Moritz Life

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Edward Moritz - Biography and Obituary

My Dad was born in 1924 in a modest farmhouse in the village of Tempel, just outside of Ribnitz-Damgarten, in what was the state of Pommern in Northeast Germany right below the Baltic Sea.

He was the 4th child born to Edward and Lydia Moritz, (nee Keding) following the births of sisters Dorothy, Hilda, and Freida.

Dad was not yet walking when he was ushered in Grand style aboard the Empress of Scotland with the family, who sailed in May 1925 to Canada. At the time of it’s maiden voyage, it was the world’s largest passenger ship.

The family settled on a farm in Clymont, Alberta where younger brother William was born. Dad told us many stories of growing up on the farm and getting into mischief with his brother Bill. One story I remember is when they were kids with nothing but time and energy on their hands and were chasing a chicken around the yard. After the “unfortunate” loss of feather’s by the chicken, they got scared of the consequences and decided the “smart” thing to do was “hide” the chicken down the hole in the outhouse. Later that night, Grandpa was seen running out of the outhouse after being unceremoniously startled by a screaming chicken. What followed was the very familiar:

"Adolf, Willy, Kommt Hier!!"

He stayed on the farm until he was 16 years old, and then went to Edmonton to look for his first job. He worked in the city for about two years and when WWII broke out, he returned to the farm where he worked a half section of land by himself – he had seven others to take care of – six horses and an old Fordson tractor. Although farming this land was a huge task by himself, he somehow found the time to court Irma and they got married in 1944 when he was 19 years of age.

After having his fill of farming, mom and dad decided to move to greener pastures to Chilliwack, BC, where dad got a job driving truck on a daily run from Chilliwack to Vancouver. He enjoyed this work, but they missed the family and moved back to Edmonton in 1949. They lived in Onoway for a few years and then moved back to Edmonton where Lloyd was born in 1961 and I was added to the family in the spring of 1965.

In 1967 Dad went to work for Boychuk Transport and continued to work for many years in the trucking industry. Later, I had the pleasure of being present for a National Transportation Award Ceremony where the Minister of Transportation attended. My father was presented with a long term service award for 40 years of service and the “Man of the Year” award in the Transportation Industry. This was one of the proudest moments I shared with him. Dad worked for several companies over the years, but was called by Tim Boychuk in the early 90’s to return to work in sales where he finished his career at the age of 80. Tim graciously hosted a retirement party for Dad where many of his friends and colleagues celebrated his achievements and contributions over the years.

We spent many wonderful years together as a family and I especially remember when we had Dad (and Mom) all to ourselves for annual summer Vacation. Every year, without fail, Dad would pack up and take us traveling and camping, often to BC and sometimes to the US to visit our family in Michigan. In the early years, we would go tenting, and as a child, I remember the men telling stories about bears wandering through the campsite at night and causing havoc. Between the mosquitos and the bears, Dad had enough and upgraded to a tent trailer. One year we had to abandon the tent trailer and scurry to safety as a tornado suddenly hit - within minutes trees were uprooted and the campsite flooded… through it all dad was our rock, steadfast and true. After the tornado, Dad purchased a nice Travel Trailer and that was the end of our “mis-adventures”.

Dad was also a great spiritual influence in our family by taking us to Sunday School, Church, Choir, and later Youth. He also valued family devotions, thus providing a solid foundation for us to later draw upon during the trials of life.

In 1985 we suffered a great loss with the death of his wife and our mother, Irma.

In 1991 dad married Helen and gained 4 stepchildren and 8 step-grandchildren. Dad loved all of his family very much and enjoyed visits and impromptu concerts during family events. Helen and Dad were always generous hosts, especially for gatherings of the Moritz and Breitkreutz clans.
In retirement, Dad developed several interests, one of which was bird-watching in his backyard. He built a number of birdhouses and fixed them to posts, so he could watch them while BBQ’ing or sitting on the patio. He could tell you what kind of birds lived in each house, how many baby birds were born, and other details including their feeding habits; in which he helped by throwing breadcrumbs and trimmings onto the garage roof.

Dad was always willing to go out of his comfort zone to learn new things, like learning to use a computer with email, instant messaging, Skype, Facebook, and even computer games when he was in his late 70’s and eighties so he could keep in touch with the family and his much loved grandchildren whom he talked about often - with great interest and pride.

Near the end of his life when Dad was diagnosed with cancer, he was never in denial, angry, nor resentful. He accepted this challenge as he accepted every challenge in his life: head-on and with courage. He enjoyed all visitors while in care and was very gracious and generous with the little time he had left. He was brave and inspired all of us by his example in the way he carried himself until the end. He will be Dearly remembered by his family and friends and we ALL just all want to say:

(by Myron Moritz)

On Saturday, July 25, 2009, at the age of 84 Ed Moritz passed into the presence of the Lord, following a brief illness. Ed is survived by his wife of 18 years, Helen; his sons Lloyd (Kathy), and Myron (Betty); his grandsons Luke, Jonathan and Andrew; his stepchildren Dale (Carol), Kathleen (Doug), Dan and Tim (Su Lin); his step grandchildren Sara, Dylan, Donna, Melissa, Andrew, Hope, Karlee and Melody; his sister Hilda Sturz and numerous family and friends. He is predeceased by his sisters Dorothy Stumkat, Frieda Hartwig, his brother Bill and his first wife Irma in 1985. A private interment will be held at the request of the family, followed by a service celebrating his life, at First Church of God 9224-82 Street, Edmonton on Wednesday July 29,2009 at 2:00pm. In Lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to a charity of one's own choice.

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