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January 2, 1939 - May 10, 2023
Gunter Heinz Rudolf Bochow peacefully passed on May 10, 2023 at the Deer Lodge Center.
Gunter was predeceased by his parents, “Oma and Opa” Elizabeth and Carl Bochow and his brothers Kurt, Heinz and Rudy.
Mourning his loss are his sons, Rudy, Errol and Karl; his second wife, Teresa Bochow; niece Eugenia Lehmann; grandchildren, Dieter and Nadia; great grandson, Bentley; sister Inge; as well as many more nieces/nephews, extended family & loved ones.
We would like to thank all the wonderful staff and personnel at the Deer Lodge Center for their compassionate service and support.
Gunter was born January 2, 1939, in Rostock, Germany. Gunter and his family moved throughout Germany for many years until they were finally granted permission to come to Canada in 1955. At 16, Gunter and his family traveled to Quebec City on the famous Italian ship “Arosasun” and then via train to the CN/CP station on Main and Higgins in Winnipeg Manitoba. To help support the family, Gunter and his father traveled across Canada working seasonal labour jobs including working the mines of Pickle Crow in Northwest Ontario. By the age of 19, Gunter found work with a bricklayer, who noticed his skills and sent him to Red River College to become a bricklayer’s apprentice. In just four short years, Gunter became a Journeyman bricklayer and expert Stone mason. Gunter’s skilled workmanship and legacy can be seen throughout the Winnipeg and Manitoba area including placing of the cross on top of the St. Boniface Cathedral - on which he also demonstrated his romantic, softer side, by engraving his and his wife, Teresa’s initials, with a heart, into his work.
Gunter was passionate about all things German, there was nothing better than a good German meal of dumplings, sauerkraut and sausages with gravy - “Then you got something” he’d say. He loved to share and tell stories of his time and life in Germany and all the places he worked and experiences he had lived. He spoke German fluently and maintained his German culture and customs throughout his life. It was during a German Summer festival in Winnipeg, that Gunter met his first wife Erika. The two married in 1958 and lived in the North end of Winnipeg with their two sons Rudy and Errol.
Gunter live a very full life with lots of travelling around the world, good quality food, and living off the land. Gunter enjoyed his life and worked very hard so that he and his family could enjoy the finer things in life. And for Gunter, travel was not only one of those finer things in life but also a necessity. He could not go more than a few months without the need to travel again. Gunter had visited many places through his lifetime including returning to Germany, traveling Europe, driving across Canada, the USA as well as also driving to Mexico and back each year. For Gunter, Mexico was his second home he especially enjoyed travelling to Acapulco which he traveled to every year for several decades. It was in Mexico that Gunter met “the love of his life”, Teresa Rosas. In 1973, Gunter married Teresa and together they had his third son, Karl Bochow.
During his lifetime, Gunter built three of his own homes, of course they all included beautiful masonry and extensive brickwork. The first in Lac Du Bonnet, the second and third on the Brokenhead river. I recall years of spending my weekends and summers with my aunt Teresa, son Karl and Uncle Gunter at their home, first in Lac Du Bonnet and then when they moved to Brokenhead river.
They lived on a large property and made best use of the land to feed, grow, and sustain a natural healthy lifestyle. He would grow his own vegetables (organically), hunt his own proteins – make use of ALL the animal, clear out brush for firewood, and use any and all products gifted or bartered to build the various sheds, smokehouses, cold storages, and components needed for the property. Gunter taught us the importance of quality, making use of all that nature has to offer and living with minimum to zero waste. We spent hours hunting, fishing, cooking and learning about the land and sustainable living, years before it was a trendy thing to do.
Gunter was practical, supportive, and giving, man. He admired and appreciated hard work and smart living and respected those that valued these characteristics. Gunter would often offer to support and assist those that demonstrated these values by lending his time, lending money and/or gifting them resources he had such as lumber, bricks, fish, vegetables etc. One story uncle Gunter proudly recalled to me was when I was 19 yrs. old, and I wanted to buy a house and he happily supported the idea by lending me $5,000 for a down payment. He proudly shared that I had paid it all back in-full within 6 months. Gunter always appreciated hard work and strong character.
Unfortunately, in October 2021 Gunter had a devastating fall in which he injured his spine and was deemed paralyzed from the upper chest down. Gunter was moved into Deer lodge center where he had been residing. This was a frustrating and challenging time for Gunter as he had spent most of his life committed to working very hard and living easy. Gunter was always determined to live his best life and experiencing it to the fullest and he did this right up to his final days.
Though Gunter was a strong and determined man, he also had a soft, gentler side to him, which he often kept close to his heart. I was most appreciative for the time I was able to spend with him this past year and half. I am grateful that my aunt Teresa and I were able to enjoy some quality time with Gunter as we helped care for him during our regular visits at Deer lodge. I appreciate all the quiet times we had together during our Monday and Friday weekly visits, sharing stories and memories of the full and wonderful life he had lived.
I will always remember with great fondness all the lessons Uncle Gunter has taught me. Lessons on Feflina mushroom picking, vegetable gardening, how to make a mean potato salad, fileting a fish, cleaning chicken stomachs, and how to use leaches to clean your blood. All these lessons and all his legacies will continue to live on way past the 84 years that he graced this world. They will live on through his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and all the nieces, nephews, and other people he taught, connected with and met along the way. Rest easy Uncle Gunter. I Love you
-Eugenia (Geni) Lehmann
Interment at Brookside Cemetery on Tuesday, May 16 at 12:30 p.m., 3001 Notre Dame Avenue. Service and reception will follow at 2:00 p.m at 603 Wellington Crescent.
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