It is with deepest sorrow that we announce the passing of Kaethe Wilhelmina Schmakeit, a longtime resident of Dawson Creek, on Sunday, December 27, 2020 at the age of 85 years. A private graveside service will be held Thursday, December 31, 2020 at the Dawson Creek City Columbarium.
Obituary for Kaethe Schmakeit
(In Kaethe’s own words)
Kaethe was born in Gerswalde, Eastprashia on September 30, 1935 to Karl and Maria Petrowski.
We were 3 siblings and I was the middle child.
My younger sister died when she was only six years old, and my other sister Helga passed away in 2013.
We lived on a like that was so big that my grandmother always said we could go all the way to America on it, maybe that is why I learned how to swimm when I was only 5 years old.
In 1945 we had to flee because of the war, it was sad to leave our home and we ended up in Bavaria and settled in Westfalia, that is were I attended school and in 1949 had my konfirmation.
I think I had a good childhood, my hobbis where knitting and I really enjoyed making things for other people.
In October that year I started my appentiesip as a seamstress and for my exame piece I had to pick the proper material for a coat. The boss said if I make a good grade I could keep the coat, and if I fail I could keep him too. I passed with “very good” and the coat was mine.
Then on August 27/1955 I married Gerhard Schmakeit and after long six years our first boy Klaus was born. I quiet working and two more boys followed. So from then on I was a full time mother to Klaus, Juergen and Werner.
In 1966 Gerhard visited an onkel of his in the USA and when he returned he was determand to emigrate not to America but to Canada. So papers were filed and Gerhard went first to find a job and a home for myself and the three small children. I followed six weeks later. Mr. Miller and family all came with Gerhard to welcome us at the airport.
It was hard in the beginning, a new country and no english language. But Gerhard had a job and we were able to buy an old house with and half and acre of land and with the little bit money we brought from Germany (selling our belongings) we also were able to get an old vehicle. In time we realized the old house was just not worthit to fix up and with the help of Mr. Miller and Henry Bachmann we builed a brand new big house.
In 1975 we met Alfred and Erika with there 2 boys, about that time Alfred had to go to Dawson Creek and to do a job and he got Gerhard all excited on how reasonable land is up in Dawson Creek and of course we followed them and bought a big farm on the Alaska Highway. We had the downpayment from the lot we sold off, but it took 2 years to sell our house. We was able to pay everyting off and had plans to build a nice log house. But it was not to be, as Gerhard was diagnosed with lung cancer, that was in 1983, so everything came to a stand still. The only thing that we still had done was a new adition to the old farm house. After that Gerhard had the seconed lung operation and were just happy that he made it home to his last project that new kitchen, living room and bedroom.
Then another tragedie struck, our son Klaus left us suddenly. He was onley 42 years old.
In 2006 Gerhard started to feel very sick, I phoned a neigbor friend and she brought us to the hospital and the doctor told me that there is not much more he can do for Gerhard and he soon pass away.
I can not mention all my friends, but there lots of people like the huttereuts, all of my German Canadian friends, the people of Selwyn apartments, but I especially want to thank the staff of Northview and home support staff and health unit ( all the nurse “Powlas”), they belong to my family and always looked after me. I thank god to have all this wonderful people arround me.
When I look back on my life it was like most other peoples life. Full of happy times, but also many sad times. I really can say I was blessed because of the many good friends I made in Canada, especially in Dawson Creek. There are to many to mention, you all know who you are.
Now I am together with Gerhard and Klaus Agine for ever.
For family and friends so wishing, donations in Kaethe's memory can be made to Northview Assisted Living Resident Council Fund, 1125-90 Avenue, Dawson Creek, British Columbia V1G 5A3, Step Up ‘N’ Ride Society, 732 115 Avenue, Dawson Creek, British Columbia V1G 3B8, or Better at Home, 10200-8 St, Dawson Creek,BC, V1G 3P8
Very Respectfully, Reynars Funeral Home & Crematorium