WOONSOCKET — Brigitte Stanwyck, 86, of Woonsocket, passed away Thursday, February 11, 2021, at Prairieview Nursing Home in Woonsocket.
A memorial will be held at a later date.
Brigitta Krabbenhoeft was born November 30, 1934, in Hamburg, Germany on the cusp of World War II to Elsa and Richard Krabbenhoeft. Her father joined the German Army and died while fighting against the Allies. In her youth during WWII as required by the Hitler Youth Organization she presented Hitler with flowers. She also saw General Patton meet the Russians at the River Elbe.
After the war ended and the Russians took control of Eastern Germany, Brigitta’s mother fled to the west, leaving Brigitta behind to finish her schooling. At the age of 16, Brigitta escaped East Germany alone, crossing the border under extremely dangerous conditions where she reunited with her mother and stepfather, Arno Wildt.
At age 18 she became a translator at a U.S. Air Force Base in West Germany. There she met Staff Sergeant Charles Stanwyck, with whom she would spend the rest of her days. They married in 1955 and had three children. Brigitta changed her name to Brigitte after moving to the United States.
Brigitte was a remarkable woman: she opened one of the first woman-owned real estate offices in South Florida, became the first woman general manager of the largest time share resort on Miami Beach, traveled the world opening time share resorts in Austria, Isle of Man and many other locations. She learned to scuba dive, took lessons to fly glider fixed wing aircraft, held a world record in fishing (44lb barracuda on 8lb test), and, once she and Charles retired, lived on their dream boat at Port Canaveral, Florida. Their years on the boat were, no doubt, the best years of their lives. Brigitte and Charles came to Woonsocket, South Dakota in 2006 to be near their daughters.
Brigitte is survived by her husband, Charles; daughter, Cynthia Gregg (Clay); son, Michael Stanwyck (Judy); daughter, Stephanie Ptak (Charlie); grandchildren, Michael, Bree, Scott, and Sawyer; and great-grandchildren, Leland and Lila Ptak.
The family requests in lieu of flowers please make donations to the Humane Society or the Dakota Dachshund Rescue.