz hat aufgehoert zu schlagen obwohl du gerne noch wolltest bei uns sein. Doch hilf uns Gott den tiefen Schmerz zutragen, denn ohne dich wird alles anders sein."




Frau Anna (Buschbacher) Schreiner

Born in Apatin, Yugoslavia on June 23, 1920. Died on July 2, 2000. Los Angeles CA.

Survived by husband of 49 years, Thomas Schreiner. Daughters: Anne Schmueckle and Christine Balogh. Grandchildren: Andrew Balogh, Sigi Schmueckle, Sally Schmueckle Emery. Great grandchildren: Kevin Kyler and Katharina Emery.

Anna Schreiner was involved with the Donauschwabische Tanzgruppe for 25 years as the Gruppenleiterin of the Youth group and Prasidentin. Frau Schreiner had friends associated with the Carpathia Dance Group in Michigan; the Cleveland and the St. Louis groups as well as the Windsor group in Canada.