April 5, 1932 – October 7, 2020
It is with a void in our hearts and deep sadness that we announce the passing of our husband, father, grandpa and great grandpa, Jules Peterson, October 7th, 2020 at the age of 88 in Penticton, British Columba. After 10 weeks of being at home cared for by his dedicated wife and under the excellent care of the Interior Health Palliative Care Team, Jules succumbed to prostate cancer which he had been diagnosed with at the age of 72.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Fern. He is also survived by his 4 children, Liana, Darren, Bradley (Val) and Twyla (Scott). He was well loved by his grandchildren, Ross (Kathryn), Chelsea (Rob), Jordan (Erika), Tyler (Kaylea), Amanda (Matt), Johanna (Michael), Krystyna (Cameron), Alyssa (Spencer), Bailey, Devin, Zoe, Noah and Tate. He was also well loved by his great grandchildren, Lukas, Jakob, Olivia, Gabe, Lincoln, Liam, Henry, Natalie, Oaklynd, Sophia, Kara, Easton, Cooper, and another baby (Tyler and Kaylea) due in November.
He was fondly known to his German family as Udi and is survived by them including his only brother Erwin (Elke) and their three children Erich (Birta, son Michael), Rita (Peter) and Thomas. He was predeceased by his father and mother, Ernst and Johanna as well as daughter-in-law, Marie Peterson.
He is also remembered fondly by Tracy Loroff and Roxanne Peterson. In addition he is remembered by both Stan Elias (Connie) as well as Ivan Moore (Marna) who were both considered like sons to Jules.
Jules was born on April 5, 1932 in the small town of Dagebull in North Friesland at which time it was a part of West Germany. He grew up in Dagebull and at the age of 10 it was compulsory that he become a Hitler youth. He had many great memories of his childhood in Germany including a year in Denmark as an exchange student where he became fluent in Danish. Interestingly, in his final months this language was coming back to him.
Jules trained as an electrician in Germany and at the age of 19 came by himself to Canada in search of work. He celebrated his 20th birthday on the boat while being seasick for 9 days. Jules landed in Quebec City with only 40 German marks in his pocket (~$10 at the time!) and he didn’t speak any English.
He made his way by train to Winnipeg where he started some work by milking cows on a dairy farm being that his electrical training required upgrading to be used in Canada. He didn’t even know how to milk a cow but claimed he could do it in order to get the job! He quickly learned this skill on the job and excelled at it.
Jules then moved to Alberta to work on a dairy farm near Red Deer and eventually learned, without formal training, to read and write English, upgraded his electrical training and was then able to work in his trade as an electrician. Soon after, Jules found work in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, where he met the love of his life, Fern McWhirter. They married in Camrose in 1964. Four kids followed and were all raised in Wetaskiwin.
Jules was active in Wetaskiwin as part of the Lions Club, was on the Board of the United Church and later became a member of the Alliance Church. Jules even worked as a projectionist at the local cinema and drive-in. Some of the kids remember watching movies through the projectionist’s hole as a family.
Jules and Fern were also active square and round dancers. Fern remembers him as an excellent dancer, having learned to dance as a youth while in Germany. They also joined a bowling league and spent several seasons bowling, but according to both they never really improved.
In 1967 Jules started his Peterson Electric business and his red and white work vans were well known around the city. He retired from work in 2002.
Jules loved spending time with his family. As a family they camped a lot in a tent when the kids were young and moved their way up to a trailer and eventually to a motorhome. They spent several summers camping at Pigeon Lake and many friends of the family would remember the motorhome at the numerous kids’ sporting events and family gatherings.
As a family they also enjoyed cross-country skiing. Jules also loved his snowmobiling in the winter and sailing and motor boating in the summer. One of his great family memories was a bus trip with the Lions Club to Disneyland as well as numerous other family vacations.
In 2012 Jules and Fern retired to Penticton, close to where Fern had started school as a young girl and where Fern’s brother and his wife (Glen and Pat) were residing. Jules and Fern loved the warm and long summers in Penticton and were happy to give up the heavy snow shovelling and winter driving of Alberta.
They quickly felt at home in Penticton joining the Alliance church and being a part of the Ambassadors Seniors Bible Study. They were involved in several Penticton Seniors’ Drop-In Centre Society activities.
Jules looked forward to every summer in Penticton when so many of the family would come to vacation and enjoy the weather and the blossoming fruit. Throughout both retirement and their younger years, Jules and Fern did a lot of traveling including many trips back to Germany to see family, as well as trips to England, Scotland, France, Australia, Fiji, Hawaii and the United States.
No words can really express the loss and grief that we as a family are feeling even though we have been preparing for this for the last several months. Jules was greatly appreciated for so many things; his slight German accent, his love for food, his sense of humour and many stories of his youth including events he and his family experienced before, during and after WWII.
Jules had a strong Christian faith and he was quick to note how his faith had brought him through many hard times in his life. In his final days Jules saw two angels in his room and commented on how beautiful they were. As a family we rest knowing that he is now with the angels and being well taken care of. The void on earth for us, though, will never be filled.
Fern and family would like to recognize and thank all the family, friends and neighbours who made special effort to visit, check-in, and lend support over these last many months, especially during this unprecedented pandemic. Special thanks go to Glen and Pat who have provided unwavering support in many ways through this difficult time.
There will be a small memorial in Penticton with details to follow and potentially a small gathering also in Alberta in the future. If you wish to donate, it was by Jules’ request that it goes to the Penticton Hospital. Jules’ final resting place will eventually be in Camrose, Alberta, amongst other friends and family.
One final German ‘chusse’ to our husband, dad, grandpa and great grandpa. We love you eternally and you will never be forgotten.
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