Frauke Massimilla
Frauke Massimilla
Frauke Massimilla

Obituary of Frauke Margarete Massimilla

In loving memory:

Born on August 27th, 1943 in Offenbach, Germany, Frauke Margarete Massimilla (nee Manteuffel), 78, of Merritt Island, Florida, passed away peacefully in the comforts of Wuesthoff Brevard Hospice and Palliative Care on March 7, 2022.

Frauke came to the U.S. in 1948 and remembered having her fifth birthday on the ship. She graduated with Ithaca High School's class of 1961. She completed her degree in physical therapy at Ithaca College in 1966 after training at Albert Einstein Medical Center. She started her career as a physical therapist at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. She came to sunny and warm Miami, Florida by asking to come along when her friend went to join a new orthopedic practice as a hand surgeon. She moved to Merritt Island in 1975 and became a physical therapy inpatient manager for Wuesthoff Memorial Hospital where she worked for 32 years.

Frauke will be missed by all who knew and loved her. She was preceded in death by her parents Erich and Gertrud (Strelow) Manteuffel and brother Rudy Manteuffel. She is survived by her brother Wolfgang Richard (Dick) Manteuffel (Cincinnati, Ohio); sisters Helga Manteuffel (Puerto Rico), Brigitte Manteuffel (Tucker, Georgia) and Ingrid Manteuffel (Merritt Island, Florida); cousins Helmut Manteuffel and Elke Meyer; nieces Laura Manteuffel, Shelley Powers, Kristen Hickey, and Tiffani Manteuffel- Ross; nephews Erich Manteuffel and Peter Jefferson; and great-niece Zoe Powers.

As a physical therapist, Frauke touched the lives of countless hospital patients as she helped them regain their strength and mobility, who often gave her personal and handmade gifts of gratitude. She made many lasting and devoted friendships among her hospital colleagues and her medical care providers with her compassion and gift for meeting challenges with humor. Frauke always looked at the bright side of life, weaving in the perfect amount of satire. She was often known to say, "I'm looking at the flowers, not the roots." She had tremendous inner strength, bravery, and independence. She loved her family and her dog, Cricket. She was a fantastic cook who loved to talk about the next meal she was making. She perfected fermenting sauerkraut, which she made in large batches and shared with friends. She could grow anything, and over her lifetime maintained staghorn ferns, orchids, and amazing yields of vegetables in her greenhouse. During her retirement, she returned to painting, taking on a new watercolor and alcohol technique, making stunningly beautiful paintings, tiles, ornaments, and jewelry that she gave away freely as gifts. She was an avid golfer early in life, and later loved to kayak in the canals behind her house. Frauke had a beautiful singing voice and loved listening to music, a love she shared deeply with her brother Rudy and sister Helga. Frauke found great peace and joy by watching the manatees float in her canal, especially when they came with their babies. The twenty manatees that came for Christmas and stayed for several weeks, brought their calm and comfort.

The family wishes to give special thanks to the many doctors, nurses, and medical staff who supported and sustained Frauke; your guidance and care enabled her to live a longer and fuller life. 

Frauke's life will be celebrated privately at a later date. There will be no formal service at this time.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Frauke's memory can be made to:
Save the Manatee Club
533 Versailles Dr. Suite 100 
Maitland, FL 32751