Helmut Wenz

It is with deep sadness that we announce the sudden passing of our beloved father, Helmut Wenz, on Sunday, April 24th, 2011. Helmut was born in Mainz-Rheine, Germany on Oct 21, 1933 and belonged to a large family of ten children. Times were hard, but the stories he told of his youth were not about the struggles, but about the hijinks of his boyhood, swimming in the Rheine River, stealing apples from the orchards. He would tell them and laugh until tears were flowing from his eyes, and you couldn’t help but to laugh along. He married in his early twenties and sailed across the ocean to Canada with his bride, Theresia and settled in Edmonton. They started up a Restaurant and ran it successfully for several years. After a while they decided they would like to try farming, so they moved to Athabasca and set up life there. During that time, Helmut and Theresa raised several foster children and were lucky enough to be able adopt 3 as their own. From there they moved back to Edmonton for a few years, and eventually settled in Vernon, B.C. simply because it was so beautiful. He and Theresia also spent several of their retirement years in southern California, but again were drawn home to Vernon. Throughout his working career Helmut was a talented carpenter and worked very hard in construction. He was proud that he had worked at both the Revelstoke and Mica dams and had many stories to tell about those places and had met and made many friends there. He is even a hero to one particular man whom he saved the life of, by preventing him from falling off the top of a tall construction crane in Edmonton many years ago.

After his wife Theresia passed away Helmut was fortunate to find love a second time. He remarried a lovely woman named Reine Bru, to whom he was completely devoted to for the last 14 years. She welcomed him into her life and her extended family and we are grateful for that. The latter part of Dad’s life was quieter, and he enjoyed spending his time with Reine, shopping, going to church, going to the Eagles Hall and occasionally to the Legion. Helmut had made many friends over his lifetime and he would always take the time to stop in and chat with friends whenever he was in the ‘neighbourhood’. He was a wonderful person, helpful to a fault and would offer to give you the shirt of his back if you needed it, and sometimes even if you didn’t!

Helmut was predeceased by his first wife Theresia, his dearest younger brother Horst and both his parents Wilhelm and Luisa. Helmut will be remembered and dearly missed by many, his wife Reine Bru, and her large extended family. His children, Cindy, Janet Enoch (Dave), Jeff (Nancy), Erica Griffin (Mike), Joanne Fraser (Robert), Gerald House, Brenda Lane. Opa will also be very much missed but not forgotten by his grandchildren, whom he loved so very much. Joshua, Mariah, Jennifer, Michael, Isabella, Sheri-Lee, Justin, Andy, and the multitude of grandchildren. Distance divided his family and he didn’t get to see all his grandkids, but he would have loved to. He is also survived by an extended family in Germany. Dad we will miss you and not forget what you taught us, how to be a hard working, deeply caring and genuine human being.

We know you’re dancing the waltz with Mom in Heaven. Love you.

Prayers will be recited at 11:00 a.m. at Saint James Catholic Church on Tuesday, May 3rd 2011, with Father Dale Normandeau celebrant, with a tea following at 12:30 p.m. at the Eagles Hall in Vernon, everyone is welcome. In lieu of flowers those wishing to make a memorial contribution in Helmut’s name may do so for the charity of their choice. Messages of condolence may be sent to


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