We Remember


August 18, 1926 — July 9, 2023

Jutta always said she had the perfect childhood for the first 10 years of her life.  Everything changed in 1936 when Hitler gained absolute power in Germany.  She recalled being slapped hard in the face by her school teacher when she failed to salute when shouting “Heil Hitler” as she entered the classroom. An armful of books was no excuse.

Jutta was one of four children born in Berlin to parents Frieda, a traditional homemaker, and Bruno, a skilled machinist who had steady work throughout the Great Depression and War at a progressive firm, Fritz-Werner.  The company even provided playing fields and a swimming pool for the employees’ children.  Jutta was predeceased by all 3 of her siblings, Horst, Beno and Gerda, as well as her parents.

What amazing changes Jutta witnessed in her lifetime: she recalled watching a horse-drawn carriage worker lighting up the newly-installed gas street lights; 50 years later as a retired Canadian tourist in Berlin, she watched the ceremonial opening of the 1986 World Cup from the same street corner, in a very different post-war, post-reunification Germany.

Europe was devastated, no area more so than Berlin after 4 years of Allied aerial bombing and then the brutal Russian occupation.  When Canada advertised for farmworkers, her husband of 5 years, Herbert, was accepted and left Berlin in 1952.  He was assigned backbreaking work in the tobacco fields of Western Ontario, leaving behind Jutta to care for two small children: son Manfred, born in 1948, and then Rainer in 1950.

Herbert saved enough money in one year to repay his airfare to the government and to send for Jutta, leaving the boys in the care of Oma Anna. Jutta enjoyed an entire week’s holidays after arriving in Toronto, before starting work as a house cleaner, earning six dollars for an eight-hour day. Not knowing any English, she was grateful for the work. She gained an illustrious clientele, including the Johnny Bassett family, owners of CFTO Television and The Toronto Telegram newspaper. She wasn’t paid her 25-cent streetcar fare by the Bassetts; instead, he sent his chauffeured limousine to drive her to his Rosedale mansion. One day, Mr. Bassett, a millionaire, asked Jutta if she would mind staying a bit longer to darn a pair of his socks. She agreed and was given a 20-dollar bill for this extra 20-minute job.

With both working, it took only another 12 months before the two boys and Oma joined them in Toronto. Manfred was six and was immediately placed in Grade 1. At the dinner table after his first day of school, he innocently asked: “Mom, what’s a ‘fucking Nazi’?” Wartime propaganda and the loss of husbands and sons during the war embittered many and filtered down to the children.

By 1958, Jutta and Herbert had saved $1,000 for a down payment on a half duplex in a new subdivision, in the small town of Whitby, 30 miles east of Toronto.  Population 12,000 with one traffic light. The perfect place to raise a family. They remained in Whitby until 1970, and both boys graduated from high school there. The lifelong friendships Jutta made with the neighbours, Ken and Rose Dudley and family of nine children, endured and strengthened right up to Jutta’s death. There is no greater enduring love than that between Jutta and her god-child, Victoria Dudley, who visited Kelown again last summer to be with her “second mom.”

Jutta quit her housecleaning work, and with developing language skills found work serving customers at Lehn’s Bakery.  Besides working full time and raising two kids, she studied and did homework each evening along with her sons, determined to gain her Registered Nursing Assistant certificate. Upon graduation, she found challenging, rewarding work at Whitby Psychiatric Hospital, an extensive farm-hospital facility on the shores of Lake Ontario.
She loved her new career and the growing town of Whitby, but reluctantly moved back to Berlin with her husband in 1970, after he suffered a heart attack and could no longer ply his trade.

Back in Berlin, she worked at a large department store, Quelle, until she took early retirement at the age of 62.

Separated from her husband, Jutta travelled to numerous lands – Greece, Italy, Turkey, in the company of her eldest son, Manfred, who worked for the US Air Force, stationed in Berlin. Jutta travelled to Vancouver and Kelowna, BC during Expo 86, and then announced she would be moving to Kelowna for her remaining years, never expecting her retirement to last 33 years. “Every day I wake up and think I’m in paradise.” She arrived in Kelowna in 1990 and immediately made new friends by volunteering at the Water Street Senior Centre.  She continued to love to travel and her new vacation spot became Cuba. Her friends joked that she had taken more “final farewell” tours of Europe than the Rolling Stones.

Leukemia and melanoma took their toll on her health, but she still enjoyed travelling; she made two summer-long, cross-Canada car tours to visit the Dudleys in Ontario and her eldest son, who had returned to Canada and lived in beautiful Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia. Back home in Kelowna, she enjoyed frequent walking tours and bus trips sponsored by the Senior Centre. Jutta also kept active with twice-weekly tai chi classes, weekly visits to Amora Day Spa whose staff – Luise, Ashley, and staff – treated her like royalty, and a weekly wash and set by Anju at InStyle Hair Care. Those four weekly trips became more difficult as the cancer spread.

Jutta’s religious beliefs and faith kept her strong as her health failed this spring.  She was an active member of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church on Gordon Drive, and when she could no longer attend church, she watched from her bed the weekly service the Church posted on YouTube.

Jutta’s most fervent wish was to die peacefully, in her own home, in her own bed.  That wish came true as she died on Sunday, July 9 peacefully and in bed.

Jutta is loved and will be fondly remembered as a caring, loving, strong woman by:
-Her extended family in Berlin, niece Dagmar, nephew Ronald and families
-The Dudleys, her second family in Ontario, including God-child Victoria, Sheila, Susan, and Velma
-Her much loved daughter-in-law in Victoria, Bonnie Burton
-And, in Kelowna, by another great friend her same age, Edith Welburn; her daughter, Linda (Dave); next door neighbours, Carly Hood and Little Miss Fynn, who became Jutta’s loving daughter and granddaughter

A Memorial Reception will be held on WEDNESDAY, JULY 26, 2023, from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, at SPRINGFIELD FUNERAL HOME (2020 Springfield Road, Kelowna, BC); Interment to follow. Jutta wished to be cremated and then interned in the Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery (1991 Bernard Ave, Kelowna, BC), overlooking her beloved Okanagan Lake.  Arrangements entrusted to Springfield Funeral Home.

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

WEDNESDAY, JULY 26, 2023, from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM


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