Shortly after arriving at the Villa in 2006, Mrs. Wuenschel became seriously ill and was placed in hospice care, but after six months she returned to nursing care for the next four years. Her son, James, described his mother as “the valedictorian of the hospice class.”
Nicknamed “Queen Hilda” by the Villa staff because she was meticulous about her appearance and that of her room, Mrs. Wuenschel was known for her frugality and bargain hunting, especially in dollar stores. For her 100th birthday, more than 100 friends came to the Villa in response to her personal invitation that read:
“I hope you can come/To a picnic celebration/To meet my family and friends,/And to add to my elation.
“But one thing I say, No gift today/All you must pay/Is one dollar, no more,/Just enough when I’m broke for/The dollar store.”
A Pittsburgh native, she worked for a time as a clerk in the film industry. She and her husband, the late Herman J. Wuenschel, were married in 1932 and moved to Avalon, Pa., where they raised four children. They moved again in 1958 to Flourtown where Mrs. Wuenschel became an active member of St. Genevieve’s Church.
In addition to her son James, she is survived by sons John and Daniel; a daughter, Mary Ann Miller; 15 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren. Mrs. Wuenschel’s husband died in 1996.
A funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Joseph’s Villa on March 14, with interment in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. – WF