Obituary of Regine Pringle
Regine Pringle was born in Nancy, France on October 28, 1930. She had a happy childhood with her parents and sisters until the German occupation of France during World War II when her family was rounded up and taken to a concentration camp in Poitiers, France. Regine’s parents were deported to Auschwitz in July 1942, her father Hersh Braun in convoy number 13 and her mother Faiga Braun née Tallerman in convoy number 14. They never returned. Regine and her two sisters were separated from each other and were able to survive as hidden children in orphanages, convents and with righteous families in farms and villages. Through the efforts of the Joint Distribution and OSE, Regine escaped from France by crossing the Pyrenees Mountains with a group of children into Spain from where she was sent to the United States. Orphaned and alone, Regine arrived in the United States at the age of 14. She was sent to live with the family of her Uncle Max Tallerman in Paterson, New Jersey.
Thanks to Regine’s extraordinary strength of character and positive attitude, she quickly adapted to her life in the United States. After graduating from high school, Regine worked as a legal secretary. In 1953 she married Gilbert Wetter with whom she had four children. The Wetter family moved to San Diego, California in 1970. Regine earned a degree in accounting, and worked as a bookkeeper and officer manager, notably for the YMCA, until her retirement.
In 1987, Regine married James Pringle. They lived happily in Altadena until James’ death in 2005. Regine then moved to Santa Barbara to be in the same city as her daughter Fran. She quickly made wonderful new friends who were a very important part of her life until her unexpected death after falling and breaking several ribs.
Regine was known for her uplifting and caring personality. Having lost both of her parents as a child, Regine was especially sensitive to problems of children in difficulty. She volunteered to help disabled children and children from disadvantaged families. She took to heart her involvement with At Risk Kids and was a mentor for Mis Tres Caras. She was a constant defender of social justice for minorities.
Her children remember fondly how Regine’s trunk was always filled with bottled water and protein bars that she regularly handed out to the homeless she would come across wherever she went.
During the last few decades of her life, Regine became aware of the importance of Holocaust remembrance. She gave countless talks about her past as the child of victims of the Holocaust. She would never refuse to give a talk to groups of today’s youth.
Regine inherited a beautiful voice from her mother. She had memories of singing with her mother to entertain the other prisoners in the concentration camp. She was often chosen to sing solos for ceremonies and in shows. Her children have fond memories of a home in which there was always joyful singing.
Regine dearly loved and was loved and cherished by her daughter Fran Finney and her husband Hal (of blessed memory) in Santa Barbara, her daughter Heidi Cahen and her husband Philippe in Strasbourg, France, her daughter Andrea Ransdell and her husband Fred in Davis and her son Steve Wetter and his wife Cindy in Chatham, New Jersey, as well as by her grandchildren Jason, Michèle, Erin, Daniel, Rachel, Jacob, Sharon, Marisa and Hannah, their spouses Barry and Max and her two great-grandsons Alex and Tom. She will be sorely missed.
As Regine’s nephew Paul Lipkin summed it up when he learned of Regine’s death: Her life was filled with both early tragedy and later joy.
The family would welcome donations in Regine’s memory to either the Joint Distribution Committee, which was instrumental in rescuing her from France during World War II, The Humane Society of Santa Barbara, from which she adopted two dogs she dearly loved in her last years, or to the ALS Association, which is searching for a cure for the disease that took the life of her son-in-law, Hal.
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