Ursula Devine

Ursula Devine passed

away Tuesday, May 7th in

her home in Freder-

icksburg, Texas, a day be-

fore she was to celebrate

her 88th birthday.

Ursula, or Uschi to

many, was a woman of

the world, but more im-

portantly she was a fix-

ture in the communities

where she lived. Born Ur-

sula Dieterich in Berlin to

Augusta Ohler and Hans

Dieterich in 1931. As a

young teenager, Ursula

was relocated to a small

town north of Berlin in an

effort to spare the chil-

dren of the city from the

daily bombing raids.

When the town of Neur-

uppin was sacked by Rus-

sian forces she and her

friend traversed the Ger-

man countryside by foot

with one bike with a bro-

ken wheel between them.

They followed the rail-

road tracks nearly 70 ki-

lometers back to Berlin to

find her family amidst the


That same grit and

determination led her to

her next adventure which

awaited her in America.

At 17 years old she took a

transatlantic ship and

eventually ended up in

Minnesota where her life

began anew and she start-

ed her family. Eventually

she moved to Minot,

North Dakota where her

family continued to grow

and she laid down roots

in the local community.

Ursula didn’t believe in

sitting on the sidelines

and being a passive ob-

server of History. She also

had a strong commitment

to her new home, the Un-

ited States. While living

in Minot, Ursula became

extremely active in the

North Dakota GOP and

was an indispensable part

of Senator Mark Andrews’

campaign office as a

volunteer. The rough and

tumble of politics wasn’t

enough though. Ursula

was active in the Minot

community whether it

was through the Art Club,

Curling, or trap and skeet

shooting and golfing with

her friends at the Minot

Country Club.

In 1983 Ursula started a

new adventure in her life

by moving from North

Dakota to her new home

in the Lone Star state. The

town of Fredericksburg

proved to be the most

welcoming community for

the girl from Berlin, and it

was while visiting a col-

lege in San Antonio for

her daughter that she de-

cided Fredericksburg

would be her new home

and adventure. She im-

mediately connected with

the close-knit community

and carried on her politi-

cal work by connecting

with Faye Kelly and the

Texas Republican Wom-

en. She was also a staple

on Main Street the entire

time she lived there, first

as part-owner of Kids on

Main, Manager of Der Alte

Fritz, or owning and

operating her own gift


For years she travelled

the world with friends,

and everywhere she went

she seemed to make new

friends. Her adventurous

spirit and natural curiosi-

ty led her to all corners of

the earth and indulged

her need to know dif-

ferent cultures and peo-

ple. She especially en-

joyed her trips back to Eu-

rope which were especial-ly meaningful for her

years after she left the

continent she once called


There came a time

when she was no longer

able to travel the world

but that didn’t stop her

from taking an interest in

the world’s affairs. Ursula

was a voracious reader

and was always on top of

the current events here in

America (reading the Wall

Street journal cover to

cover every morning), and

abroad – by reading the

newspapers in her native

German on her kindle

when she had the chance.

Her memory lives on

across this great country

through her children Su-

san Feist, Thomas Gehl,

John Gehl, Mary Weiner

and Stephanie Clemons;

as well as her twelve

grandchildren and four

great-grandchildren. Oma

carried within her heart

stories about each and

every one of her

grandchildren, and re-

galed them with heartfelt

accounts of their child-

hood, and even the occa-

sional embarrassing anec-

dote followed by her one

of a kind laugh.

In a letter from Senator

Andrews, the senator la-

ments, “we’ll miss you,

lots, and wish you a

wonderful life in your

new home. Texas should

be so lucky.” We all share

those sentiments on this

day, and in the days to

come. We’ll miss you, oo-

dles and oodles, and wish

you a wonderful life in

your new home. We

should count ourselves

lucky to have been

blessed with the privilege

of having you in all of our

lives. We’d say “I love

you” to Ursula, but then

we know her response

even in silence- “I love

you more.”

In lieu of flowers con-

tributions may be made to

Hill Country SPCA or St.

Mary’s School Endow-

ment Fund.