Anneliese K. Opitz -- Rochester

July 8, 2018

A memorial service for the Rev. Dr. Anneliese K. Opitz, 89, of Rochester, will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 21, 2018, at First Presbyterian Church, 512 Third St. SW, Rochester. Revs. Jay Rowland and Carol Shaffer will be officiating. German tortes and coffee will be served following the service, during which time the family would like to greet friends.

Anneliese was born in Berlin, Germany, on May 20, 1929, to Walter and Hilde (Saran) Kriege. She passed away peacefully on June 6, 2018, at her residence in Charter House.

Anneliese spent most of her childhood in the Dahlem district of Berlin, although she temporarily evacuated to Silesia in 1943 and again in 1944, to escape intense bombing raids during World War II. In 1948, her family flew out of Berlin under cover of darkness during the Berlin Blockade.

In 1949, Anneliese began studying at Heidelberg University, earning a Doctor of Theology from the University of Bonn in 1959. Her studies also included coursework in Oxford, England; Lausanne, Switzerland; and Paris. Fluent in German and English, she also learned Latin, Hebrew, Greek, and French as part of her studies.

Anneliese first visited the U.S. in 1954 to attend the Second Assembly of the World Council of Churches, which was held that year in Evanston, Ill.

On June 15, 1961, Anneliese married Dr. Joachim L. Opitz in Bonn, Germany. She then joined him in Rochester, where he had begun his career at Mayo Clinic.

Anneliese was ordained at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Rochester by the Presbytery of Sheldon Jackson in 1966, when it was still a pioneering time for the ordination of women. She earned a Master of Sacred Theology (magna cum laude) from University of Dubuque Theological Seminary in 1967.

Anneliese served as chaplain at the former Rochester State Hospital. Following its unfortunate closure in 1982, she then worked as a pastoral counselor at Rochester Area Pastoral Counseling Center for 17 years. She served as Coordinator of Pastoral Care and Chaplain at Charter House from 1988 until her retirement in 2000.

In retirement, Anneliese served as a First Presbyterian Church Parish Associate, occasionally preaching and helping with the pastoral care of the congregation.

Anneliese was a loving and generous mother and grandmother. Her favorite pastimes included gardening and flower arranging, reading outside in the sunshine (she especially enjoyed biographies and historical nonfiction), playing cards and board games, visiting with friends while sipping wine, and traveling. Favorite vacation destinations included Germany; Greece; Marco Island, Fla.; and the Maine coastline near Acadia National Park. Her love of travel and active interest in events around the world inspired her children and grandchildren to become “global citizens” and to appreciate other cultures.

Survivors include her son, Mark Opitz of Middleton, Wis.; daughter, Susan Opitz of Minneapolis; and grandchildren, Ellen and Peter Opitz. Anneliese was preceded in death by her husband, Joachim L. Opitz; her brother, Kurt Kriege; and her parents.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be directed to Interfaith Alliance Foundation, 2101 L St. NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20037. interfaithalliance.org

To share a special memory or condolence, please visit www.ranfranzandvinefh.com.

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