Felicitas Maria BREWKA

(Nov. 27, 1923 – Dec. 23, 2011)

On Dec. 23, 2011, Felicity once more left her family for a long journey to follow her husband to an unknown destination.

Born in Oppeln, Germany, the second of five Schwientek children, her life plans and schooling were cruelly cut short by the war. Despite the war, she was courted by and married her classmate Kurt on March 10, 1945 in Berlin. Her sad lament was that they were bombed after the ceremony including the photographer’s residence and she had no wedding pictures whatsoever.

Her husband’s courage and creativity kept their families alive and his work with the allies enabled access to the precious travel visas to Canada. He left first to Uranium City and struggled to learn the language and find a place for his family. In 1953, Felicitas had all her papers to emigrate to Canada. She packed up her three children (all under six years of age) a maiden aunt and boarded the “Fairsea” in May of 1953 to begin a very long strenuous journey. The “Fairsea” did not live up to its name as high winds and heavy seas sent one of her children over the railing and was luckily grabbed by a fellow passenger just in time. The stories were many. Veronika, the cutest three-year-old, was sent to the kitchen to ask for precious lemons.

Embarking at Montreal, the nightmare continued as with no English, she needed to get to the train station for Edmonton. Arriving in Edmonton many days later, a weary Felicitas disembarked to find Kurt not there!

They worked together at Canadian Chemical, bought a farm, raised cattle and chickens, and when the farmhouse burned to the ground, they moved to Westlock and operated a Super A grocery store. Becoming restless, Kurt went back to the oil industry in Fort MacMurray and from there they traveled the world from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, built a house in Courtenay, BC and retired in Palm Springs, moving back to Harrison Hot Springs.

An active and courageous woman, she volunteered wherever she went and received much recognition for her efforts. She will be sorely missed by her family, daughters Silvia (Henry) and Veronika; and sons: Michael (Christine), Dirk (Sharon), Harold (Angela); 12 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

She is predeceased by her husband Kurt (2010) and brother Klaus Schwientek.

We will all miss her at family card games, tile rummy and her special version of Bingo.

A funeral mass was held Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Chilliwack, BC.

In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Chilliwack Hospital Emergency Room Fund.


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