Hannelore Strecker

Once upon a time, there was a German girl who dreamed of exploring the wilds. As fate would have it, war blew up her world and ironically propelled her into realizing that dream. It came in the form of a handsome young Canadian soldier. 

Born in Hamburg, Germany on October 11, 1927, Hannelore Margarethe Thoss was wooed and spirited away to Kenora in June 1948 by the love of her life, John Strecker. Together, they raised six children and operated a thriving dairy farm. Courage, intellect, resourcefulness, and ingenuity made our incredibly disciplined, hard-working mother an invaluable partner. 

Our mum was a firecracker and she had one setting: full speed ahead. Whether pursuing peak physical fitness or adding to her considerable skill sets, she gave it her all. An autodidact, and a quick study, Mum taught herself English by listening to the BBC. She quickly learned everything from gardening, to cooking and preserving, to animal husbandry. No one could fashion a splint for a bird or tend to a struggling creature better than dear mum. Most impressively, especially during the early days, she had a knack for making something out of absolutely nothing. Deeply impressed by her “can-do” attitude and indefatigability, Daddy was madly in love with his bride for all his days, and the feelings were mutual.

Mum overcame many obstacles in her life, from losing her mother and her home at a very tender age, to coming to post-war Canada as a German war bride. She always credited God for her exceptional strength and positivity. She bubbled with enthusiasm, particularly around children, sharing their wide-eyed wonder, especially regarding nature. She delighted in surprising them with fairy parties in the forest and tours of the farm, complete with all sorts of special treats. Mum’s profound generosity extended far and wide and was most frequently anonymous. Many will remember Mum for her elegance, grace, dignity, charm, sense of style, and classic European panache, but many more will remember her for her quiet acts of compassion and kindness.

Hannelore Strecker has been reunited with her soulmate, John, who passed away in 1998. She was also predeceased by her mother, Margarethe, her step-mother, Ottilie, her father, Albert, her father-in-law John and mother-in-law Katherine, her brother, Gunther Thoss, sisters-in-law, Mary Holla (Alec), Minnie Kovacs (Karol), Margaret Boucha (Charlie), Isabel Ulak (Marion), brother-in-law Stan Strecker (Lucille), grandson, Ryan Van Walleghem, great-granddaughter Brooke Van Dam, and great-granddaughter, Light Isabella Luby.

Hannelore leaves to mourn her children: Faith Strecker Nemish (Bryan), Michael Strecker (Maribel), Marianne Strecker, Katherine Olson (Peter), Natalie Strecker (Robert Menzies), Angelica Haney (Grant), numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.

At Mum’s request, the family will have a private graveside service, but there will be no formal funeral service. She humbly requests that in her memory, should you so desire, you take a little time to appreciate some good music, commune with loved ones, and truly enjoy your life.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.brownfuneralhomekenora.com for the Strecker family.