May 20 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, March 2, 2013
A Golders Green woman who volunteered right up until the end of her life and was described as a “dynamo of energy” has died aged 89.
Sofie Landau was a dedicated volunteer for the University of the Third Age (U3A) at Hampstead Town Hall, Haverstock Hill, which organises events and classes for people who have retired.
She was also on the committee for the Association of Jewish Refugees for more than a decade, touching the lives of many through hospital visits, organising events and her loyal friendship.
Born in Germany in 1937, Ms Landau was sent to school in England and stayed here during the war.
Her two elder brothers settled in America but Ms Landau, who was briefly married to left-wing activist Tom Landau, had difficulties obtaining a visa.
Before retirement, Ms Landau worked as export manager for swimwear company Silhouette but once her job finished she moved straight into volunteering and her time at U3A.
Barry Rae, current chairman of U3A, knew her for many years.
He said: “She was absolutely a dynamo of energy.
“When she retired as chair I thought she would be going to more classes and talks but she insisted on coming into the office and helping out.”
He added: “She was an incredible powerhouse of history. You never would have guessed she was 89.
“She was just amazing. She was always out at the theatre and she loved music.”
Ms Landau was also a keen traveller and just one year before she died, organised a trip to Prague for a music holiday.
“She was incredibly independent,” said Mr Rae. “No matter what you asked her, she could always do it.”
U3A member and life-long friend Pat Macdonald described Ms Landau as “unfailingly generous”.
She said: “Everyone here has so many memories of her.
“She was somebody who gave U3A so much of her time with her friendship, and everybody who came into contact with her – and there were many – couldn’t fail to be impressed by her personality and the warmth of her nature.”
Ms Landau had no children. She is survived by one of her brothers, who still lives in America.