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Stories and Condolences for the late Willi Heymann


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March 12, 1932 - May 28, 2016


Peacefully, on Saturday, May 28, 2016, Willi Heymann passed away in the Victoria General Hospital at the age of 84 years.

Willi was born March 12, 1932 in Rostock, Germany, on the Baltic Sea to Elly Karstan. At the age of seven, his mother married Karl Heymann and at that time Willi took on his stepfather's surname. He had two younger stepbrothers. He was seven when World War II began and thirteen when it ended. At age fourteen he fled Rostock, swimming across the Warnow River with friends to escape being recruited for the military. For the next nine years he travelled throughout Germany and surrounding countries finding work in the hotel industry, working his way up to becoming a chef. At the age of 24, he immigrated to Canada on the SS Neptunia, arriving in Montreal on April 16, 1956. He found work as a cook in bush camps in Northern Ontario before settling in Winnipeg where he worked as a short order cook at Champ’s Chicken, then as a chef at the Squash Club, Winnipeg Art Gallery and for fifteen years at the Columbus Centre, retiring in 2003.

Willi lived off and on at Pine Ridge Trailer Park since 1989, enjoying the country living, quietness, serenity and friendship of neighbours. He had many interests throughout his life including painting and gardening, especially his flower beds. Since retiring he looked forward to the Wednesday coffee group outings at “The 59er” and attending the Selkirk Adult Day Program. He loved going to various casinos with Peter, enjoyed the steak and seafood dinners and of course the many desserts! Although he seemed a quiet and private person, if the opportunity arose he could talk your “ear off” reminiscing about his travels through Europe, Canada and the US with his dog, Zekin.

We would like to thank the staff from Victoria Hospital for the compassionate care they so lovingly gave to Willi during his time there. A big thank you to all of his friends, especially Marge, Evelyn and Garry, for helping him in his time of need by watching over him and including him in their holiday celebrations. Willi truly appreciated your kindness.


Willi was a kind and gentle soul who was so easy to love. His memory will live on in every person whose life he touched.

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