KANT, Willibald “Willi”
1928 – 2023
Willi was born in a German farming colony in Poland in 1928. After WWII and some time spent working in Austria, Willi immigrated to Canada in 1953. Six months before leaving Germany, Willi and Ruth met at the AfriCola Hauschen (Cola Shack) in Hunxe. They fell in love. Once he settled in Edmonton, he sent for his fiancé Ruth Simson to come over from Germany and they were married in November 1956. Willi ran a successful carpentry business with 2 partners until 1973 when he sold his share and semi-retired to Kelowna.
Willi and Ruth had 2 children, Michael and Debbie. Living in Kelowna was a dream come true for Willi. He loved to garden and work outdoors. There was always a neighbour or friend who he could help. Willi had a talent for growing super-sized pumpkins and vegetables of all kinds. Many people benefitted from gifts of vegetables, walnuts and fruits from his garden. No one who came by left empty-handed. He was the great Dad and Opa, who was there to spend time with the children and grandchildren.
He was an active and long-term member of Christ Lutheran Church and formed many great friendships in the community. They loved to host social gatherings. In almost 65 years of marriage the themes changed: costume parties, Klondike Days in Edmonton, Sunday dinners, and hosting travellers and visitors from all over. Everyone was welcome in the Kant home. They started travelling early in retirement. Enjoying cruises and resort living with family and friends. He developed a passion for playing cards, especially Kanasta. The weekly card playing sessions were a highlight for Willi and Ruth.
If life is an adventure, Willi was the solid, stable friend you could count on. “Come on in, sit down and have a glass of wine”. He will be deeply missed by family and friends. Thank you to the caring staff on 4B at the Kelowna General Hospital and the amazing Caregivers at Kelowna Hospice House. Heartfelt thanks to friends and family for their love and support.
A service will be held to honour Willi on Saturday, June 17, 2023, at 2:00 PM, at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, 2091 Gordon Drive, Kelowna, BC, with Pastor Barb Groote Officiating. If you are unable to attend in person, please join the family online by Livestream at the time of the service (see below).
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LIVESTREAM LINK: Click here for Livestream