Gudrun E. Bieber
Jan 16, 1926 - Apr 19, 2016
Gudrun E. Bieber, also known as “Gugu” to family and friends, and as Donna Bieber, Donna Lee Moore, and Donna Gould, died at age 90, at her home in Sacramento, CA, on April 19, 2016. after a battle with lung cancer.
Gudrun was born on January 16, 1926 in Detroit, Michigan to Heinrich and Magdalena Schroeder, and is survived by her son, Rolf H. Bieber, and daughter, Astrid C. Bieber. She is also survived by her brother Detmar Schroeder of Fair Oaks, California, and sister Karin Castle of Warmington, England, grandchildren, Rolf H. Bieber II, Cynthia E. Allen, and great-grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews and cousins in Germany and England. She was preceded in death by her sister, Adelaide Mona Wiegandt, who passed away on July 18, 2013.
Gudrun was a beautiful, ambidextrous, multi-talented business woman who loved her family and lived a fascinating life. She was raised and educated in Germany and married Otto Bieber in 1945. She moved back to the USA after her divorce in 1948. In her early 20’s, she was an entrepreneur, opening and managing her own ice cream parlor, called “Gundy’s” in New York City. She was a single mom, using her many talents to raise her two children. She was a fashion model and went by the name “Donna Lee” as she would say people could not pronounce her name “Gudrun” correctly. She later worked for Singer Sewing Machine Company demonstrating sewing machines and making dresses and children’s clothing.
After moving to Sacramento, California with her 2 children in the late 50’s, Gudrun worked for Montgomery Ward in the sewing machine department where she met Larry Moore. They soon married and together opened the North American Chinchilla Service where they raised and sold chinchillas. After their divorce in the late 60’s, she moved to the Bay Area where she worked as a cook for a prominent family in Woodside. She later met and married Harold Gould and they moved to San Carlos where she continued raising chinchillas. She became interested in real estate and invested in properties in the Bay Area and Sacramento. They divorced in the 70’s and she moved back to Sacramento, opening up a toy and doll store in Roseville. For several years, she sold many of her hand-made dolls, especially the Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls of all sizes. She enjoyed sewing doll clothes and making outfits for many of the children in the family. She sold much of her hand-made items through the Elder Craftsman in Old Town, Sacramento. During this time, she studied oil painting and taught herself the art of landscapes, still life, and portraiture.
Gudrun loved to sing and play the piano. She had a gift for telling interesting stories, and was an avid letter writer, keeping in touch with her childhood friends and many relatives in Germany and England. In the mid 80’s, she reconnected with her first husband Otto Bieber, and they remarried in 1986. She moved back to Germany where she continued oil painting and doll making. She became a prolific oil painter and many of her beautiful paintings grace the walls of friends, family and fans across the USA and Europe. Unfortunately her dream of settling in Germany was short lived. She divorced again after a few years, and moved back to Sacramento where she continued oil painting and doll making until she was 90. She loved all kinds of animals especially hummingbirds and cats that made her yard their home. She was one of the most generous, giving persons and showed her love by way of delicious home made meals. At Christmastime, German stollens were her specialty, and neighbors, friends and family would delight in taking a loaf home.
She is dearly loved and missed by her family.
Gudrun was buried at the East Lawn Cemetery in Sacramento on April 29, 2016. There will be a private memorial celebration of life with family and friends to be held on Sunday, May 15, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. at her home in Sacramento, CA.
In lieu of flowers, it would be very much appreciated if any contributions toward funeral expenses be made online at:
East Lawn Mortuary
5757 Greenback Lane