Cover photo for Ellen Tegethoff Mcqueary's Obituary
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Ellen Tegethoff Mcqueary

Ellen Tegethoff McQueary

Age 96, died peacefully in her home in Springfield, VA on August 16, 2021. She was born in Essen, Germany in 1925.

Ellen was the beloved wife of Fredric K. McQueary who died in 1979. She was able to speak several different languages and was gifted at mastering them. She worked briefly as a German and Russian translator for the US Army. After moving to the United States and raising a family she worked, again as a translator, for Berlitz Institute. She went on to get a graduate degree from American University and taught German at West Springfield High School until retiring in 1985. She was celebrated as an outstanding language teacher and was highly regarded by her students and fellow faculty.

Ellen was passionate about life. Her favorite slogan was “Carpe diem”. She loved her home where she enjoyed decorating and hosting her many friends and guests. She also created an extensive garden there where she experimented growing many varieties of plants and enjoyed attracting and observing birds and other wildlife.

Ellen was also an avid traveler and ventured (often solo) around the globe, to destinations as varied as Central America, Peru, Ecuador, Europe, Russia, Uzbekistan, India, Egypt and Thailand. On her travels she enjoyed seeking out and studying the indigenous textiles of the various regions. She was a member of the Textile Museum in Washington, DC and went on a number of their study trips to Central and South America.

Ellen is survived by her sister, Inge Goetze, in Germany and her two sons, Rolf, in Virginia and Peter, in Washington State.

Because of the Covid pandemic, a memorial service will be arranged and announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Alzheimer’s Association at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ellen Tegethoff Mcqueary, please visit our flower store.


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