- 96 years old
- Date of birth: Feb 9, 1920
- Place of birth:
Glückstadt, South Africa
- Date of passing: Aug 15, 2016
- Place of passing:
Cape Town, South Africa
|Let the memory of Friedrich (Fritz) be with us forever|
"Papa was a very special person and I feel very privileged to have had him as a father. He was loving, caring, thoughtful, even-tempered, but above all, always positive and grateful.
I think I can safely say that his family were the most important part of his life. He would get up very early every morning to cook porridge for us all and set the table for breakfast. Each night he would prepare our school lunches and his own ... seven lunches in all. On Fridays he religiously cooked his famous fish and chips for dinner. He grew mealies (corn) and made delicious mealie bread, but the corn cobs had to go straight into a pot of boiling water when picked so as not to lose any flavour.
Papa was passionate about gardening, spending many hours growing beautiful flowers of all sorts, bromeliads, vegetables, grapes and litchi, paw paw and guava trees. He had an ongoing battle with unwelcome visitors who would steal his fruit …. monkeys from the nearby bush, birds and the occasional two-legged ones. He would pay me 5 cents per pound for beans which I harvested, despite having helped me prepare the garden bed for planting and watering them when they were neglected.
Besides gardening, Papa’s other hobby was making all sorts of things for us out of wood. This was done in the garage in the company of huge black spiders, which were his friends. He refused to get rid of the webs, believing that the spiders got rid of many unwelcome insects. He made high jump poles, stilts, a go cart, a soccer game with two teams of players painted red and blue, a marble game, Australian parrots, kangaroos and koalas, Hlangwane die Hlaue Hlange, Velocipede the motorcyclist, Bubli the tumbling clown and many more. Once we were old enough to not chop our fingers off, he made us each a biltong guillotine, which works beautifully.
Papa also loved playing bridge and chess. He taught me to play at the age of 11 or 12, because he needed another person to make up a foursome. Whilst holidaying at Sinkwazi Beach, our bridge sessions would go on for hours until Helmuth would eventually announce that it was time to hit the beach.
He was forever thoughtful, but there is one incident which stands out in my mind. Just before I left Greytown to study in Stellenbosch, Papa went out and bought a pocket knife for me. He said that “everyone should have one just in case”. Although I never really found a use for it, I trusted him and carried it around in my bag for at least 40 years …. and it would still be with me if I hadn’t lost it during the last few years!
I could go on forever, but to finish off I would like to say “Thank you, Papa!”. You meant so much to all of us!"
"In 2007 when Papa emailed the family to announce his cancer diagnosis, including the challenges, risk factors and difficult decisions he would be confronting, he added:
"...One must remain positive and hope for the best..."
One of his many fine traits, this one stands out for me: Papa always attempted to be positive, whether facing the day-to-day challenges throughout his storied life, or the serious health crises and difficult final years, he hardly ever complained.
Memories and gratefulness, too many and too much to mention...
In parting, I would like to commend Papa to our God's grace, and wish him an everlasting peace:
Auf wiedersehen Papa!"
"Papa/Opa was a wonderful father and grandfather who will be greatly missed. He was loving, kind, and a natural teacher who tried to bring out the best in everybody. He was a creative entertainer of children, not only his own but others as well.
Papa introduced me to his favourite German poets and writers while I was still a toddler. While washing the dishes he would recite poems by von Goethe or von Schiller: Das Lied von der Glocke, Der Taucher , Erlkönig - not to mention Max und Moritz and Struwwelpeter. Papa had a sharp memory and gave us all a test at his 95th birthday celebration to see what we could remember!
Not only could he recite impressive pieces of poetry and prose, but was also a master storyteller featuring amazing characters, such as “Bubli” and “Ghonorshor” much to the delight of his children and grandchildren.
He enjoyed all forms of classical music, but his favourite piece would have to be “Ode to Joy” from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.
Papa always encouraged and supported me in every way, not only mentally and spiritually, but with thoughtful daily actions. The cups of tea and biscuits he brought to sustain me during early morning study sessions and his carefully-prepared school lunches will never be forgotten. Neither will the delicious tomatoes, lychees and pawpaws he was so proud of.
I could say so much more about Papa, but now I just wish him God’s blessing and well-deserved peace, and thank him from the bottom of my heart for the love and comfort he gave me and others throughout his life."
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