← View All Tributes

Melitta Brewster

Tribute Notifications

Click below if you would like to be notified when a new tribute is posted.

Sign Up

← View All Tributes

Melitta Ida Brewster (Taube)

March 25, 1908 - January 19, 2015


Melitta Taube was born, the seventh of nine children, in the beautiful pastoral Silesian area of Germany just north of the RiesenGebirge Mountains on the Czechoslovakian border (now Poland).  Her father was a farmer and veterinarian.   She grew up in the shadow of a  900 year old  monastery and cathedral complex  at Grizow, now a UN World Heritage site,  built by the same artisans that created the great cathedrals of Prague and Vienna.  In a community where social, sacred and natural worlds were totally integrated, she developed a joyous,open-hearted Catholicism and deep appreciation of art, music and dancing.   She had a great talent for remembering lengthy poems and songs.

          At sixteen Melitta decided that she did not want to work in the noisy linen mills nearby as her sisters did, but went to Berlin to work as a housemaid.  There was a deep depression at the time and unemployed homeless men were everywhere.  Gangs of Nazi Brownshirts  had begun their intimidation attacks.    When Melitta heard about Canada, she saw a way out and a hopeful future. 

            In October of 1927 at the age of nineteen, she sailed from Bremen, landed in Quebec City,  and arrived on a small farm  in northern Alberta.  The winter was very cold and long, and the work hard for a petite girl, so in the spring she moved to Edmonton where she lived and worked in the CPR’s MacDonald Hotel.   Her room was steam-heated and high up under the copper roof looking out over  the city.  She  “felt like a princess”. The skating rink below fascinated her.  She learned to skate and took English language classes in her spare time.

            When she had earned her first block of holidays, she took the train to Vancouver.  She loved it so much she never went back to Edmonton.  Curious and adventurous, she changed jobs a number of times, spending a couple of years in Portland, Oregon and in Trail, B.C., where she brought her younger brother, Ernest, to his first job in Canada.

 Melitta married Norman Brewster in Vancouver in 1937.   In 1940 Norman got his first steady job as  a CPR telegraph-operator in Glacier (Rogers Pass) six-days-a-week.  Their three children were born in the next four years, learning to ski almost as soon as they could walk.  During the post-war years Melitta sent many large packages of food and clothing to her surviving relatives in Germany who were refugees.    In 1948 the family  moved to Invermere and two years later to South Slocan.

            In the summer of 1950, Melitta brought the children to South Slocan to join her husband, who was to be the CPR agent there for the next twenty-five years.  Melitta and Norman were both very active in community affairs there.    Norman helped organize the creation and maintainance of the water system and served as school-trustee for many years.  They both gave special support to many newly-arrived immigrant families.   Melitta  was an active member of the Women’s Institute, the congregation of  the Sacred Heart Church, and the Catholic Women’s League.  Providing flowers for the church was one of her many labours of love.

Melitta gradually turned the rocky and trash-filled area surrounding their house near the CPR station in South Slocan into a lovely park-like garden.  Many passers-by would take a detour to spend a few refreshing minutes relaxing there, getting a cool drink or a handful of raspberries, while admiring the dazzling array of blooms and enjoying the heady scent of lilacs or phlox while chatting with Melitta. 

 She read voraciously and particularly enjoyed Canadian business-news, politics, geography and history.  During election times Melitta made it her mission to encourage people who had never done so, to register and go to the polls to vote.

            After the children had graduated from Mt. Sentinel High School and left home, Norman and Melitta began to make regular holiday trips to the Napa Valley area of California.  Norman continued to serve on many local committees and boards  including the RDCK.  Melitta continued to expand her garden and her horticultural skills, taking several courses and acquiring rare plants from the professional gardener at the Blaylock Estate. 

Norman retired in 1974 and the couple began spending more time with daughter Ann in White Rock. In 1980 they moved to White Rock where they lived for the next 25 years.  During that time,  she made two trips to Germany and a trip to Hawaii with Ann, and joined a church group for a memorable lengthy pilgrimage to churches and cathedrals in eastern Canada.   Melitta continued gardening until she was 90 years old. 

            Norman died in White Rock in April 2003.   By  2004 Melitta  had undergone  a series of eye operations and lost the sight of her left eye.   Her recent memories were fading, but her memories of her years in the Kootenays remained strong, so her family brought her back to Nelson.   She spent two years in Mountains Lakes and seven years in Jubilee Manor, where she passed away peacefully on January 19, 2015  at the age of 106.

              A more devoted wife, mother and grandmother will never be found.  Her wonderfully cheerful and loving spirit and amazing energy will be carried forever in the hearts of all her family, friends, and those who were close to her in Jubilee Manor in recent years.

            Melitta is survived by her three children: Ann Irving, Stephen, and Michael (Joan Harvey): five grand-children; Michael’s daughters, Monica and Margaux,  and Stephen’s children, Michael, David (Mary), and Lara; nephew Ernest Taube (Doreen)  of Calgary and niece Bridget Nairn (Robert) of Coquitlam, who Melitta brought to Canada at age 19, and many nieces and nephews still in Germany.





Send a condolence, light a candle and/or share a memory, click "Send Condolence". Once your message has been approved by the moderator it will be posted to the website.

From: Thompson Funeral Service Ltd. Staff

Thompson Funeral Service Ltd. Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Merla Ridge
Relation: Friend

My family and I would like to give you our deepest condolences, I know you are happy that she is in a much better place now and we all feel for you. I enjoyed saying Hi to her every day I was up at Jubilee with my husband. Rest in peace Melitta.
From the Ridge family.

From: John Stonoski
Relation: Neighbour from bygone years

A life well lived. I have many fond memories of Mrs Brewster and family. Thanks for being a good neighbour and part of my youth. RIP Melitta.

From: Alison Ring
Relation: Friend

Sincere sympathy to her descendants and many happy memories of your mother from Alison, Kirsten and family and Rick and family. Many happy hours in her garden in South Slocan and with Norman and her in our home.

Service Schedule

  Funeral Service

Date & Time:
January 24, 2015
Beginning at 10:00am

Cathedral of Mary Immaculate
813 Ward Street
Nelson, BC Canada V1L 1T3

Burial at Nelson Memorial Park Cemetery will follow the Funeral Mass with Father Conrado as celebrant.

813 Ward Street
Nelson, BC Canada V1L 1T3

Memorial Gifts

Nelson Jubilee Manor
500 Beasley West
Nelson, British Columbia

Thank You Notice

Send Flowers

default-floralFloral Tributes may be ordered directly through our supplier. Please have the name of the deceased, the funeral date, the address and phone number of the delivery location for handy reference:

621B Herridge Lane, Nelson, BC V1L 7B3
Phone: (250) 352-5592

2870 Georama Rd, Nelson, BC V1L 6Y7
Phone: (250) 352-3468 / Toll Free: 1(800) 712-6797

Flowers & Yoga Studio
513 A  Front Street, Nelson, BC V1L 4B4
(250) 505-5222


Donate In Memory

Send Condolence - For Melitta Brewster

Use the form below to send a Condolence, light a memorial candle and/or share a personal memory.

Your email address will not be published.

Please upload a small jpg file (Max file size is 1MB)

← View All Tributes

Home | FAQs | Obituaries | Send Condolence | Services | Resources | What Do I Do | Preplan | Contact

© Thompson Funeral Services Ltd. | Site Map | Admin Login