Obituary of Sigrud Birkin (Mahl) Hommeyer


Hommeyer, Sigrud Birkin Mahl Sigrud was born on January 18, 1935 in San Francisco, California. She and her three siblings were first generation Americans, the children of a Swedish engineer and a German surgical nurse. The Mahl house was full of classical music, discussions of science and philosophy, and the creation of art in many forms. Sigrud’s personal interest in music began with the Children’s Choir of San Francisco. Sig, or Siggy, as she was called, attended Lowell High School in San Francisco, where she sang in the choir and glee club, and was repeatedly voted “Best Dancer.” She then joined San Francisco State College where she obtained a degree in education. After graduating from college, Sig began teaching in San Francisco. Soon after, she landed her first teaching job in Sacramento, where she met her future husband, Paul Hommeyer. After their wedding, Paul and Sig traveled to Minnesota, where they made Wayzata their home. Sig was instrumental in establishing the Wayzata Montessori School and was employed as a kindergarten teacher by the Wayzata School District until she retired to raise three children. One of Sigrud’s students, with whom she remained in contact throughout her life, has become a recognized educator and speaker. She dedicated her latest book to Sigrud, noting that Sig changed her life and launched her on her journey. During her 44 years in Minnesota, Sig sang in the Wayzata Community Church Choir, was a teacher for the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and served on the board of directors of the Minnesota Dance Theater. Sigrud was very proud of her family history. Sigrud’s grandfather, Ferdinand Thomas, was a renowned German landscape painter, and she was invited to attend the celebration of the 150th anniversary of his birth. She was unaware that she was also due to speak at the event. When his time came, out of respect for his grandfather and out of deference to the German audience, Sig began his speech in German and continued to entertain the crowd for over 20 minutes to a standing ovation. In 2008, Sigrud and Paul moved to Little Compton, RI, to be closer to their grandchildren and the ocean. They built a house overlooking the Watson Reservoir, with beautiful views of the water and woods on the north side that reminded them of Minnesota. Over the years at RI, Sigrud and Paul took constant delight in the nature around them, from morning bird watching, deer and small animal tours, evening sunsets over the water and owls hooting at night. This was where they wanted to live, enjoy the family and rest. Sigrud is survived by her husband, Paul, their three children, Thomas, Kristin and Peter, her five grandchildren, Hanna, Max, Leo, Gustave and Henry and his brothers Ekhard and Gunard. She was the bright light and the most powerful force in our family. Sig will always be remembered for his strength and perseverance, and for his advocacy on behalf of the less fortunate. His greatest passion and his greatest gift were working with and caring for children and animals; she has always had a house full of wanderers and orphans, animals and humans. Sigrud loved people and was always the life of the party, especially if there was music for her to dance to. During his 87 years, Sigrud maintained friendships with four generations, from friends of his mother to those of his grandchildren. She was unique and irreplaceable and will be missed forever.

Posted on December 19, 2021


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