We Remember


August 31, 1931 — January 17, 2022

With sad hearts, we announce Susie Loewen’s passing on January 17, 2022.

Born on August 31, 1931 in Nikolaifeld, Ukraine, Susie was the sixth child born to Johann and Maria Loewen. Times were very hard for her while growing up, and around 1953 she married Reudolf Weber, an ambulance driver. They were blessed with two children, Larisa and Rudy. Then in 1963, her husband Reudolf died from a severe asthma attack. Times were even harder for Susie because she had to raise her two young children on her own. Even though it was hard on her health, Susie worked full time in a T.V. factory blowing glass to make picture tubes. She also did a lot of seamstress work after her regular work hours just to survive and provide for her children.

Susie had a sister and brother-in-law, Tina and Kornelius Willms, who moved to Canada. Tina was determined to get all her family to Canada, including Susie and the children. This too proved to be difficult. Finally, after many tries, Susie got her papers approved! On December 23, 1970, with 100 rubbles in her pocket and 15-year-old Larisa and 12-year-old Rudy in tow, she arrived in Coaldale, Alberta, Canada. This is where Tina and Kornelius lived. Susie was forever grateful to Tina for making the big move to freedom possible. In 1974, Susie married Ernest Gietz, a farmer and realtor in Pincher Creek, AB. They bought a house in Kelowna, BC and were planning on moving there for retirement, but on July 30, 1977, Ernest suffered from heat stroke while working in the field and passed away. Susie decided to move to Kelowna the following year.

Once she moved to Kelowna, Susie and her son Rudy opened up an upholstery business together. Susie also took a big interest building houses on lots of land that she purchased. Then in 1996, Susie suffered another misfortune, she lost Rudy in a motor vehicle accident. She never really got over this loss, in part because Susie and Rudy always worked together, and now she was on her own, yet once again.

Despite hardship and grief, Susie succeeded in many areas in her life. She was very strong-willed, a hard worker, and wasn’t afraid to take risks; it was these qualities that enabled her to have such success. One example of her wilfulness and risk-taking occurred in 2003 during the Okanagan Mountain Park fire. Susie owned a home in the upper Mission area, and the access road to that area was closed at Barnaby Road and Lakeshore Road. She wanted to protect her house, so she parked her vehicle along Lakeshore Road, and she walked from there. She couldn’t walk along the road, because she was afraid she would get caught, so she hiked through orchards and vineyards to get there, which was about 2 kilometres as the crow flies. Her daughter’s husband was a firefighter, and still had the firefighting gear in the house, so once she got to the house she put on the gear and proceeded to hose down the roof with water to save her home.

Unfortunately, Susie’s health was slowly starting to deteriorate and in August 2020 she moved into a care facility. In October 2021, she fell and broke her hip, and although it was repaired, her health declined rapidly after that. On January 17, 2022, she passed away.

In closing, we would like to say Susie was a very caring and generous woman. She spent very little on herself and would give the shirt off her back to help people. Over the course of her life, she has accomplished much and has helped many. We didn’t always agree with the way she would do things, but in the big picture she was a great woman, and she will be missed by many. And now, it is time to close the book; she is in heaven and is at peace.

A Funeral Service will be held on FRIDAY, JANUARY, 21, 2022, AT 10:00 AM (PST)  with Pastor Harvey Elke officiating. It will be at Springfield Funeral Home, 2020 Springfield Road, Kelowna, BC. Vaccinated and unvaccinated are welcome to attend, masks will be mandatory. 

If you are unable to attend in person, please join the family online by Livestream (see below), a recording will be made available to view shortly thereafter. 

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


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