July 5, 1927 – December 26, 2022
We are counting our blessings today. Our dear Muttl Renate has been reunited with her
beloved Edmund, her love and life partner of 52 years, after 22 years apart. How lucky are
we, as her children, to have had her love and devotion for 65 years. These are the blessings
we hold dear after watching her Alzheimer’s journey over the past decade. Her brightness
faded, but she remained a beacon of strength and dignity and we were privileged to walk
this path with her.
Renate was born in Munich, and lovingly raised by her parents Anny and Michel in Nϋrnberg along with her younger sister Juliane. As a child, she endured immense hardship during the depression and then the war, with the intense bombing in the final months destroying her home and separating her from her mother for days. Her strength of character and stoicism saw her through from the worst of times to the best of times.
As a teenager, she studied home economics and apprenticed to become a salesperson for fashion. She could recognize quality, be it the fabric or cut of a garment, a well-made purse, or pair of gloves, and it informed her sense of style her entire life. Throughout her working life, not a day went by when she did not lay out her entire ensemble from earrings down to shoes and purse for her next day. She was always elegantly dressed and coiffed.
Good fortune came her way when she met our dad at the cycling track. Our dad was a man of immense love, humility, and kindness, and while our mom was initially coy, she was ultimately won over. Our mom was the one who was excited about the prospect of starting a new life in Canada. Without a moment’s hesitation my dad said he would join her on this great adventure.
Our parents landed in January 1952 at Pier 21 in Halifax and made the journey across a frozen landscape to Toronto’s Union Station. They arrived speaking no English, with just a wooden trunk with a few personal possessions from their former life. They diligently attended English classes at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute and received their Canadian citizenship five years later. They were so proud to call Canada home.
During the early years, our mom worked as a housekeeper, and studied to be a bookkeeper. She worked in the offices of Peerless Jewelers, Select Foods, Canada Permanent Trust, Simpsons and finally for the Federal Government. My dad had trained as a tool and die maker and found ready work at Brydon Brass before studying to become a mechanical engineer and working at De Havilland and eventually Inglis.
They married at Toronto City Hall on October 10, 1952 and lived on Kane Avenue till they finally saved up enough to purchase a bungalow in Willowdale, a sleepy suburb of Toronto. They were devoted parents and created a warm family home for us on Finch Avenue. Our mom always worked, and this allowed us to travel every summer across North America and Europe, exposing us to different cultures and broadening our horizons.
Sadly, our dad passed away suddenly in 2000. While our mom continued to relish travel, keeping a beautiful home and garden, and supporting us, things were never the same. We would like to think they are now dancing together for eternity to Glen Miller and his Orchestra.
Mom, we will miss your warmth, laughter, and zest for life. We will lovingly prepare your favourite recipes and think of you with every bite; the special and caring way you set your table no matter what the occasion; the way you celebrated our birthdays and your mischievous pranks. We will miss your spunk, humour and sprüchle, but most of all your support and unconditional love. You are forever in our hearts.
With eternal love till we meet again.
Your son Eddy and daughter Diana
Our mom leaves behind her dear sister Juliane, nieces Heidi and Monica and their families, as well as her son-in-law Harry.
We would like to thank the palliative care team who supported our mom in her last weeks – nurse Neda, as well as PSW’s Len and Zara. We would also like to acknowledge Dr. Barbara Clive, our childhood neighbour from Finch Avenue who provided support and guidance for our mom’s care over many years.
A Celebration of Life will be held in the spring. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to The Reitberger Family Fund at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto or the charity of your choice.