Herbert Ott

Sep 26, 1932 – Feb 28, 2018
Herbert was the eldest of 7 children, born in 1932 in the small farming village of Schwackendorf in northern Germany. As a boy, he was an avid reader, immersing himself in the stories of explorers in far off lands which instilled a sense of adventure in him.

At age 18, after 3 years of apprenticeship, he received his certification as a gardener. Rather than return home to the family farm, he traveled to Switzerland and worked throughout the country in his chosen profession.

He enjoyed chess and rapidly rose through the rankings, becoming an alternate on the Swiss national team. After a few years, wanderlust hit him again, and – literally on the flip of a coin, decided his future lay in Canada. After arriving, he found various kinds of employment, ultimately working as a lumberjack in the northern Ontario town of Kapuskasing. During this time, he had been maintaining a long-distance pen-pal relationship with a young German lady named Gerda Koch. In 1958, he returned home to finally meet Gerda – and after a whirlwind romance, married her and returned to Kapuskasing, where they raised two children as he logged for the next 20 years.

During a driving holiday to BC, they travelled through the Okanagan region and became smitten with the beauty and climate of the area. In 1978, he and Gerda left Ontario and relocated to Coldstream. He worked as a landscape gardener and created the Organic Gardens farm on Buchanan Road with its iconic pine trees, where the family maintained a strawberry farm and small apple orchard. He enjoyed meeting and talking to customers and reading journals about classic apple varieties.

In his later years, Herb loved to sit on the deck on sunny afternoons and look at the beautiful scenery of the Coldstream Valley and at the rows of apple trees he had created. He was well liked by neighbours and friends – regaling them with many stories of his youth over a glass of wine. He was an active member of the German Club in Kelowna and was a fixture at their Wednesday night skat card games.

Herbert took his last breath in the peace and comfort of his own bed on February 28th, with his wife of 59 years beside him. He was predeceased by three brothers and a sister in Germany. He is survived by his wife Gerda and two children, son Werner (Kathleen) now residing in Coldstream, daughter Janet of New Denver, two grand-daughters, Erika and Megan, both in London, England, and sister-in-law Antje of Vernon, and family friend Theo. He is also survived by siblings Gunther, Margaret and other relatives in Germany.

Cremation has already taken place and as per Herbert’s wishes, no services will take place. If desired, a donation can be made in his name to the Alzheimer’s Society of British Columbia.

You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence at the family’s on-line obituary @ www.MyAlternatives.ca

Alternatives Funeral Home

Additional Photo(s):


Your condolences will be approved within one business day. You will need a valid Facebook account. Please email us if you have any questions.