We Remember

WITZKE, Henry (Heinrich)

With hearts full of sadness, we say “Auf Wiedersehen” to Henry (Heinrich) Witzke, who passed away peacefully at Kelowna General Hospital, at the age of 97 years, surrounded by his family. He was born August 25th, 1919 in Wiontchemin, Poland and died January 19th, 2017 in Kelowna, BC, Canada. He was predeceased by parents Heinrich and Paulina, and siblings Berta, Eduard, Emmi, Paulina, Hedwig, Michel, Amanda, and Juliane, all of Germany. He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Else, children Karl Heinz of Vancouver, BC, Anneliese Leinemann (Otto), and grandchildren Petra Leinemann and Stephanie Stanley (Budd), all of Kelowna, BC, and numerous nieces and nephews in Europe. A soldier since the age of 19 during World War II, he survived being shot on four different occasions. He wed his sweetheart Else on his birthday in 1944 and was finally released from the army in 1945. His wife and her family had fled Poland before the war was over and he reconnected with them in Germany, where they then lived for seven years.  After their two children were born, they brought their young family by boat to Canada in 1952, eventually ending up in Kelowna, BC. Henry put all his effort into everything he did, and he did many things, from farm labour to orchardist and sawmill worker, tile setter, floor layer, carpenter, and was a passionate gardener. He prided himself on growing the best tomatoes, beans, and more, which he loved to share. In his 80s, when his wife’s health started to fail, he even learned how to cook, keep house, and to can preserves. His favourite role, though, was bartender. Whether at an event, around town, or at home, he always had a joke and a smile on his face for everyone. He loved the German Canadian Harmonie Club where he made lifelong friends, and in addition to tending bar, he helped with everything from planting flowers to cutting grass and plowing snow. Henry also loved his cars – during his lifetime he had 19 various vehicles. VW beetles were his favourite, as was anything that was red, especially if it had chrome. The family wishes to thank the doctors, nurses and support staff of 4West at Kelowna General Hospital for their care and compassion during his last days, and his close neighbours who always looked out for him. A viewing will take place on Thursday, January 26th from 6-8pm at Springfield Funeral Home (2020 Springfield Rd, Kelowna, BC) and a Celebration of Life is being held on Saturday, January 28th at 11am at the German Canadian Harmonie Club (1696 Cary Rd, Kelowna, BC). In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Kelowna General Hospital Foundation at 2268 Pandosy Street, Kelowna, BC V1Y 1T2 or through www.kghfoundation.com.  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.”

Thursday, January 26th from 6-8pm
Springfield Funeral Home
( 2020 Springfield Rd, Kelowna, BC )

Saturday, January 28th at 11am

German Canadian Harmonie Club

Share with Others:

Share on Facebook
Share Via Email

Kelowna General Hospital Foundation at 2268 Pandosy Street, Kelowna, BC V1Y 1T2 Link: www.kghfoundation.com


Service Information

Service Details

The service for WITZKE, Henry (Heinrich) is scheduled for Saturday, January 28th at 11am. Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.

Address & Contact for Service Location:

German Canadian Harmonie Club

1696 Cary Rd Kelowna, BC


Special Requests:


Funeral Pointers:



  • Bob & Bev Mettlewsky says:

    Sincere condolences to the family Anneliese from our home in San Carlos to your home in Canada .

  • Peter Weber says:

    Sincere condolences and big hugs to the whole Family. Henry was an amazing man who lead an extraordinary life. A true inspiration. ❤️

  • Joanne & Theo Schmidt says:

    Sincere condolences to Else and family. Henry was a man you could not help but admire. Always ready to give of himself. A man who endured incredible hardship but never gave up. He actually had me believe it might be possible for some to live forever. He looked younger in his nineties than most do in their fifties.We will miss you dear friend!Joanne & Theo Schmidt – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/guestbooks/okanaganvalley/henry-witzke-heinrich-condolences/183693695?&eid=sp_gbapprove#sthash.mI4GPIbY.dpuf

  • Karen & Garry says:

    Condolences to Else and family. For the short time we’ve come to know Henry he has truly become a great friend. We felt the warmness of a soul we grew to respect, trust, share with and to love. His continuous wisdom, optimism and wit will stay with us forever and we will hold his memory close to our hearts for all time. Greatly missed. Rest in deserving peace Henry. Your friends Karen and Garry.

  • Petra Schroeder-Osland says:

    Else and Family
    With utmost sincerity my condolence for your loss.
    I remember Henry when he came into my parents butcher shop (Schroeder’s Sausage) and would visit with my father, Julius and taste the fresh made sausage in the workshop, and always with an infectious smile.
    Henry will be missed and kindly remembered.
    Petra Schroeder Osland

Leave a Condolence Message for the Family

» To share your condolence on this page please fill out the requested fields.
» If you have a photo to share, please do so as families appreciate it. To share a photo (please note, just one photo per condolence please), click the 'Choose File' button and select a photo from your computer.
» Once you are done, click the 'Share' button.
» Your email is never published or shared. Your name and email are both required.

NOTE: all messages will go through an administrative process before being posted.