About Gertrude “Trudi” Brechbühl
Gertrude “Trudi” Brechbühl, parent of Hans-Christian ’78, Ulrich ’82, Anna-Barbara ’84, and David ’86, and beloved WSGC preschool teacher passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on February 17th, 2023.
Trudi and her husband, Hansruedi, served as active Parent Representatives for their children’s classes in the Parent Association. Over the years, Trudi enjoyed volunteering in the handwork department, library, storeroom, cafeteria, Main Office, and preschool. Between 1972 and 1975, Mr. and Mrs. Brechbühl served the School as Parent Association Chairs.
From 1979 to 1995, Trudi taught nursery and kindergarten to eight graduating classes and provided the first experience of Waldorf education for many students and parents. Throughout her teaching, Trudi brought a disciplined yet loving disposition to her work. Her steady, calm, and kind manner created an atmosphere in which children flourished.
Christopher Smalley ’07 presented Trudi with the Distinguished Faculty Award at the WSGC Gala in 2007 and in his opening remarks he stated, “To understand the role that Mrs. Brechbühl played in the lives of the children she taught is simply to know what the Waldorf preschool is meant to accomplish.”
In 2004, the school established the Trudi Brechbühl Handwork & Practical Arts Endowment Fund which provides funding to enrich the school’s handwork program by exposing students and the school community to indigenous handcrafts and practical arts. The endowment provides resources for visiting instructors from diverse cultures and backgrounds to teach students about traditional crafts from around the world.
“In her role as a lead preschool teacher during the 1980s and 1990s, Trudi Brechbühl radiated heartfelt care and a keen awareness of all who came into her orbit—the 3 and 4 years-olds and their parents, the lower and high school students she encountered in the hallways, and the faculty and staff. To this day I am moved by the depth of feeling Mrs. Brechbühl had for our School as a beacon of light and as a place of goodness.” – Roland Rothenbucher, High School Chair.
To honor Trudi, donations can be made to the Trudi Brechbühl Handwork & Practical Arts Endowment Fund or the Swiss Benevolent Society of New York.