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The 2004 crop of honorees added to the Fredericksburg Wall of Honor made lifelong contributions to the community.

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Date published: 4/24/2004


She was the winner of the 1962 Alumnae Achievement Award of Huntingdon College. The following year, after 18 years in Fredericksburg, she became director of the Wilson Inn, a boarding home for girls in Richmond, sponsored by the Methodist Women of Virginia.

Susie Peach Foster died at the age of 89 on April 13, 1995, at the Brooks Howell Home for Deaconesses in Asheville, N.C. She donated her body to science.

Her name lives on in the Fredericksburg United Methodist Church's Susie Peach Foster Circle and in the Susie Peach Foster Endowment Fund of the Mary Washington College Campus Christian Community.

Dr. Kurt F. Leidecker's spirit is an unseen but powerful presence at the Religious Freedom Monument on the Washington Avenue Mall.

Founder of the Thomas Jefferson Institute for the Study of Religious Freedom, he began the tradition of annual services at the Religious Freedom Monument and was responsible for its relocation to its present prominent location.

The Thomas Jefferson Institute was but one of the many achievements of the Mary Washington College professor who was known throughout the world as a scholar, philosopher, author and humanitarian. His academic specialty was Oriental thought, including the cultural and intellectual relationships between the Orient and the West.

At age 19, Kurt Leidecker already was an avid scholar when, in 1921, he arrived in the United States from his native Germany with a trunk full of books. Becoming a U.S. citizen in 1927, he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Oberlin College and his doctorate from the University of Chicago.

A lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II and the months following, Leidecker compiled a two-volume German-English technical dictionary of aeronautics, which was used as a basic text in starting the U.S. space program. Always patriotic, he was a longtime member of the American Legion.

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