Dora Elise Grossehmig (Effenberger) passed away November 16 at the age of 99. She was born March 9, 1908 in Bellmannsdorf, Schlesien, Germany, where she married Hans Grossehmig in 1944. Hans and Dora’s only child Rita was born in 1949, and soon after they immigrated to Canada. She is predeceased by both her husband and her daughter.
There were many things Dora loved in life, but her family was always number one. From the time she worked in the family business as a young adult, to her immigration to Canada with her husband and daughter, to the arrival of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, she always thought of family first. Dora was also an active, proud and long-standing member of the local Trinity Lutheran church.
Dora kept in regular contact with her extended family in Germany. She and Hans often had visitors stay for weeks at a time, during which they would show off the beautiful scenery on the west coast – from the occasional drive up to Alaska, down to the tip of Vancouver Island, and everything in between.
Dora had a long list of friends she kept in regular contact with. Her phone rang often and she enjoyed many visitors at her home, and later, when she moved, at Baker Lodge. For as long as I can remember people who knew Dora often remarked “My goodness Dora has a lot of energy”, and “Boy does she keep me laughing!” Yes, she was a bright spirit with plenty of energy for friends and family through all her years.
One thing was always evident with Dora –she loved having visitors. At Dora’s home this usually occurred at “coffee time”, which was around 3pm each afternoon. And whether you called to check ahead of time or just showed up, the pot was always on for whoever might arrive for a visit that day. The smell of fresh brewed coffee filled the house along with her homemade baking. Her apple cake, made with apples picked from one of her many apple trees, topped with a dollop of freshly whipped cream, was served with hot coffee in china tea cups, with saucers of course. She and Hans always said coffee tasted better from china tea cups.
As you sat down for the experience of afternoon coffee time, which always included an abundance of spirited conversation, there was a view of her expansive, beautiful rose garden out the back window. Dora loved her roses and her garden, a tradition shared with her (family of course!) husband, daughter, son-in-law, grandchildren and even her young great-grandchildren.
On her next birthday she would have celebrated 100 years of age. To arrive at Dora’s home on the day of her birthday you would be met with the phone ringing off the hook. “All of Germany” would be calling with their birthday wishes, along with her out-of-town friends. If you looked around the room it would be filled with relatives and her many friends, celebrating the day.
Dora didn’t expect she would live to be almost 100. As a child, I remember her saying “you know I’m not going to live to be that old”. She said that for about 25 years! People often asked her what kept her healthy and living to such an age. She responded with a few things: drinking homemade tea made from herbs grown in her garden, eating real butter (in other words, no chemicals!), and having lots of friends and family to look forward to visiting with. What a long, fascinating and wonderful life Dora (my Oma) lived. She is very much loved and dearly missed by many.
Dora’s spirit is honoured and survived by her grandchildren Tanis (Jens), Brad (Shelley), her son-in-law Ken, her great-grandchildren: Garrett, Nicole, Brooke and Teya, and her extended relatives in Germany and Canada.
A special note of thank you must be given to all her care-workers during the time Dora was at G.R. Baker and Baker Lodge. She always spoke fondly of the care she received, and her family wishes to express our sincere thanks as well. You are a generous, caring and wonderful group of people. Our heartfelt thank you is also expressed to Richard and the team at Clayton’s funeral chapel.
As per Dora’s wishes, in lieu of flowers donations can be made to: Trinity Lutheran Church, 375 Hartley Street, Quesnel, BC V2J 1W5.