My father, Günter, the rock of my childhood and the hero of my stories, has passed away at the age of 92. War child, dye maker, wood and metal artist, husband, father, brother, uncle, grandpa and great grandfather—how do you capture a man’s life in words?
As a youth, he survived a World War, dug himself out of the rubble and poverty of the postwar years, met and wed my mother, became a successful dye maker, founded a flatware company, only to be defrauded by his partner and forced into bankruptcy, dug himself out of the financial devastation that followed, became a sought-after employee of the world-famous design company C. Hugo Pott, a successful sculptor on the side, sent his two daughters to universities, and dug himself out of the sadness that followed the premature death of his wife in 2004. Industrious, tough, determined, tenacious, fearless, stubborn and creative are just some of the adverbs to describe him. From my father I learned my love for nature, to admire and save every last critter and plant. We spent weekends in the woods, hiked cross country, played soccer and went swimming.
To his last days he lived alone in his childhood home, enjoyed his garden and pond. Even death he faced head-on, determined, refusing treatment, and wanting to leave earth, when his body deserted him.
My dear father, you will live on in our memories, in my stories and in the minds of our readers. Wherever you are now, we hope you’ve found peace and are with your wife of 50 years. We love you forever.