We Remember

KOETZ, Oskar Heinz

Black Mountain has lost one of its long established pioneers with the passing of Heinz Koetz who went to with the Lord on October 23, 2013.


Born in Leipzig, Germany on February 11, 1927 Heinz arrived and settled into his Black Mountain homestead in 1936.  He made the long journey with his mom as his father had already come ahead and purchased the property and awaited the arrival of his family.  Heinz attend the Black Mountain School up to Grade 8 and then assisted his father on the farm.  Heinz also worked for other growers in the neighborhood and also did chores for Dan Gallagher whose homestead was nearby in what is now known as Gallaher’s Canyon.


In 1953 Heinz married the love of his life Regina Bachmann.  They settled on the Black Mountain homestead starting off in the little cabin without electricity or running water.  At the time it was not seen as such a hardship as it was their own home.


His love for the water and the nearby Okanagan Lake netted him a job as a deckhand on the tugboat that crossed from Kelowna to Peachland.  This was the start of his longstanding career with the Department of Highways.  His work on the highways and Okanagan Lake bridge lift span then expanded to the ferries.  He received his mate’s ticket and then later on went to Vancouver and received his Captain’s licence where he worked on the Galena Bay ferry to Nakusp for many years.  He also captained on the Fintry Queen during its summer dinner cruises on Okanagan Lake.  During all of this he, along with Regina, continued to manage their farm.


They raised 3 daughters who starting at a young age were all involved in the farm work which predominantly became growing and marketing potatoes.  Their farm became known as Black Mountain Potato Growers and they supplied potatoes to stores, restaurants and fruit stands in Kelowna.  Over the years just about every large flat and hillside on Gallagher Road had acres of potatoes on them.  Picking them was labour intensive and that labour was provided by the high school students in the neighbourhood.  Many remained employed for years and to this day some have continued to keep in touch with Heinz.


Due to his willingness to serve the greater community, Heinz was elected to the regional district for a short term in the beginning ‘70s.  His interests in water resulted in a nominations and election to the Black Mountain Irrigation District water board in 1973.  He remained a valued trustee with the BMID for 37 years and retired in 2010.


In 2001 he lost his loving partner Regina, and those first few years following were very difficult for him; however the love of family and good friends got him through.  His love for his farm land kept him growing “just a few rows” of the famous Black Mountain potatoes for the family which resulted in harvesting acres supplying neighbours and friends as well.


Heinz loved working his land, he loved fishing the lakes and streams nearby and he loved hunting around the nearby hills.  He enjoyed travelling with family to Harrison Hot Springs; he cruised to Alaska, went to Hawaii and enjoyed a few trips back to Germany to visit extended family there.  He was a kind, compassionate, generous man and mentor to all those who were fortunate enough to know him.  He was passionate for his family and friends and would do anything for them.  He loved good food, a cold beer in the heat of the day and good glass of wine with his meal shared with family and friends.


Heinz was extremely loving and proud of his three daughters, Erika O’Reilly (Roger) of Kelowna, Jean Carson-Koetz of Kelowna, and Valentina Korva (Boris) of West Vancouver.  He is also survived by his grandchildren Lorne (Adrienne) O’Reilly and great grandson Jack, Sharlene O’Reilly, Ryan O’Reilly (fiancé Angela Chow), Sabrina and Natasha Korva, along with extended family in Germany.  Heinz was a loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather at all.  He leaves behind many good friends who have continued to support him after the loss of his loving wife Regina in 2001.


Heinz was sadly preceded in death by a brother and sister who died in infancy.


An opportunity to pay respects to Heinz and visit with the family will be on Friday, November 1, 2013 from 6-8 pm followed by a Celebration of Heinz’s Life on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 1:00 pm both from Springfield Funeral Home, 2020 Springfield Road, Kelowna, BC.


A special thank you to the nursing staff on 3E, Dr. Hignell, and Dr. Lawlor for their loving care and support especially in Heinz’s final remaining days.


In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to BC Heart & Stroke Foundation, #4 – 1551 Sutherland Ave., Kelowna, BC V1Y 9M9 or Canadian Diabetes Association, 1589 Sutherland Ave., Kelowna, BC V1Y 5Y7.


If you wish to send a condolence, post photos or share a memory, please scroll down the page to the area called “Share Your Condolences.”

Friday, November 1, 2013 from 6-8 pm
Springfield Funeral Home
(2020 Springfield Road, Kelowna, BC)

Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Springfield Funeral Home

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BC Heart & Stroke Foundation, #4 – 1551 Sutherland Ave., Kelowna, BC V1Y 9M9 or Canadian Diabetes Association, 1589 Sutherland Ave., Kelowna, BC V1Y 5Y7.

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Service Information

Service Details

The service for KOETZ, Oskar Heinz is scheduled for Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 1:00 pm. Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.

Address & Contact for Service Location:

Springfield Funeral Home

2020 Springfield Road Kelowna, BC


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  • Domenic Rampone says:

    I knew him all my life..he was a wise man ,if always shared his knowledge of growing products with our family and gave me lots of help when we started our fruit stand years ago.

    he will be missed but fondly remembered.

    He was along term friend of my father Val and they served together on the Regional Distrcit..

    he had a passion for agriculture and loved the black mountain area of Kelowna

    I am proud to have known him..he always had time for our family

    Domenic and Lina Rampone

  • Gerd says:

    God thanks, we see him this year in May.

  • Gerd says:

    God thanks, we see him this year.

  • Maureen Takoff says:

    Our beautiful Black Mountain community just won’t be the same without our good neighbour Heinz. He will be fondly remembered by the Takoff Family.

  • Richard Morava says:

    I never got to meet him but he sounds like such a wonderful man.

  • June Mahoney says:

    I was very fortunate to have had Heinz as my landlord for 4 1/2 years. He was the kindest, sweetest most wonderful man! Gallagher Rd will never be the same. My heartfelt condolences to all the family.
    June and Patzy Mahoney

  • Lance Gunnlaugson says:

    A delightful client of mine for over 30 years, both he and Regina were always a pleasure to deal with. My condolences to the family.

  • Gwen Edwardson (Hearn) says:

    Mr. Koetz as I referred to him as — was like my second Dad. I am happy he is with Jesus and Regina — a special reward in Heaven is his – he was a wonderful loving & giving person! We will miss him – but I will see him again!! Gwen Edwardson (Hearn)

  • Darquise Patenaude & Les Lyons says:

    Heinz will be missed as a neighbour on Gallagher Road. He was a regular part of our life the past 12 years, could always be counted on for anything and in the times spent with him we always shared a good laugh.

  • Nancy Milne says:

    I am very sorry to hear of the loss of your dad. I am the eldest daughter of Dorothy and Elmer Hautaluoma. I have given my mother this news as it was not long ago we were speaking of him and she was wondering how he was. Mum’s letter writing days have diminished over the past couple of years, her intentions are good… I remember going to your home in the late 50s, early 60s. Heinz and Regina were always so kind. I have many good memories of them myself. So sorry for you girls and your families.

  • Erika OReilly says:

    It has been one year and you are so missed! We assured that we will meet again…Love you..xooxox

  • Tony Hill says:

    Dear Jean + Tina , sorry to hear about your Dad passing away . I just saw this on line . Jean please give me a call or e mail me . thanks Tony 604-929-9188 amh60@telus.net

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