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Walter Dehnel

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Walter Dehnel

April 19, 1936 - August 12, 2014


Walter was born in Berlin, Germany to parents Olga and Rudolph. His early childhood years were marked by serious traumas of war, yet he was fortunate to have been raised in a loving and caring family where the merits of humour were appreciated. There are many stories of adventures with his sisters Greti, Lilo, Rosi, and Ingrid, and brother Gunter near the family farm at Damsdorf and in Berlin. He became qualified as a Fine Instrument Mechanic, and developed his skills as a musician during his teenage years. He was, no doubt, the “life of the party”, at various dances his harmonica trio performed at. In 1957 Walter arrived in Canada with his dear friend Manfred under a Canadian government programme designed to bring immigrants with technical skills to Canada. They were both stunned by the vast expanse of wilderness as they travelled by rail across Canada from the port of Quebec to Nelson, BC, Canada. Their pre-arranged job was to work with a large group of immigrants removing the rails between Kaslo and New Denver. One wonders what the foreman thought when they showed up for their first day of work at the Kaslo rail yard in suits. Later he worked as an electrician at the Remac mining camp (near Nelway), where he fell in love with Louisa Irwin. They were married in Calgary (1962), but lived in the Bonnington/Corra Linn area near his work at West Kootenay Power (WKP). He often joked that he started as the assistant to the grass cutter at WKP, yet through his strong drive, and sharp intellect he finished his career as Manager of Generation. Many key friendships were spawned at WKP, and many laughs were shared. Walter and Louisa had four children: Morgan (1963), Jacqueline (1964), Walter “Kent” (1970), and Kurt (1972), and they feel blessed to have been raised and guided in the loving environment created by their parents. All of Louisa’s Irwin and Mitchell extended families were very important to Walter and he loved them all as his “Canadian Family”. During those years Walter played a key role in the development of Minor Soccer in Nelson where he coached for 16 years. He was at the forefront of the introduction of soccer to girls, and he took the bold step of placing his daughter, Jacquie, in the Legion 51 team he coached in 1974. By the early 1990’s Walter and Louisa separated, and after some time Walter married Anna Merlo. Together they finished the “Beach House” at Redfish Creek, and began to travel. Walter loved Anna and her extended family. About one decade ago Walter and Anna separated, and in time Walter met Kae West (helping her clear trees from her property after a storm), and they formed a wonderful loving companionship. Morgan, Jacquie, Kent, and Kurt and their families wish to express deep thanks to Kae and her family for the love, care, and concern they extended to Walter in his final years as he struggled with major depression. Walter, also known as “Opa” to his grandchildren, leaves behind: son Morgan and wife Patricia (nee Ross) and grand-daughters Alexandra and Grace; daughter Jacquie and husband Thor (Fairburn) and grand-daughter Tess, and grand-sons Bryce and Cole; son Kent and wife Christine (Humphries) and grand-daughter Chloé, and grand-sons Sacha and Émil; and son Kurt and wife Jennifer (nee Stefani) and grand-son Kieran, and grand-daughter Lucca; his sisters and their families in Germany Greti & Heinz Zilliges, Lilo Leissring, Rosi & Klaus Jendretzke, and Ingrid & Dieter Struck; and, brother in heart, Manfred Hansen & his wife Anne and their children Debbie and Robert and their families, Jack & Donna Irwin and family, and Dale Irwin and family, Wade and Jeff Irwin and their respective families, and many colleagues, friends, and extended family. Lastly, the family wishes to thank Dr. Kirsten, the Trail Psychiatric Unit, and the counsellors and psychologists who worked together to help our father. We know you all cared, and we know you explored a comprehensive and wide range of approaches to assist our father.





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Pages: 12

From: Thompson Funeral Service Ltd. Staff

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

From: Joerg Leissring
Relation: Family

For my Uncle Walter

Those we love remain with us
For love itself lives on,
And cherished memories never fade
Because a loved one’s gone.
Those we love can never be
More than a thought apart,
For as long as there is memory,
They’ll live on in the heart.

Thomas and Joerg

From: Louisa Dehnel
Relation: Wife,

On Pegasus, winged horse of love
I send my dreams to you
Even when you’re not with me
My soul stays tied to you.

From: Bob & Gwen Dodds
Relation: Married to my cousin

Enter your message here once approved by the moderator it will be posted to the website.

From: Merla Ridge
Relation: Family friend

To the Dehnel family, my thoughts and prayers are with you, this will be a very trying time for all of you. My memories of our wonderful times together will be with me always. Lots of love to the family.

From: Lavonne Ross
Relation: Friend - daughter of Merla & Harold

I have many wonderful memories of Walter at the center of sing-alongs, laughter and friendship evenings at our home when we were young. Our warm thoughts and prayers go to all the family.

From: Bettina Schmidt-Chaluck
Relation: family friend

Our thoughts and prayers to all of the Dehnel Families from Gary and Bettina Schmidt.

From: Jeff and Diana Ridge
Relation: Friend

We were heartbroken when we heard of Walters passing. We will always remember his wonderful sense of humour. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the family

From: Dilawar and Breshna
Relation: Worked for him - was a great friend

We are very saddened to hear of Walter’s passing. He was a very special man and will be missed greatly. Please accept our heartfelt condolences.

From: Richard Eggers
Relation: Friend

Dear Dehnel Family…There are no words to express how sorry we are to hear of your loss. Walter was a good friend. Arriving in Canada one day earlier, was so glad to meet Walter & Manfred the next day, which led to a great friendship. Lots of laughs & cherished memories from the early years. So sorry to have missed his funeral as I’m in the Hospital. Glad to have been his friend & will remember him fondly. May God help you with your grief. God bless you. Fondly, Richard & Brunhilde Eggers

Pages: 12

Service Schedule

  Funeral Service

Date & Time:
August 18, 2014
Beginning at 11:00am

Thompson Funeral Service
613 Ward Street
Nelson, BC Canada V1L 1T2

A reception will follow the service at 12:30 pm at the Adventure Hotel, formerly The New Grand banquet hall, 616 Vernon St, Nelson, BC.

613 Ward Street
Nelson, BC Canada V1L 1T2


Date & Time:
August 18, 2014
Beginning at 10:00am

Thompson Funeral Service Ltd
613 Ward Street
Nelson, BC Canada V1L1T2

613 Ward Street
Nelson, BC Canada V1L1T2

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The family has not designated a preferred charity at this time.

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Phone: (250) 352-5592

2870 Georama Rd, Nelson, BC V1L 6Y7
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