We are profoundly saddened to announce the passing of our dear father, grandfather, brother and uncle Rolf Wilhelm Otto Weissbach on July 12 2019 at the age of 88.
Rolf was born on January 24 1931 in Hamburg, Germany as the oldest child of Kurt and Elisabeth (Pless) Weissbach. He was followed by 3 adorable sisters whom he cared for very much, being the big brother and their protector.
During the war his mother and the 4 children were sent to live on a farm south of Hannover so they could be out harm’s way. After the war Rolf took a machinist course in Hannover and worked with large milling machines. It was there he met his wife Helga, who was a nurse and they had 2 children. Rolf’s parents and 3 sisters had emigrated to Vancouver in 1955. Rolf and Helga, and the 2 small children left Germany in 1957. Their steamer ship landed in Halifax and Rolf was quite concerned about the brightly coloured houses they could see from the pier. He thought they looked very odd compared to the brown and grey brick buildings they left behind.
The train ride across Canada from Halifax to Vancouver was just wonderful, he said. It got better the further West that they travelled as they went through the mountains from Calgary to Revelstoke and on to Vancouver.
Once in Vancouver, Rolf went to work building houses with his brother-in-law Werner, then helping to build student housing at UBC. Dr.Gordon Shrum liked Rolf’s work ethic and he offered Rolf a job in the Physics Dept. He worked as a research technician there from 1960 to 1991.
During this time 3 more sons were born.
In 1992, with his wife Anne, he retired to Princeton to join his 2 sons Rolf and Glenn. He bought property out the Old Hedley Road along the river that he turned into a perfect Paradise, with fruit trees and flowers brimming with colour. This was his full time hobby.
Rolf loved hunting, gardening, building, baking, cooking, fixing and repairing! He could cook for a group of 20 or more, no problem. He was very happy and humourous and had everybody laughing most of the time. He loved and adored his whole family.
He was always giving 110% at any task put in front of him. He excelled with measurements to a thousandth of an inch! Everything had to be perfect. If he was helping someone build or pour concrete he was quite happy to be the first one on the job with his tools and the last one to leave.
Wherever Rolf lived he made many friends.
In later years Rolf got Alzheimer’s and a lot of joy was taken from him. He lost interest in the things that made him so excited before, like hunting. He was upset that he lost his Driver’s License. Although he couldn’t remember who it was that took it away from him!
He was in Ridgewood Lodge for a year and a half and loved it there. He spoke highly of all the staff. He said he couldn’t complain about the food as they had a good restaurant there! He liked to go "shopping". His favourite targets were all the hats, which are for the residents to wear outside in the sunshine. He told us that he had "bought them and they were his". He made sure to start writing his name on them with felt pen so no one would take them. He "bought" all the coffee cups, spoons and salt & peppers too, and squirreled them away inside his dresser drawers. He could not pass by a bulletin board without taking all the colourful pushpins, and he had quite a collection in a pouch.
Rolf was predeceased by his parents, one sister Helga Lacey, brothers-in-law Walter Kaindl, Helmut Kielow and Werner Bonke, his first wife Helga (Görlich) and his second wife Anne.
He leaves behind his daughter Brigitte (Cam), sons Rolf (Laurel), Glenn (Gloria), John and Christopher ; grandchildren Ingrid (Rory), Louise (Damian), Ricki , Stevi (Evan), Luke and Elizabeth ; great grandsons Austin, Tyler and J.J.; great granddaughters Brooke, Breanna, Charalize, Callie and Darci.
He also leaves behind 2 sisters, Marianne Bonke and Heike Kaindl , numerous nieces and nephews, as well as sister-in-law Margaret (Rob) Barclay and brother-in-law Allen (Heather) Kyriakidis.
We would like to thank Dr. Colleen Black very much for her care of Dad the last few years. Heartfelt gratitude to all the staff and care aides at Ridgewood Lodge for their kindness and care. Also a big Thank You to the staff at Vermilion Court where he lived for a year before going into Ridgewood.
A Memorial has been arranged for September 14 2019 in the Granby Room at the Skills Center on Vermilion Ave. Princeton B.C.