Adelheid Charlotte “Heidi” Hofmann Dexter

May 23, 2020

Adelheid Charlotte “Heidi” Hofmann Dexter passed away on May 23, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Heidi was born July 31, 1921 in Luneburg, Germany.  She grew up on her family’s farm in Braunsdorf, Thuringen, Germany and attended the nearby Moravian School in Gera and a French language school in Grenoble, France.  During WWII, Heidi worked in Vienna, Austria.  Her office building there was destroyed by an aerial bomb at lunch hour, when she happened to have crossed the Danube to visit a friend.  As the war came to a close, she escaped on bicycle from the Russian-occupied zone, with her portable typewriter tucked safely into her rucksack.  Utilizing her fluency in English, she convinced the American border sentries to allow her free passage over to the Allied sector.  Thanks to her additional skills with typing and the French language, she was hired to work as the secretary for U.S. Army 113 Mechanized Cavalry Group under Gen. William S. Biddle in Regensburg, Bavaria.

Gen. Biddle later sponsored her for U.S. citizenship, after she wrote him a letter requesting this favor and mailing it to “General Biddle, Washington DC”.  It eventually arrived in Tokyo, where he was based by then.  She emigrated to New York City in 1952, where she lived at the YWCA, and worked for Carl Zeiss AG, the famed optical lens maker, and attended night school to earn her associate degree at Hunter College.  A supervisor at work gifted figure skates for her first American Christmas, which she enjoyed using at the ice rink in Central Park.

While attending a tennis camp in the Berkshires, Heidi met Pardon N. Dexter from Boston.  They quickly fell in love, and married in Salem, MA in 1957.  Heidi and Pardon raised horses and organically grown vegetables and berries as well as being avid beekeepers, at their home in Topsfield, MA.  They enjoyed almost 50 years together until Pardon’s passing in 2005.

Heidi is survived by her daughter, Charlotte Dexter Murray and her husband, Adrian of London, England; son, Alan Gregory Dexter and his wife, Kirsten, their children, Zachary Dexter and his wife Duygu and Alexa Dexter of Charlotte, and son, Pardon Newell Dexter VI and his wife, Sandra and their children, Sam Dexter and his fiancé, Mari Pilmore and Luke Dexter of Charlotte.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the family will hold a private service. 

Memorials may be made to Christ Lutheran Church, 4519 Providence Road, Charlotte, NC 28226 and The Ivey (not-for profit memory wellness day center), 6030 Park South Drive, Charlotte, North Carolina 28210. 

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at

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  • Elisabeth Scheichelbauer

    I am very sorry to hear about Heidis passing away. What an amazing person! I am grateful to have had the privilege of knowing her. Your mother Heidi is in my thoughts and prayers - she will live on in our memories forever.
    Thinking about you and your family wishing you comfort and peace.
    With my deepest condolences

    Elisabeth Scheichelbauer, Vienna/Austria
    (Friend of Charlotte Dexter Murray and Andrian Murray)

    Memories about her being in Vienna:
    In 2011, Heidi could not travel on her own anymore but this did not stop her from being taken to Vienna for her 90th birthday by my dear friend, Heidi’s daughter, Charlotte (and husband Adrian). Her mind was still sharp, I realised, as we started walking around the Albertina Museum and all of a sudden she started talking to a sketch of a rabbit. “Well hello there,” she said in German. “I have not seen you for 65 years!” she exclaimed. “Elisabeth, come here and I will tell you about this famous rabbit by Albrecht Dürer.”

    Dear Charlotte, two fotos are not possible to post - please post them for me - Thanks!