Saturday, June 16, 2012

Remembering My Father

This is my first Father's Day without my Dad.

On the morning of June 26 2011, my Dad passed away after a long and brave battle with cancer.

Emil Hass was born on October 10, 1927 in Neu-Sarata, Bessarabia (Romania) to Johannes and Helene Hass. He had a happy childhood growing up on a farm together with his twin brother, Herbert, and four older sisters, who probably spoiled their little brothers. In 1949, due to the war, my Dad’s family left Bessarabia and eventually settled in Schmoel, Northern Germany.

My Dad later moved to Wiesbaden in south-west Germany and would finish a three-year apprenticeship at a bank. In 1953 my Dad decided to follow his parents, two sisters and his brother, who had already emigrated to locations in Canada and the US. My Dad settled in Calgary, where he worked in the hospitality industry at the popular Petroleum Club. It was in 1963 that he married Marianne Braun, and the couple were blessed with two children: myself and David.

Several years later my Dad really wanted to move to British Columbia, where his father, sister Emma and brother Herbert had settled in Oliver and Osoyoos. So, in order to be able to find work in BC, he learned the trade of floor layer. In 1972, the Hasses moved to Kelowna. This was a great place to raise a family – including our cat Mushy!
Late '60's photo
Adults L - R: Herbert Hass, Johannes Hass & Emil Hass
Hass kids L- R : Karl, Ralph (sitting on bike), Werner (standing on bike) & David 
My Dad retired when he was 63. Some of his favorite activities included summer BBQ’s, throwing a frisbee and taking pictures. He loved going on long car trips. He visited his sister in New York state, driving there for the second time in a small Volkswagen. Emil loved playing cards with friends, grandchildren and neighbours. He stayed active in the great outdoors. My Dad’s grandchildren were a wonderful blessing to him as they grew up and Opa always took pride in watching Ashley’s volleyball, Justin’s baseball or Jordan’s basketball. 

In his later retirement years my Dad took up golfing as he was “too young” for that sport earlier on – when he preferred downhill skiing and playing tennis. However, after two hip replacement surgeries, he was not able to do those sports anymore. But my Dad still rode his bike! 

I look forward to celebrating my Dad's memory more with a Father's Day lunch with my three children at my Mom's. God bless all the Dads who have helped shape and mold us!