Obituary: Winifred Holmes Luddecke

Winifred Holmes Luddecke, 93, of Basking Ridge, New Jersey and Shelter Island, passed away peacefully on January 30 after a long illness.

Known as “Wink,” Mrs. Luddecke was born on August 7, 1919, in Montclair, New Jersey, to Charles S. Holmes and Elsie (Kraemer) Holmes. She grew up with three sisters who remained her closest friends throughout their lives, each of whom preceded her in death. She married her high school sweetheart, Dr. Hugh F. Luddecke and moved with him to Morristown, New Jersey, where they raised their three children. Wink was active in the community as a member of the Morristown Garden Club, the Junior League, and the DAR. She had a wonderful talent and enthusiasm for knitting and needlework that she enjoyed all her life.

Wink was a lifelong summer resident of Shelter Island. As a child she would come with her parents and sisters to stay with her maternal aunt and uncle, Waldo Kraemer and his sister, Erna. Their home on Sylvan Place in the Heights later became home to Wink and her family and has now been enjoyed by successive generations for more than 100 years. While in residence on the Island, Wink enjoyed playing tennis and sailing at the Yacht Club, where both her Uncle Waldo and her husband served as Commodore. She was an active member of the Shelter Island Garden Club.

In recent years, she resided at Fellowship Village Retirement Community where she is fondly remembered by staff and residents.
Wink’s children and their families, all of whom called her “Meems,” were the primary focus of her life. She presided over her ever-expanding brood with energy, style, patience and a steady moral compass. She is survived by her three children: Karla Luddecke Friedlich of Shelter Island, Hugh F. “Chip” (Courtney Kling) Luddecke Jr. of Shelter Island and Park City, Utah, and Lawrence (Carol Wleklinski) Luddecke of Arlington, Massachusetts; her six grandchildren: Courtenay O’Sullivan (Pierre Champigneulle) of New York, New York, and Shelter Island, Wylie O’Sullivan (Robert Armstrong) of Brooklyn, Sean (Elizabeth Hogan) O’Sullivan of Arlington, Virginia; and Carson, Georgia and Stuart Luddecke of Arlington, Massachusetts; and eight great grandchildren. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews, including Charles Jaeger of Shelter Island. Her husband Hugh predeceased her in 2009. The whole clan last gathered with her at the family home on Sylvan Place to celebrate her 92nd birthday in 2011.

Wink was a warm and generous person and a loved and respected matriarch. She brought joy and a wonderful sense of direction to each member of her family and will be missed by all who knew her. A private memorial service will be planned for later in the year.

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