I want to express our special gratitude to Lee for his willingness to share the story of his survival in a Nazi concentration camp and death march with my history students at Purdue. As an American GI he was captured during the Battle of the Bulge. Then he was separated from a standard POW camp because he was Jewish and sent to the Berga camp, a sub-camp of the Buchenwald concentration camp. Lee was both generous and gracious in recalling this painful time in his life for the students. His experience is recounted in the book by our colleague, W. Laird Kleine-Ahlbrandt, Bitter Prerequisites (2001).
We were so saddened by your loss. Lee has been a friend and mentor to so many of the students as they went thru WL High School. His contributions to the city on
different committees and his long term involvement with the Democratic party will be long remembered.
Our sympathy and condolences to you and your family from all the Tuites.
Jill and I really feel Lee&s death, will miss him, and wanted to send our condolences. He was indeed, as the J&C obituary put it, a very gentle man who gave a lot of himself to others and his community. I never heard him say a negative thing about anybody, and his humane point of view was inspirational and perhaps, in terms of what he went through in World War II, remarkable. In the last year or two, I felt very fortunate to have several meals with Lee, and got to know him better and appreciate him even more than earlier.
Jill reaches out especially to Bill, who she remembers as a student with many of his father&s fine characteristics who really cared about making a contribution to improving young people&s lives.
With great sympathy,
Bob and Jill May
We really appreciated our years on North Salisbury, and the cohesion of our neighborhood. Kay and I often reminisce about the friendship of all the children in the neighborhood! They are no longer the kids we remember so fondly, but the grandchildren fill that spot. If only we weren&t separated by such distances...
Our very best to you all in this time of sorrow. We can take comfort in knowing that Lee is struggling with health problems no longer.
With our condolences,
Kay and Don Niemoeller
Lee Trachtman was our first contact with Purdue and the W.L. Community. We
called him from Canada to ask about schools in West Lafayette for our children
and how our family would fare in a move from Waterloo, Ontario.
Sharon applied and was accepted to the Doctoral Program in Communication and
she talked with Lee before applying and sought his guidance and counsel which
he so freely gave with thought and understanding of a mother with two young
children and the demand of graduate school.
As a member of Parlor Club, the Theobalds continued to have the privilege of
sharing Lee&s ideas and the company of both Lee and Marguerite.
We will miss him and all that he brought to the spirit and life of our lives and
the Greater Lafayette community.
Bill and Sharon Theobald
and I&ve always remembered him since. There was something about the way he conducted himself in class that commanded a respect that I&ve never forgotten. A consumate professional, he emoted genuine care for the students in his class, and provoked us to think more deeply about the subject at hand. As I think of him, I remember his posture and the way he stood in front of us. I see him standing in the front of the classroom or leaning on the desk with his arms crossed and the finger and thumb of one hand cupping his chin as he listened to the student participation . . . I always enjoyed his class, he was just plain interesting and a great instructor. He left his impression on me certainly, and I wish I had known about his heroics and self-sacrifice during the war, because I would have thanked him sincerely for helping save the world.
Sending thoughts and prayers to your family,
Words can not express what I feel for you at this time. Having lost my best friend last year, I know what you are feeling. Lee was an exceptional man and a wonderful person. I know you will miss him terribly, but would not want him to go through any more strain. Please know that you are in my thoughts and I will be making a donation to Lafayette Urban Ministry in Lee&s name. All my love to you. I shall never forget what you and Lee did for me in my political life and as my friends.
The tributes coming from many voices and sources
honor the life of a gentle man who remains an example
to all us.
While the loss to the family and to the community is great, look at what Lee Trachtman has left behind!
Joe and Barbara Krause
I know that the strength of your family will help you through
the next months. But Rolf and I will always remember the
kind way you and Lee included us in to old football crowd.
Remember forever, Rolf and Maryjane