October 6, 1934 – July 18, 2022
In Loving Memory ~
Although one word does not describe her, I was recently told by someone she loved just like a daughter that if she had only one word to describe Mom, the word would be “Resilient” and Jana, you truly hit the nail on the head.
I would like you all to take a walk with me down memory lane to share a story about her life.
Irma Hedwig Klara Pietsch one of the most beautiful people you’ve ever met was born in Leignitz, East Germany – Pre WW2, to parents who owned a meat cutting shop, and grandparents on a farm close by.
Born a premature baby, only about 3.5 lbs. it truly was a miracle that she was able to share a long and healthy life with all of us.
Mom witnessed at a very young age the devastating effects of war, atrocities something no child should ever see. Her hometown was evacuated when she was 10 years of age, and because she refused to ride by train, her mom and her walked to safety across country to a town by Dresden. Both the train full of people and Dresden were bombed leaving few survivors.
They were deported to Austria, where she was in a concentration camp for 3 days before being again deported to West Germany. She grew up there in a monastery with her mom visiting her on weekends until she was 16. This is when she began her meat cutting apprenticeship.
She laid her mom to rest when she was 19, but never had the chance to say goodbye to her father because he was lost in action during WW2.
She married her first husband Heinrich Held in 1955 and had her first child Monika. When Monika was 3 months old, her dad passed away leaving mom to raise her baby alone.
After marrying he second husband Herbert Holstein and the birth of her first son Hans, they immigrated to Canada in 1963. They entered Canada at the Montreal Port and traveled by train crossing the whole country to make their home in ranching country in British Columbia.
She made this her home until they were able to purchase 40 acres on the west side of the Fraser River by Soda Creek BC in 1967.
During this time, she was blessed with 4 more children – Cathy, Lisa, Frankie, and Rob.
I remember her telling me that she had conveniences in Germany, which she didn’t have when they moved here, the most important being power. Fire burning stoves for heat, coal oil lanterns for light, I think she felt she really was on the frontier. About 6 years later in 1974, she moved to Smokey Lake Alberta, so they could try their hand at farming.
In 1981, she found herself in Barriere BC, separated from her husband with teenage children to raise.
As we grew up and left home, she found friends to lean on, laugh with and share in everyday life with. It didn’t matter where mom called home she always loved to garden, loved music and growing plants and flowers. Whether she was living in Barriere BC, Hinton AB, Welwyn SK, or Clearwater BC she loved all the people who touched her heart.
Survived by her Six children & (spouses), Monika (Colin), Hans (Sharen) Cathy (Bruce) Lisa, Frankie (Corey) Rob (Jana), twenty -four grandchildren and many great grandchildren and friends who called her mom, Grandma, Omi, and friend.
She shared her stories, her wisdom, her laughter, and her love with us all and sometimes her Jägermeister. She will be missed and treasured and will forever live in our hearts.
We Love You Mum! “PROST”
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