When one first meets Alitz Tucholko two things strike you: her charming accent and her warm, inviting manner. Alitz's warm personality matches her warm heart and the compassion she feels for all living things. As a little girl growing up in Istanbul, Alitz was always rescuing kittens, dogs, rabbits—any creature she saw that needed help—bringing them home to care for them and find them a good home.
Alitz grew up in a cosmopolitan environment and she speaks not only her native tongue, but also French, Greek and, of course, English. Alitz's maternal grandfather owned a business that he moved to France, so her mother grew up speaking only French. Alitz's father also lived in France and had been educated at the Sorbonne; therefore, Alitz speaks and reads French fluently. She often stops what she is doing to speak in French and English to Brandy, her beloved 14-year-old poodle, which she adopted from the Humane Society of Missouri. Alitz says Brandy understands her in both languages.
Her late husband, Walter, was born in Poland and had been a World War II squadron commander fighting for the United States. He was sent on many secret missions—of which Alitz still will not reveal to this day. They met during the war, and after the war ended, Walter received an invitation to live in the United States where he was a cartographer working with the former Defense Mapping Agency. He, too, was fluent in several languages: Russian, French, German, Polish, as well as English, so his skills were much needed during and after the war. Alitz and Walter also shared a deep love for animals.
After Walter sent for Alitz, they were married in St. Louis and settled into a comfortable, happy life on the south side. She taught French in a Catholic grade school and later became a seamstress for an upscale dress shop, where she worked for 20 years.
Alitz has been a loyal donor to the Humane Society of Missouri for more than 30 years and has generously remembered the Humane Society in her estate plans. Alitz decided she wanted to do more during her lifetime and made the decision to make a planned gift with the Humane Society. She says she cannot express how happy it has made her to be able to establish a gift like this during her lifetime.
Alitz's perspective on animal welfare stems from her deeply spiritual convictions. "I believe mankind is being tested to see how we treat the animals—and I am afraid we are not doing so well by them," she says.
For her, philanthropy is very personal and she says she does not do it for acclaim. "Everything I do for the animals is from the heart," she says. Alitz Tucholko is truly someone who does everything from the heart. Thank you, Alitz!