We Remember


1934 – 2022

Born Ursula Kuchta on November 21, 1934, in Leipzig, Germany, Ursula passed away peacefully on April 7, 2022. Ursula was predeceased by her parents Alois and Herta Kuchta and her second husband William Skrepnyk. She leaves behind her three sons Brian Herrmann (Shelley Gudmundson), Gerald Herrmann (Lori Van Der May), and Brent (Linda) Herrmann; her six grandchildren Kevin, Brianne, Cherlynn, Nick, Ty and Tara; and her brother Gert (Betty) and nephew Terry.

Ursula had many great qualities: she was dependable, a goal setter, very generous, and she was helpful.  When times were tough, she used some of her survival skills she learned in East Germany during the war.  She became thrifty, a scrounger – and while very stubborn, she always worked towards her goal in life to be independent. Ursula loved reading books: Grimm’s Fairy Tales as a child, then romance love stories as an adult. She loved day-dreaming and listening to gossip.

In 1943, Ursula was 9 years old, and she had to walk to school 4 kms barefoot. In November of that year, the Red Cross donated warm clothes and boots for her, she said they were boys boots and ugly but even so, she was very grateful to have them.

Ursula’s luckiest day in life was while she was escaping East Germany – Her mother, brother Gert, and Ursula were travelling any way they could to escape the Russian bombing. One day, they were supposed to leave town by train, but the train could not leave because they were waiting for a coal shipment that never came. Ursula left with her mother and brother to pick blueberries in the forest nearby, and while they were gone the Russians bombed the train station! Unfortunately, all 172 citizens who were trying to escape died, but Ursula and her small family survived. Ursula believes that God, the higher power, has a mission for everyone to complete in their lifetime, and this was her mission.

When Ursula immigrated to Canada in 1953 with her parents (by then her stepfather had joined the family), they settled in Edmonton, AB. Ursula’s goal in life was to become a nurse, however due to circumstances, there was no opportunity to do so. She married and Ursula moved with husband Kurt Herrmann to Newbrook, a farming community in northern Alberta. Farming was her life until 1980, when she moved to Kelowna, BC. Two generations later, the dream to become a nurse was finally fulfilled through her grandchildren, Nick and Tara, who both have taken up that vocation. She experienced many extremes in her lifetime, the good, and the struggles, and she is forever alive in our love.

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