Alumna hung out with Amelia Earhart, studied under Julia Child


During Fritzi Klopfenstein’s senior year at Purdue, the College of Science major found herself living in the same building as famed aviatrix Amelia Earhart. The women would talk on many occasions.

After graduating in 1937, Klopfenstein would move to New York and combine her love for biology and the arts in various ways. Just months after graduation day, Earhart would embark on her infamous flight around the world attempt, which she would not return from.

After the news of the nation and the world of aviation’s tragic loss, Klopfenstein began a life that would have made Earhart proud. She would become a wildlife artist, singer, radio host, environmentalist, museum curator, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Klopfenstein remained a loyal Boilermaker alumna until her passing on Dec. 16 at the age of 98 in Newark, Del.

Klopfenstein was adept in the kitchen as well, having studied under the legendary and groundbreaking Julia Child.

The College of Science gives its condolences to the Klopfenstein family and the many lives Fritzi touched during her 98 years.

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