1935 - 2020
Obituary of Gerhard Klauke
Gerhard (‘Gerry’) Siegfried Klauke
October 15, 1935 - November 28, 2020
Gerry will be remembered for his patient, quiet, tangible love; his faithful prayers; his eager welcome, wide eyes, bright smiles, firm handshakes, and robust hugs; his quickness to join his daughters in a selfie; his work ethic; his willingness to lend a capable hand; and his enjoyment of good food. With eagerness to leave behind his failing body and be received by God, he left this world gently surrounded by his children’s love on Saturday evening.
Born to Alwin and Frieda Klauke on October 15, 1935 in Bad Durrenberg, Germany, Gerry was the 4th of 7 children (Hannelore, Karl Arthur, Dieter, Gerhard, Ellruth, Herbert, Peter), with Peter the only surviving sibling. Gerry, as a boy, survived the economic difficulty of post-war Germany, learning resourcefulness in foraging, gleaning and raising his own chickens and rabbits. As a teen, he apprenticed and became successful in the trades as a machine fitter, millwright and welder, and gained his first working experience with rail cars, tank valve fittings, mining rail tracks and machine manufacturing. ‘For adventure’ he immigrated to Canada in 1956, and soon landed work in a booming era for Stelco Steel in Hamilton, Ontario. He met and then married Elsie (nee Neufeld) in 1957 and now with roots in Canada, had 5 children: Diana, Sieglinde, David, Ellen and Tim. In 1971, he began his own greenhouse operation in Wheatley, Ontario, growing hothouse tomatoes and cucumbers. He ran this successful business, employing all of his skills from former learned trades, until his retirement in 1997.
Throughout his life, Gerry enjoyed music and played numerous instruments, performing on trombone in the Hamilton Symphony Orchestra. He particularly enjoyed conducting choirs for the Hamilton German Mission Church, Wheatley Baptist Church, and Leamington Heritage Choir. With a Baptist upbringing, faithful participation in the Hamilton Mission Church, and longtime member of Wheatley Baptist Church, he served in various musical, leadership and service positions throughout his life.
Gerry suffered a stroke in 2010, and lost his lifetime companion, Elsie, in 2016. Still, he grew older graciously and endearingly. He moved to Chartwell Retirement Residences in November 2019. He embraced and enjoyed his new “home” despite a gradual decline in health. Following a 3 week hospitalization, he transferred to Erie Shores Hospice, where accompanied by his children, he died peacefully the following day on November 28, 2020.
Father-in-law to Mike Brown and the late Keith Leslie, Jerry Omstead, Sandy (nee Omstead), Rick McCleary and Rosemary Toye, ‘Opa’ to 15 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren, he will be missed by family, those like family, and dear friends. His loss will be grieved, but his family entrusts him to the renewing and re-creating power of his Creator, the loving embrace of Christ, and the tenderness of the Holy Spirit, this Triune God with whom he was so ready to be fully reunited.
Because of the limitations of the current pandemic, a private family graveside service will be held at Erie Cemetery in Wheatley. Friends and family may share memories of Gerry at reidfuneralhome.ca. A celebration of Gerry’s life will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to either Erie Shores Hospice Residential Home or Hope and Healing International.