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Helen Louise Tindall Von Der Bruegge

Obituary for Helen Louise Tindall Von Der Bruegge

February 6, 1927 - June 8, 2019
San Antonio, Texas | Age 92


Helen Louise Tindall Von Der Bruegge, 92, passed away peacefully at home in San Antonio, Texas on June 8, 2019. She was preceded in death by her husband of 68 years, John H. Von Der Bruegge, Jr. Helen was born in Omaha, Nebraska to Clyde L. and Gertrude S. Tindall, but spent her youth in Kansas City, Missouri. She attended Southwest High School and the University of New Mexico.

As a military wife, she was active in officers' wives clubs and worked as a Gray Lady in military hospitals. She was a skillful seamstress and made suits for her husband, coats for her children and costumes for the theaters on post. Helen enjoyed entertaining and could host a cocktail party with less than an hour's notice. When her children were teenagers, their friends marveled at the way Helen could pull together dinner on the spur of the moment to feed them all, which they called "the miracle of loaves and fishes."

While the family was living in Washington, D.C., Helen was employed 14 years as Records Librarian at the international headquarters of Mars, Inc. candy company—the perfect employer for a chocolate lover. Helen became a trusted confidante to John and Forrest Mars and her photographic memory and sense of propriety earned her the only private office in the corporation.

In retirement, John and Helen moved to San Antonio. They traveled frequently and both were avid golfers. In fact, Helen made a hole-in-one on the Oak Hills course. Helen served as president of the Hunters Creek Garden Club and the Oak Hills Country Club Women's Golf League. Even in her early 90's, Helen wanted to "make a difference" and fostered seeing-eye dogs on weekends and holidays, providing affection and attention during their breaks in training.

The epitome of elegance and grace, Helen was known for her megawatt smile, sparkly eyes and adventuresome spirit. Few knew she was also truly fearless. She hiked the 15,000 foot Virunga Mountains in Rwanda to trek silver back gorillas at Dian Fossey's Research Institute. She had a unique encounter with one of the male silverbacks as he approached her and then climbed over her. She was never frightened…. mostly thrilled.

Helen is survived by her sister Barbara Tindall Weary of Kansas City, daughter Karen Von Der Bruegge of San Antonio and son John Henry (Hank) Von Der Bruegge, III and daughter-in-law Robin Von Der Bruegge of Austin.

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In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations in the name of Helen T. Von Der Bruegge to Christ Episcopal Church or Guide Dogs of Texas, Inc., 1503 Allena Dr. San Antonio, TX 78213.

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Porter Loring Mortuary North

2102 North Loop 1604 East
San Antonio, TX 78232
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