Sigrun Woten was born in 1942 in Travemünde, a port town in the city of Lübeck, Germany on the Baltic Sea. Some of her earliest memories are of cities reduced to rubble in the wake of World War II and icicles on her walls during regulated power outages during the Allied-occupation of Germany. As a college graduation present, her parents sent her to New York City, where she stayed with family who had immigrated there from Germany. This was her first time in the United States in November 1963 at 21 years old, the same month John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
After a year in New York with her family, she returned home to get a job as a translator in the U.S. Air Force station in Berlin. This is where she met her husband, an American serviceman. In 1973, they moved with their children to his hometown in Washington. She now lives in Kirkland.
This story was produced in partnership with the First Days Project.