Letter: Sad News About Anneliese

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Sad news about Anneliese. We first met in 1971, days after the feature story about her preschool on Manzanita appeared in the Los Angeles Times. A year later, I worked as a congressional aide in Washington, DC, but often thought about our meeting.  

When I returned to Laguna in 1974, I visited Anneliese. She offered me a job because she remembered I spoke a bit of German and had graduated from USC from the School of Education. Not only that, Anneliese gave me a place to live. So there I was, teaching my class of mostly 4-year-olds during the day and serving as the school’s groundskeeper before the first child arrived the following day.  

Best of all, I felt like a member of the family. Anneliese’s husband, Paul, and I took a wine class together and made several trips to Napa to stock his cellar. In addition, I shared many dinners with their daughters Ruth and Liesa and Anneliese’s cousin Margot. To this day, I count Gregg and Kathy Abel, who lived up the street, Don Romero, whose sons attended Anneliese’s, and fellow teacher Heather Sparkuhl and her husband, Pat, as some of my oldest friends in town.

The last time I saw Anneliese was five-plus years ago. She was obviously ill, but she still had her sense of humor and special way of connecting with little ones. Anneliese, you may be gone now, but to countless thousands of children and their families, you never will be forgotten. RIP, my friend.

Denny Freidenrich, Laguna Beach     

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