Ilse-Maria Elizabeth Heinzel Grigoleit |

Ilse-Maria Elizabeth Heinzel Grigoleit

On September 7, the world lost an incredible woman. Ach du schreck! Ilse-Maria Elizabeth Heinzel Grigoleit is survived by her son Ulf, her two daughters Monica and Susan, and her granddaughters Meaghan and Kathleen (Beenie).

Born November 25, 1932 in Germany, Ilse’s love for the water has always been apparent, and her adventurous roots run deep.

Coached by her beloved late husband Rudi (Rudolf Otto Grigoleit b. 1927 d. 2005), Ilse’s four-woman kayak team won the German National Championships 3 years in a row- 1952, 1953, and 1954. In 1957, Rudi and Ilse emigrated from Germany to Canada, and then in 1964 moved to Tahoe, which would later become home for her 3 children who have each made the North Shore their permanent residence.

Ilse was a character. In her Brownie and Girl Scout leadership roles she was known as “Skippy.” Twice, she paddled around the shoreline of Lake Tahoe with eight canoes full of girl scouts. She loved hiking and instilled in her children their long-lasting love for the mountains.

By the late 1970’s, sailing had stolen Ilse’s heart. She and Rudi raced competitively and sailed around the world together, landing in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island in the mid-1990s. Ilse continued to call the island home until her recent passing.

We are always alive in the hearts of those who remember us; Ilse lives on in our memories!


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December 7, 2019

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