Gertrude 'Trudy' Fischer Burks, 91

Gertrude “Trudy” Fischer Burks, 91, of Manassas, Virginia, passed away on Tuesday morning, January 9, 2018 at Lake Manassas Health and Rehabilitation Center in Gainesville, Virginia. She died in her sleep. 

Trudy was born on November 4, 1926 in Vienna, Austria. She was the only daughter of Moritz and Stefanie Kunter Fischer. 

Trudy was a retired travel agent and a longtime volunteer guide for Prince William County’s Bluebird bus tours. She loved to travel, and she instilled that love and passion for distant places in her children and her grandchildren. 

She is survived by her son Edward Calohill Burks Jr. and his wife Margaret Gallalee Burks of Berryville, Virginia; son Martin Parks Burks of Petersburg, Virginia; daughter Kate Elizabeth Litton and Kate’s partner Robert Joseph Sporysz Jr. of Buffalo, New York; and four grandchildren: Edward Calohill Burks III of San Bruno, California; John Blacksher Burks of Lexington, Virginia; Ryan Donald Edward Litton of Berkeley, California; and Kendall Lee Litton of Knoxville, Tennessee. 

Trudy was preceded in death by her husband, Edward Calohill Burks, and her son, Timothy Parks Burks. 

Trudy also leaves behind many, many close friends and relatives, including her beloved first cousin, Lotte Reichl, in her native Vienna. 

Trudy always faced adversity with determination and great courage. In 1938, when she was 12 years old, she watched the Gestapo take her father from their apartment in Vienna. She never saw him again, and she later learned that he died in the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz. 

She and her mother endured the hardships and deprivations of war in Vienna, and then were forced to endure the equally grim conditions of the Soviet occupation. 

It was during the occupation that she met her future husband, Edward C. “Ned” Burks of Roanoke, Virginia. Mr. Burks was serving as a journalist with the United States Army Air Forces in Vienna at the time. 

The courage, the mental toughness, the unconditional love for family and friends, and the fierce passion for life that shaped Trudy’s early years in Vienna never left her. And she went on to stamp those qualities indelibly on her children and her grandchildren. They are forever grateful to her for sharing her life with them and for the unsparing and unqualified love she gave them. 

A memorial service and celebration of life for Trudy will be held at Unity of Fairfax church in Oakton, Virginia, at a date to be determined later. Burial will be private. 

The family asks that in lieu of flowers donations may be made to either Yellowstone Forever, a nonprofit organization devoted to the preservation of Yellowstone National Park (accessible online at or to Unity of Fairfax church, 2854 Hunter Mill Road, Oakton, VA, 22124. 

Online condolences may be offered at the website of Pierce Funeral Home in Manassas at

Godspeed, Omie.

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