Last week my Opa passed away. He was surrounded by loved ones, including my Oma. I thought I'd share a few things about him.
My Opa, Reinhard, was born in the Westfalia region of Prussia, before Prussia became Germany. His father worked in a coal mine boiler room. His mother was a seamstress and tailor.
My Opa, with his parents and older sister, Ruth.
He studied to become a mechanic and welder. But a few weeks before he was able to take his final test for his degree, his visa came through to leave Germany. The choice was to either stay in a war-torn post WWII Germany, or go to a new land. He chose to travel to Canada while he had the chance. He met my Oma on the boat. He played his lute and was popular with the ladies. My Oma was seasick the whole time.
My Opa is in the cockpit, my Mum is to the right.
My Opa passed down the art of taking a proper roadtrip. The goal of the trip wasn't to get to a place as fast as possible. He encouraged taking the backroads. And it was just fine to stop for a second breakfast.
Opa taking a "second breakfast" in the Mojave.
We had many lovely years with him. Towards the end of his life, he did have Alzheimers. My Oma served him faithfully to the end. Although he didn't talk for the last few years of his life, we knew he understood things just fine when we visited. He would always tear up and we'd get his classic bear hug.
My Opa and his sister Ruth