Beloved wife, mother and sister Yvonne Topf passed away at the age of 80 on January 26 in Kelowna – where she lived with husband Dieter since the late 1960s and raised her two children, Christina and Andrew.
Yvonne was born in Ruislip, England to parents Dudley and May Cook, where Yvonne attended grammar school and college for occupational therapy. Yvonne and a few friends decided it would be fun to work abroad, in Canada for a year. They settled in Vancouver and Yvonne soon met a dashing skier named Dieter who proposed marriage shortly thereafter. The story goes that Yvonne’s dad nearly dropped the phone when his daughter called to say she was marrying a German, but they soon warmed up to Dieter when he reminded them it was a perfect match, with “Topf” meaning “Cook”ing pot in German.
Her work-abroad plans solidified into life as a new Canadian. Yvonne and Dieter moved to Kelowna when Dieter was promoted to set up an RV plant in Winfield and Yvonne took a job as an OT at Kelowna General Hospital.
Yvonne worked her way up to Department Head, mentoring many OTs along the way, before retiring in 1998. While some see retirement as a time to relax, Yvonne poured her efforts and time into serving her community. She was President of the Canadian Federation of University Women – a group that meant a lot to her and offered a large social network. Yvonne was very active in the Kelowna arts and culture scene, including as President of the Kelowna Community Concert Association. Yvonne was quietly persuasive in her views, and she was known for her organizational skills, patience and English wit. She helped to showcase many up and coming musical groups, and a highlight was meeting celebrated Canadian tenor Ben Heppner, who she found to be kind and unassuming as well as talented.
When not volunteering Yvonne was a passionate traveller, going on many holidays with Dieter both in Canada and abroad. Some of her fondest travel memories were trips to Hawaii with Dieter and the kids, camping excursions in one of Dieter’s “off the lot” motorhomes, and later in life, a vacation with Tina to the UK to reconnect with her British roots.
She was also an avid reader, crossword puzzler, and enjoyed knitting and making crafts.
Despite living a long and healthy life uninterrupted by serious illness, Yvonne was diagnosed with cancer about a year ago. She put up a brave fight surrounded by family and friends.
Yvonne is survived by her loving family: devoted husband Dieter, son Andrew, daughter Christina, son-in-law Philip Burns, brother Stuart Cook, sister-in-law Charlotte Kushner and nephews Jeremy and Daniel Cook.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Wendy Wickstrom, an exceptional GP whose knowledge and compassion was of great comfort to us during Yvonne’s illness.
A celebration of Yvonne’s life will be held at Springfield Funeral Home this Friday, February 2, at 10 am, 2020 Springfield Road, Kelowna, B.C. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.springfieldfuneralhome.com.
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Service: Friday, February 2, 2018 at 10:00 am
Location: Springfield Funeral Home
The service for TOPF, Yvonne Anne is scheduled for Friday, February 2, 2018 at 10:00 am. Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.