Klementine Koke
Klementine Koke
Klementine Koke

Obituary of Klementine Koke

It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Klementine Koke, resident of Dawson Creek, British Coumbia, on Saturday, April 3, 2021 in Dawson Creek, BC.  A private Celebration of Klementine's Life will be held on Thursday, April 15 at 11am. A livestream is available for those not able to attend on this page. 

KLEMENTINE KOKE

1926-2021

 

On April 3, 2021, we said goodbye to our beloved Mom, Oma, and Uroma, Klementine Maria Koke (Mertesacker). Although she was 94 years old, she was not ready and neither were we.

Klementine was born in Oberhausen, Germany, on September 21, 1926 to Bernhard and Agathe. She grew up as part of a close-knit extended family, surrounded by her mom and dad, sister, oma and opa, and aunts and uncles.

 

Just as Klementine entered her teenage years, war broke out. She was a remarkable storyteller and later in life shared memories of growing up in Germany during the Second World War. Her focus was always on the good- stories of survival and the humanity we all share.

 

She was in the last class that was able to finish their schooling in her area during the war. On the day she arrived to write her final exam to become a kindergarten teacher, she found the building flattened by a bomb and ended up writing that exam in a nearby bomb shelter. She finished at the top of her class.

 

She met her husband at a dance in 1948, married in 1949, welcomed her son Gregor in 1950, and immigrated to Canada in 1955. After a long journey across the Atlantic, she and Gregor arrived in Halifax and boarded a train heading west to meet her husband in Sexsmith, Alberta. It was there that she learned some of her first words of English from her kind landlady: tea; cup.

Shortly after, the family settled in Dawson Creek, BC, where Evelyn and Christa were born. Klementine made a home where everyone was welcome and well-fed. There was always coffee on, and homemade baking or a meal to share. For birthdays and holidays, she always made black forest cakes (with just the right amount of rum) and at Christmastime she did everyone’s holiday baking: lebkuchen, haselnusskranz, and spritzgebaeck were her specialties.

 

Klementine became a widow at the young age of 48. Having never worked in Canada and having no driver’s license, she took on the daunting task of reinventing her life. She attended Northern Lights College to complete courses in early childhood education and began working at the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church daycare which later moved to the Grace Lutheran Church. A generation of kids in Dawson Creek grew up with the privilege of being cared for by Mrs. Koke, the woman who made the best homemade lunches and gave the best hugs.

 

Just when she was counting down the final years to retirement, Evelyn returned to Dawson Creek with her children and Klementine quickly offered to help Evelyn raise them.

She loved being an Oma to Michael, Jennifer, Amy and Trevor and that role became a defining part of her life. At the age of 85 she became an Uroma to Reid, followed by Seth and Sam.

Klementine was strong, smart, quick-witted, and the kindest, most selfless person. She had a fierce love for her family and friends, animals of all kinds (crows are hungry too, right?), playing German folk music at unspeakable volumes (what better way to wake someone up on a Saturday morning?), a lively political debate (especially with someone she disagreed with), a historical novel (so she could correct “how it really happened”), a game of cards or dominos (even though her opponents were “always cheating”), long country drives, and a shot (or two) of Baileys or Apricot Brandy (ONLY on special occasions, of course).

 

Klementine is predeceased by her parents, sister, husband, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. She is survived by her three children; Gregor Koke (Julie), Evelyn Clum, and Christa Bouvier (Richard); her grandchildren; Michael Clum (Julia), Jennifer Arril (Ben), Amy Bouvier (Davin) and Trevor Bouvier; her great-grandchildren, Reid and Seth Arril and Sam Clum; her sister-in-law; Helga Koke; her cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

 

In lieu of flowers, we ask that you wear a mask, keep your distance, and stay home when sick to spare someone else’s beloved family member from COVID-19.

For friends and family so wishing to honor Klementine's memory please stay home and be safe and support our local South Peace SPCA, 11418 3rd Street, Dawson Creek, BC V1G 4L5, Canada

Very Respectfully, Reynars Funeral Home & Crematorium 

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