Linda (Sieglinde) Bruck, our beloved mother and grandmother, formerly of Potomac, Md., passed away Dec. 17, 2020. She will be greatly missed.
She was born on Nov. 17, 1937, to Joseph and Anna Koch Bohn in Gross Betschkerek in what is now the city of Zrenjanin, Serbia, as a member of the German-speaking Danube Swabian population.
After an idyllic early childhood, her father was imprisoned and shot after the Serbian Partisans took over, and she was imprisoned in a work camp with her three siblings, her mother and both grandmothers. They managed to survive and stave off scurvy and famine by eating onions and gleaning in crop fields nearby. They escaped from the camp on one moonless night on foot, leaving one grandmother behind, and trekked over the border into Romania. They then stowed away on a train across Hungary before crossing into Austria on foot.
There in post-war Vienna, Austria, she became part of a large population of refugees, and the family lived for some years in old military barracks before moving into a two-bedroom apartment shared by the five of them, and it even had a private indoor toilet and bath. Thanks to the hard work and cleverness of her mother, Linda was afforded a good education and trade school as well as enjoying the many cultural events and resources of the capital city of Austria.
She met and married Nicholas Bruck, a fellow displaced Danube Swabian, and they moved to New York City in 1961. There she worked as an interpreter at the Australian Embassy and embraced her new country and city. In 1967, she and Nicholas had an adventurous year living in Guatemala City and exploring Central America where he was teaching at the university. In 1968, they moved to the Washington, D.C., area, where they settled in the Glen Hills suburb in Montgomery County and raised their children.
In the process, she ran a small horse boarding stable, raised a few head of cattle, kept chickens to sell eggs, participated in the PTA, ran a campaign to keep a nearby quarry from expanding and went to night school for her real estate license. Her children were all taught the proper etiquette involved in answering business calls and taking messages.
She had more time after her children grew up and left, so she enrolled in classes at the local community college and traveled to visit the children and her own family in Austria. At one point, she drove through Europe and into Morocco to visit one daughter who was in the Peace Corps there.
Around 2009, after a long illness, she moved to Blacksburg, and found a new home here in the mountains of Southwest Virginia. She loved nature, walking the local trails and enjoyed the theater and concerts and gardening at her daughter’s house.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her siblings, Helga Geringer and Seppi Bohn of Austria, a nephew, Christian Geringer, and a grandson, Peter Modlin.
Survivors include daughters Maria Bruck Modlin (Russell Modlin) of Blacksburg and Maya Bruck of Austin, Texas; twin sons Thomas Bruck (Lindsey) and Max Bruck (Stacey) both also of Austin; grandchildren Cade, Landon, MJ and Kyle Bruck of Austin; and Lydia and Erika Modlin of Blacksburg, a sister, Elke Bohn Ballester of Madrid, Spain; and many wonderful nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews in Austria and Spain.
The family is grateful for the caregivers from Community Care Solutions (Crystal and Alex), from Interim Health, and others thanked privately for helping make her last years and days comfortable and as independent as possible.
A private funeral mass was held on Dec. 28, 2020, followed by a short graveside service at Memorial Gardens of NRV. Online condolences may be shared at www.McCoyfuneralHome.com.