Our interview with Boca Raton’s ‘Countess’ on her 100th birthday

photo countess henrietta de hoenle

Countess Henrietta de Hoernle with the 2012 National Philanthropy Day Centenarian Lifetime Distinction Award. (Lauren Lieberman/LILA photo)

Henrietta de Hoernle, known as Rita to her bridge friends and ‘The Countess’ throughout Palm Beach County, died Friday in hospice care at a hospital in her adopted hometown of Boca Raton, the Glick Family Funeral home confirmed Sunday. Funeral arrangements are pending for the woman whose 100th birthday was feted by the city with “Countess Appreciation Day.”

When Hoernle turned 100 years old in 2012, she estimated she had donated more than $40 million to her chosen causes since she and her late husband, Adolph, moved to South Florida in 1981.

We recall our interview with The Countess when she turned 100. Here is an excerpt from the 2012 interview:

Palm Beach Post’s Barbara Marshall: “What do you hope people remember about you?”

Henrietta de Hoernle: That I was a generous person, that I loved people and that I was willing to help.

What really gets my goat is seeing people having yachts, big apartments, chauffeurs and limousines and all that. That money could have been spent more wisely on people who need it, especially now.

There is a feeling that’s indescribable when someone comes up to you and says, “you saved my daughter,” “you saved my son.” People stop me in the streets and say, “you do such wonderful work.”

Read the entire interview here: “The Countess at 100: ‘Give while you live so you know where it goes”

 

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