Waltraudis “Traudis” Kennedy, a former spy for British intelligence, teacher of German at Alabama colleges, singer and artist, died July 29 at the Washington Home and Community Hospices. She was 86.
She died of intracranial bleeding and complications after an accidental fall last month at her home in Bethesda, according to her husband, Edwin Kennedy.
As the wife of a U.S. Foreign Service officer, Mrs. Kennedy accompanied her husband to posts in Frankfurt and Bonn in Germany; Damascus, Syria; Brussels; Tehran; and Yaounde, Cameroon.
Waltraudis Maria Klepal was born in Schwerin, Germany. In the final months of World War II, she was drafted into the German Luftwaffe. For four years, she attended music school at the University of Rostock in East Germany, where for six months in 1950 and 1951, she was a spy for British intelligence.
Later she fled to West Germany, where she met her future husband, who was then an Air Force historian. She accompanied him to the United States after their marriage in 1956. In the early 1960s, while her husband was posted at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, she taught German at Huntington College in Montgomery, Ala., and at the University of Alabama.
During her husband’s Foreign Service career, she gave singing concerts in the European cities where he was posted. She took up painting in the late 1970s and specialized in large abstract paintings, which were exhibited in group shows in the Baltimore-Washington area.
Survivors include her husband, Edwin P. Kennedy Jr. of Bethesda; two sons, Peter W. Kennedy of Chevy Chase and James E. Kennedy of Somerville, Mass.; and three grandchildren.
— Bart Barnes