Born April 9, 1941, in Prussia, Mrs. Walendy is survived by her son Ralf Riehl, of Stamford, CT; daughter Janine LePere, of Westminster, SC; grandchildren, Riley, Cole, and Dylan; and her son-in-law David and daughter-in-law Airsledya. Along with her closest family, she is loved and missed by extended family, countless friends, and the many foster children she welcomed into her home over two decades.
Mrs. Walendy was truly a force of nature, and lived every day with strength and grace. As a young child, she and her family fled Prussia for West Germany at the end of World War II, taking with them only what they could carry. Her experience as a child refugee helped shape her guiding principles for the rest of her life: fortitude, resilience, fearlessness, empathy, compassion, and dedication to helping others above all.
Mrs. Walendy’s zest for life and desire for ongoing learning led her down many paths, year after year. She began her career as a teacher of home economics in Germany. After moving to the United States, she became a self-taught real estate investor and developer, purchasing and renting many homes, while doing several renovations and reconstructions on her own, including her home in Whitingham. She later became a master tailor and built a thriving seamstress business. She made elegant wedding dresses from scratch, and was well known for her expertise working with leather, a rare talent.
Among Mrs. Walendy’s many career accomplishments, she was most proud of the work she did helping the most vulnerable. In the late 1970s, she combined her passion for helping people with special needs with her passion for skiing and became an adaptive ski instructor in Winter Park, CO. After relocating to Whitingham, she became a foster parent, concentrating on helping children with special needs in the foster care system for more than 20 years.
In 2013, Mrs. Walendy began volunteering as an adaptive ski instructor at Mount Snow’s adaptive program, and quickly became one of the most versatile volunteers in the corps: teaching, training and helping manage the program seven days a week. Most recently, she had joined the board of directors of the nonprofit charitable organization, Mount Snow Adaptive Sports.
Mrs. Walendy loved working in her gardens, and loved being with her pets. She was a car enthusiast and loved driving her convertible with the top down any time the sun was shining. But above all else, she was there for others, always eager to help. Ingrid was a true friend, and motherly figure to many.
In lieu of flowers or other consideration Ingrid requested donations be made to her most passionate project, Mount Snow Adaptive Sports. Checks should be made to MSAS/Ingrid Walendy Memorial Fund and mailed to MS Adaptive Sports, 39 Mount Snow Road, West Dover, VT 05356.