Anita Marie Weigel (1936 - 2018)
Anita Marie Weigel died peacefully in her sleep on the morning of June 19, 2018 at Hospice of the Fisher Home in North Amherst. Anita was born in Heidelberg, Germany, on August 1, 1936 to Adam Weigel and Juliana Baumann. The daughter of a communist father and Catholic mother, Anita and her family experienced the repression, fear, and oppression of the Nazi regime not unlike many Germans of that time. In 1956 when Anita was 19, she came to the United States where she believed that all people had equal rights but learned otherwise. Initially, she worked as a maid while learning English. Although the work was hard, she made many friends. One close friend introduced her into the African-American community in Cincinnati where she lived for ten years, and she became a strong supporter and activist in the Civil Rights Movement. Anita continued to be active in fighting for the rights of all. When she was 50 years old, Anita graduated from Smith College’s Ada Comstock Program with a major in history. She went on to earn a masters degree in library science at Simmons College in Boston and worked in Hampshire College’s library until her retirement. Anita was a many-talented woman. She learned computers when they were in huge rooms but was passed over for many jobs because she was a woman. Through the Women in Construction Grants Program, she was trained as an electrician. She was also a carpenter who created a homestead on land in the Berkshires, cutting down trees for firewood, teaching others to use power tools and becoming a gifted gardener.
She lived and was an active member of the Laurel Park community for many years. Here, she raised her dogs Florence, Harry (rescued from Greece) and her beloved Dylan. Late in life, she learned to paint in acrylics. Among her other skills were her fine knitting and cooking, along with her astrological, historical and writing talents. Her memoir will be placed in a lesbian archives.
Anita was predeceased by her parents and her sister, Erika. She leaves her cousins Sigried and Christa, their spouses, and their children whom she loved. She will be deeply missed by her many friends and loving neighbors at Laurel Park, Michael’s House and a wide support network of other friends. A celebration of Anita’s life will be planned in the near future. Donations in her memory may be given to the Fisher Home by check or online (www.fisherhome.org) whose loving care helped not only Anita but also her friends. The Williamsburg Funeral Home was entrusted with her cremation, please see HAMPSHIRECREMATION.COM