Traute Lafrenz Page’s eventful life ended March 6, 2023. Traute was mother to four children, grandmother to seven and great grandmother to five. She was a physician; an opponent and prisoner of the Nazi regime; and an anthroposophist who lived and worked with the conviction that humanity has spiritual origins and goals.
Born in Hamburg Germany on May 3, 1919, Traute was the last surviving participant in the White Rose, a small medical student group at Munich’s Maximillian University, who dared to defy the powerful Nazi regime. The White Rose composed and distributed pamphlets rebuking the Nazis while invoking the great literary voices of German history, including Goethe and Schiller. When the group’s identity was discovered, the first 6 members arrested were executed. The Gestapo subsequently arrested and imprisoned Traute until Allied forces liberated her prison two years later. She emigrated to San Francisco and worked as a medical resident at St Joseph’s hospital. In 1948 she married fellow resident physician Vernon Page of Texas. Together they formed a medical practice in tiny Hayfork, California. Vernon Page received further training in ophthalmology, and the growing family settled in Evanston, IL.
Strong conviction in the reality of the spiritual world inspired Traute’s adult life. She joined the Anthroposophical Society and was an early practitioner of the anthroposophical-inspired holistic medical approach. Like many women in the post WW2 years, Traute was at home with her young family. She liked to say “in those days you met PhD’s at the park.” In the 1960’s Traute organized Waldorf summer school programs in Evanston. Waldorf schools work to awaken and enliven recognition of human spirit through art, poetry, and appreciation of the great human advances. Her son Michael and granddaughter Emily are Waldorf teachers. In later years, Traute became director of the Esperanza school in Chicago for developmentally delayed children, with a focus on these same principles.
Traute always traveled extensively with her family including trips to Italy, Austria, France, Spain, Norway, Ireland, Scotland, Egypt, Mexico, and South America into her 80’s and 90’s.
In 1993 Traute and Vernon moved to Charleston, SC. On her 100th birthday the German embassy presented Traute with Germany’s Order of Merit cross for her participation in the White Rose and defense of humanity.
On the day of her death, a handwritten letter from Germany’s president arrived conveying his respect and gratitude for her contributions.
Traute is survived by her sister-in-law Dorothy Easeley (daughter Sheri Caulkins), daughter Renee Meyer (Eric) of Yonges Island, South Carolina; granddaughter Emily Meyer (Ryan), great grandsons Winston, Solomon and Beauregard Hall; grandson Fritz Meyer (Fallon), great grandson Knox Meyer, all residing in Charleston County; son Michael Page (Liv) of Oslo, Norway; grandson Christian Page, granddaughter Iselin Page (Philip) and great granddaughter Liv Page of Stockholm, Sweden; son Thomas Page (Sarah) of Evanston, Illinois, granddaughters Katherine and Charlotte Page, grandson Nathaniel Page; son Kim Page (Wendy) of Troncones, Mexico; nieces Roswitha Messner and Gudrun Radler, nephew Roderich Radler, Ursel Radler widow of nephew Karl Radler, grandniece Ute Radler, grandnephews Martin, Simon, and Karl Radler of Austria and Germany.
A memorial service at Eric and Renee Meyer’s home, 4277 Hwy 165, Yonges Island is planned for Saturday, March 11 at 11:30. Friends of Traute and the family are welcome.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Acorn School of Charleston, a Waldorf kindergarten and grade school.
Acorn School of Charleston
Attn: Lee Stevens PhD, Director
95 Folly Road, Charleston SC 29407