March 1, 1924 – July 1, 2017
Ilse enjoyed a long and healthy life. At age 93, she still continued to have a zest for life and an interest in the world around her, until she became so ill and weak, and couldn’t combat it any longer! She passed away peacefully at Nanaimo Regional District Hospital with her son, Ryan by her bedside.
Ilse grew up in Dortmund, Germany, and immigrated to Calgary in 1954. She made the journey across the Atlantic with her six year old, Ryan and her four year old, Irma. Ilse loved Canada and never wished to return to her homeland. As an immigrant, Ilse worked hard to help establish her family and their businesses in Calgary. She spent 20 years supporting her husband’s construction business, opening a German deli and baking her incredible kuchens, while raising her young family. Once the children were grown and married, Ilse and Erwin moved West in 1973 to milder winters on Vancouver Island.
Ilse and Erwin made many friends and enjoyed socializing with their neighbourhood acquaintances from Ellen Place, the Nanaimo German Club members, their travel friends, and their new Highgate Independent Living friendships made in their final years. Ilse took great pride in their efforts as founding member of the German Club and sang with the German Choir. She is renowned in the Club for her German Potato Salad- ask any member! Ilse kept both their home and motor home immaculate, everything she owned was always like new. She baked and cooked just as much on the road, as she did when she was at home. Ilse loved their many winter trips down to Yuma in their motor home and met so many travellers from all over North America with whom she continued to keep in contact. Ilse’s only regret was that they hadn’t bought their motor home sooner! Taking cruises in their later years, once they couldn’t manage the motor home, provided Ilse and Erwin with many pleasurable memories. She loved the sights, the social aspects and, of course, the lovely dinners that they experienced on these trips. Before moving into Highgate at age 86 with her husband of 68 years, Ilse wasn’t completely sold on the idea of giving up her home. However, it only took a few short months to adjust to apartment life in her new Highgate address.
What will Ilse be remembered for? This personable woman was loved for her story telling, her laughter and good sense of humour, her friendliness, her work ethic, her great interest in the world around her, her kuchens (cakes), her open-mindedness and welcoming gestures, and her intellect and sparkle. She kept a positive attitude throughout the many years of enduring a nerve pain caused by her shingles. This was just another ongoing example of her inner strength. Ilse loved the people in her life and one always felt her acceptance and caring.
Ilse is survived by her daughter, Irma, her son, Ryan (Mary), and grandsons, Kris and Phil (Jessica). Ilse/Mom/Oma/Sister/Aunt/Cousin/Friend had the strength of personality to earn her the respect, love and admiration of anyone in her realm.
Her Doctor (Steven Beerman) must be mentioned. This professional was a true friend to Ilse and the family. He took conscientious care of Ilse’s complicated health issues throughout the years with dedication and compassion for his patient and the entire family. As well, the Highgate staff lent sensitive support and caring, as Ilse required extra attention through several health issues and crises. The family wishes to thank them for their many kindnesses.
The fifth floor staff at Nanaimo Regional District Hospital must be acknowledged for the kindness, the impeccable care, and their respectful acknowledgement of Ilse as a woman/patient worth fighting for.
Ilse loved flowers and receiving bouquets for all occasions. However, she would feel strongly that if she wasn’t there to enjoy and care for them, then she would rather not have them. So in lieu of expensive flowers, donations can be made to
the Nanaimo Hospital Foundation.
A final gathering to say good-bye to Ilse will be held Monday, July 17, 2017 at First Memorial Funeral Services at 1:00 pm. The funeral chapel is located at 1720 Bowen Road in Nanaimo.