Katharina Anna Penner (Andel), passed away
Sept. 15, 2008 in the
Bulkley Valley District
Hospital surrounded by love and her family.
Born in Gernsheim, Germany on Sept. 28, 1927. Eldest daughter of Karl and Katharina Hagel. She had two sisters, Luise and Elizabeth, two brothers, Karl-Heinz and Albrecht, She often talked about her early days, jumping off a high bridge and swimming in the Rhine River, doing those pranks that kids do, as well as the horrors of the last war. She met Wilhelm Penner, a soldier who came from a German Mennonite village in the Ukraine. He stayed at a farm where he milked cows and did bricklaying as well. They were married in 1948 and lived in a little place called Allmendfeldt, not far from her home town.
Their first daughter, Katharina, died in early infancy, and they were very happy when their next daughter, Luise (Louise) came along in 1950. In 1951 they left Germany and went by ship to Canada. Another story she told was how she needed all of Louise’s diapers because she was so horribly seasick. Three months in Rosthern, Saskatchewan were enough and they arrived in Terrace, B.C. in August of that year. Ingrid was born in 1953, Ralph in 1955 and August in 1957. Those were tough years, Dad worked as a bricklayer sometimes and a logger in the winter, no U.I., no medical insurance. Mom made do, and always had a jar of sourdough rising at the back of the sink. A garden, some chickens and rabbits, as well as bear and moose that Dad brought home from hunting trips kept us all fed. There was always music and dancing and laughter in the little house on Agar Avenue. They built a new home but didn’t stay there long. Though it was fine by Dad to live that way, Mom figured it would be better him to work at Alcan in Kitimat, so in 1957 they packed up the kids, Nellie the dog, and Horst Puhle (a fellow who came for supper in 1953 and stayed) and moved to Fulmar Street. She used her “free time” that the steady income provided, to knit and sew clothes for the family and decorated the home with her handicrafts. The lively atmosphere continued, she taught her children to ballroom dance, though Dad’s style was really funny to watch.
In 1979, they moved to an acreage in Quick, B.C. that they had bought a few years previous. They built a house out of concrete blocks. Here she really bloomed. They joined the Telkwa Seniors and subsequently went all over the province with the Senior Games, playing cribbage and carpet bowling. When Dad passed away, her “sister” Mickey McGuigan became her partner. The Quick Women’s Institute and the Round Lake Recreation Commission also benefited from her fund-raising skills as well. She made dozens of prayer shawls and hundreds of dozens of cookies for the pie booth at the Fall Fair. She loved her “Coffee Break” meetings at the Christian Reformed Church. Almost two years ago, a Sunday afternoon fellowship group met in her home to sing and pray. Nothing bothered her more than when she became invalided and couldn’t be a proper hostess. Even when she was hospitalized, the wonderful brothers and sisters moved the meetings to her room and many people were blessed by her presence there. She informally adopted Ken Penner and his family.
Mourning their loss is Louise (Dieter) Jacobs, their son Michael (Benita) and their children Mileena and Liam, predeceased by Louise’s daughter, Ramona, Ingrid (Abraham Doerksen), their daughter Katy carrying on the name Katharina), and her children Karl, Jonathon and Shailene, predeceased by Ingrid’s son Kevin. Also grieving is her remaining son August (Linda) and their children, Marli, Eric and Rachel. She took the loss of her son Ralph very hard as well as her husband, Bill, who died in 2000. The large extended family of Dad’s brothers and cousins feel the loss as that generation leaves us. They are in Terrace, Germany and California. She leaves a huge church family and numerous friends in the Bulkley Valley and Kitimat.
A service of remembrance was held Sept. 19, 2008 at 1:00 p.m. in the Telkwa Christian Reformed Church with Mr. Ken Penner officiating. If friends so desire, memorial tributes in Katharina’s name to the BVD Hospital Auxiliary Society, Box 2672, Smithers would be appreciated in lieu of flowers. Interment was in the Telkwa Cemetery, Telkwa, B.C.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the R.A. Schrader Funeral Home, Smithers, B.C. “Service with Dignity”