September 20, 1926 – September 20, 2019
Fred and Agnes were born in rural villages in Transylvania, Romania. They both enjoyed their childhood years in the peacetime era between the two world wars before having their lives uprooted.
Fred was conscripted into the German army and was sent to occupied Yugoslavia in the fall of 1943 where he miraculously lived through one of the worst war zones of the 2nd world war. He survived only because he was wounded 3 days before the end of the war, and safely transported to a hospital in Austria. Rather than be sent home after he recovered from his wounds, he was forceably redirected to the secret allied POW camps in Italy where he was systematically starved for 18 months before being shipped to England where he was again fed and able to start a new life.
Agnes grew up wanting to experience the city life and so made her way to Hermannstadt (Sibiu) and worked in a pastry cafÃ© and later in a household helping cook, clean and raise the children. Her life as she knew it ended when the Russian troops arrived into Romania, and the Romanian government then sent tens of thousands of Saxons to the forced labour camps in the newly created Soviet Union. There she toiled in various camps for 2 years in the bitter cold winters, also being slowly starved until she too, like Fred, weighed only 90 pounds. Her lucky release saw her choose to go to East Germany rather than go back to a broken homeland.
Fred was eventually released from POW camp in England, but then like the other DP’s, he was deported to West Germany. Agnes, now in East Germany, made her way to West Germany to reunite with a brother of hers. There Fred and Agnes met through family connections. After a short period of time dating each other, Fred realized he did not want to stay in Germany, and instead wanted to get as far away from the dangers of war as he could. He chose to go to Canada.
After arriving in Edmonton in December, 1952 in his summer clothes and $20 in his pocket, he found work and saved his money so he could buy his girlfriend Agnes a ticket to come across the ocean and join him. They married, had 3 children over the years, and retired in the mid-seventies after having worked hard to build a family, a business and a nest egg.
Fred & Agnes loved coming up to the Yukon where their son Garry and his family lives. They came dozens of times over the years, exploring the Yukon and Alaska, spending time with family and enjoying the beauty of the Yukon. Fred and Agnes passed peacefully in Edmonton in their mid-nineties, after 67 years of marriage. They will be missed by their family and friends.
A celebration of life was held in Edmonton.
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