Vail Daily obituary: Ilse Lammert Loftus, 1939-2012 |

Vail Daily obituary: Ilse Lammert Loftus, 1939-2012

Special to the Dailyobituaries@vaildaily.comVail, CO Colorado

Ilse Lammert Loftus, 72, of Highland Park, Ill., and a part-time resident of Vail, passed away Jan. 20. Born on Dec. 7, 1939, in Hannover, Germany, she was an exchange student for the senior year at Stamford High School in Stamford, Conn., receiving her high school diploma in 1958. Returning to Hannover, she completed her Gymnasium studies and received her Abitur from Helene Lange Gymnasium in 1960. Ilse came back to the United States to attend Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., under a Kellogg Foundation Scholarship with junior class status. She received her B.A. degree in 1962 as one of only two female economics majors.After graduation from Carleton College, Ilse moved to New York City, where she worked as an economic analyst on Wall Street from 1962 to 1966, and then at the First National Bank of Chicago until 1967, when her first child was born. Having retired from her business career, she resumed her academic studies in 1976 at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she received her M.A. degree in German Studies in 1977 and was a Ph.D. candidate, completing all required course work except her dissertation.From 1974 to 1977, Ilse was an instructor in the German Department at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Ill. She continued her career as an instructor at Northwestern University, both at the College of Arts and Sciences and the Kellogg School of Management, for 20 years, from 1977 to 1997. During her tenure there, she was elected twice to the Northwestern University ASG Faculty Honor Roll, receiving accolades from her students for her enthusiasm, energy and approachability. In 1992, Ilse led a select group of Kellogg School students on a week-long trip to Germany, where they visited major industrial facilities, including Daimler-Benz in Stuttgart, Continental Tire in Hannover and the Meissen Porcelain Works. Ilse also was a freshman advisor, loved by her students for her honest, straightforward and politically incorrect advice and counsel.A natural athlete, Ilse was an avid and competitive tennis player, winning an Amelia Island Pro-Am Tennis Tournament in the early 1980s. She was a member of the A-Team of the Bath & Tennis Club of Lake Bluff and won amateur tournaments at the Amelia Island Plantation Club in Florida and the Vail Racquet Club. She was a skilled skier and winner of NASTAR gold and silver medals. She enjoyed swimming in the Atlantic Ocean off Amelia Island Plantation and bike riding and hiking in the mountains around Vail. In addition to her athletic interests, Ilse was a patron of the arts, being a loyal subscriber for many years to the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Steppenwolf Theater.Ilse loved to travel with her husband and enjoyed spending time with her children and grandchildren in Vail and Amelia Island, Fla. She visited her hometown of Hannover, Germany, frequently for her school reunions and to spend time with extended family and friends. She found her greatest joy in spending time with her grandchildren, seeing them perform in plays, recitals and athletic contests. She introduced her granddaughters to American Girl, insisting that they combine fun with education by choosing dolls representing selected periods in American History. In 2008, Ilse and her husband commenced the family tradition of introducing her grandchildren to the history and culture of England by taking their two eldest grandchildren to London for a week. The next two eldest enjoyed that tradition in May of 2011, and her husband has vowed that Ilse’s untimely passing will not bring an end to that joyful tradition.Loving wife of Brian; loving mother of Brian (Silke) Loftus, Jr. of Leawood, Kan., and Stacey (Eric) Cohen of Winnetka, Ill.; cherished grandmother (called “Omi”) of Brian Anthony III, Connor Matthew and Ian Patrick Loftus, and Cameron Ilse, Charles Loftus, Claire Sydney and Caitlin Amelia Cohen; dear sister of Peter (Erika) Lammert of Hemmingen, Germany, and Renate (the late Peter) Rosenthal of Clausthal, Germany; loved sister-in-law of Andrea (Wellington) Jones of Cassopolis, Mich., and the late Sheila (Robert) Clancy of Hudson, Ohio; fond niece of Ruth W. Weir of South Bend, Ind.; and aunt of many much-loved nieces and nephews.A memorial visitation will be held Thursday from 5-8 p.m. at Kelley & Spalding Funeral Home, 1787 Deerfield Road, Highland Park, Ill. A memorial service will be held Friday at 10:30 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Deerfield, 824 Waukegan Road, Deerfield, Ill. Interment private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University ( For information, please call Kelley and Spalding Funeral Home at 847-831-4260 or

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