June 10, 1938 – March 16, 2021
Born in Krs. Gablonz. Germany. Parents: Adolf and Marta Schmidt.
Grew up in post war East Germany. Times were tough and money was tight. Left home when he was 15 to start working, first job was working at a bicycle assembly plant, other jobs working on farms and even in a coal mine which was one mile underground.
At the young age of 18, Dad dreamed of a better life surrounded by mountains and lakes. He set out 6,000 miles, 10 days, across the Atlantic Ocean aboard the “Arosa Sun” landed in Montreal, Quebec and from there boarded a train another 4,000 miles to Vancouver. Leaving his family behind, not knowing a soul, speaking not a word of English, and having $94 in his pocket, he succeeded to get his first job picking fruit in the Okanagan.
He worked his way through various jobs which included working for the CN railway, which eventually brought him to Houston, B.C. Where he worked in the logging industry and eventually saved enough money to follow his dream and buy a farm in Topley. Known as Sunset Lake Ranch. Where he succeeded to build a beautiful log home on his time off work on weekends and while he had a broken leg.
He provided a wonderful childhood for all us children, providing room to play and raise animals. A childhood he never had.
Dad switched careers and began working for the Granisle mine in Granisle. He met our mother, Mary-Lou. They were married January 30, 1970. He worked for the Granisle mine in Granisle as well as Noranda in Topley at the ‘con shed” downtown Topley. Where he could be close to his farm.
After 40 years of farming, Dad moved to Houston. Once moved to Houston, he was able to reunite with longtime friends. He kept a strict daily schedule, which rarely varied, most daily routines involved “going to the office” to enjoy coffee and a visit with friends, either at the Topley Café or Houston A & W. His favourite pass times were farming, lovingly teasing his children and “dropping the bomb” at the coffee shop. (he would start a controversial topic and then leave when things heated up). He loved horseback riding, farming, cross country skiing, fishing. He laughed often and loudly, sometimes even snorting.
He was predeceased by his parents, two older brothers (Horst, Klaus) and brother-in-law (Hans). He is survived by his younger sister, Ursel as well as nieces and nephews of Germany. His children, Shannon, Noel (Tana), Lisa (Donald), Ron (Jeannie), Linda (Brian) and 16 grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
He will be missed dearly, by his large family and many friends. Though he and Mary-Lou divorced they remained close. Mary-Lou’s brother Bill and his wife Patsy were some of his closest friends, including his good friend Manfred, whom he could speak German with. He will be missed but he will not be forgotten as his legacy will live on through the hard work ethic and his joy for life he instilled in his children, nieces and nephews, and grandchildren.
We love you Dad.
At Dad’s request there will be no service.
“Es wird nicht leichter. Du wirst stärker.”
It doesn’t get easier. You get stronger.
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