March 1, 1937 to March 17, 2020
A Celebration of Life will be planned for a later date.
Charlotte Hirch went to be with her Lord and Saviour on March 17, 2020 at the age of 83 years.
Charlotte is survived by: Linda (Earl) Binder, Dorothy (Victor) Lethbridge, Rolf Hirch (Vicki), Larry (Rachelle) Hirch and Sheila Hirch (Matthias), as well as grandchildren; Jessica (Justin) Mohan, Karla (Derek) Wolbeck, Ellie Hirch (Brett Kanuka), Conor Hirch, Liam Hirch, Maddie Hirch, Telissa Lethbridge, great grandsons; Bennett and Koen Wolbeck; brother Norbert Hirschkorn, and numerous nieces and nephews. Charlotte was predeceased by her grandson Brett Binder, sister Isoldi Toly and her husband of 62 years, Reinhold.
Charlotte was born March 1, 1937 in Tarutino, Bessarabia - Romania, which is modern day Moldova. Her German ancestors farmed in this area for over 125 years having arrived in the early 1800s as a result of Catherine the Great’s resettling initiative with farmers of German descent.
Charlotte’s grandfather was the last mayor of Tarutino, a city of 10,000. It was during the start of WWII that all occupants were evacuated, and her family was sent to a refugee camp in Bavaria, Germany. From there they were required to go to Poland where her father managed a series of farms. As the war was ending, Charlotte’s parents, Alfred and Lily Hirschkorn and two siblings, Isolde (Toly) and Norbert, fled for a second time. This journey brought them to Germany as war refugees. Their wagon was one of a small percentage that survived the dangerous trek. In Germany they lived in barracks in Neu Wulmstorf, east of Hamburg, where her father worked on the docks and looked for any opportunity to immigrate to his country of choice, Canada. This chance came with the help of the Canadian Red Cross in 1953.
Charlotte sailed with her family aboard the Beaverbrae to St. John, New Brunswick. The journey continued by train to Lethbridge, Alberta. It was there that her family fulfilled their two-year work contract by hoeing sugar beets for a local farmer and in this way paid back the resettlement program. Their home was a two-room converted wooden grain bin that they managed to keep warm in the winter.
Upon arrival, 16 years old Charlotte did not speak English but soon learned. Other displaced Germans, with similar back grounds, arrived in those years and the young people met each other at dances and at church and in this way, many found their life partners. This included Charlotte who met Reinhold in 1955. They fell in love and were soon married.
In 1957, during a Rolling Hills visit with Charlotte’s parents, they became aware of a half section of land that the newlyweds decided to purchase from pioneer John Rodenbour. In doing so, Charlotte and Reinhold fulfilled their dream of farming their own land.
The young couple arrived in Rolling Hills mid-November, with one-year old Linda and newborn Dorothy. Their move happened during a snowstorm and it was the year when many snow-covered crops were still in the fields. It was a sign of the tenacity that it took to farm in the years to come. Reinhold and Charlotte always withstood the tribulations and successes in farming and raising a family. As Rolf and then Larry arrived, a new house was built in 1962 and then the last child, Sheila, was born.
Charlotte was always a competitive and very good athlete. She enjoyed curling, her successful running wins at the Summer Games, clogging as part of the Clicky Chicks dancers, and gardening. She especially enjoyed growing her varieties of prairie-hardy fruit and shelter belt trees. Charlotte could tell you where every tree came from and many hours were spent pulling an irrigation hose around the yard, garden and her orchard.
Charlotte loved music and had her own style of dancing to her favourites, Elvis and Tom Jones, as her children delightedly watched in awe of their mother’s moves. In her mid-forties her taste for music turned to a contemporary Christian music style and she loved to dance before the Lord with her hands up in praise. She attended the Faith Lutheran Church, the Rolling Hills Church of God, and she enjoyed going to The Well Church in Brooks. She was deeply spiritual and anyone who knew her soon realized that her passion as a Christian was a hope that she shared with many. Charlotte generously supported numerous ministries that she believed in, especially those that furthered the spreading of the gospel. She displayed her Christianity in that she was quick to forgive and always saw the best in everyone.
As a mother, Charlotte was a real cheerleader for her children as they participated in the various clubs and events such as Pony Club, 4-H Beef, school sports, the 21-Mile Marathon, canal swimming, stock car racing, curling and of course, farming.
Many meals were shared with family and friends at the farmhouse and in the harvest fields. While raising their family, Charlotte made life fun while still managing everyone’s schedules wisely. Charlotte was very practical in her approach to farming. She was often the one to bring up the option of purchasing more farmland.
Charlotte loved to discover something new and enthusiastically share it with others. This could have been a new herb, tea, a new variety of flax, scarves, or the latest gadget like the cranking flashlights that she generously gifted to those around her.
One of Charlotte’s greatest joys was spending time with the family. She especially loved being with her grandchildren, “the Kindies”, and always looked forward to their many visits and family time. Her heart was big as she generously included and welcomed new children to her role as “Oma”.
Charlotte / Mom / Oma / Gross Oma / Tanta Lotte, was thankful for her life in Canada, which was a peaceful refuge from her early years of experiencing so much war in the three European countries that she had lived in. She was loved by many and her generosity, wisdom and kindness will be greatly missed.
Some of Charlotte’s favorite Bible verses include the following.
Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.
Proverbs 3:5 & 6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and He will make (direct) your paths straight.
Phil 4:6 & 7 Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace of God, which passes (transcends) all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Some of Charlotte’s recently enjoyed music included the following.
The Goodness of God https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-f4MUUMWMV4&list=RDaJFhHf-NjRg&index=7
Lob aus unserm Mund (Hallelujah Here Below) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBwIMbXuDto
Raise a Hallelujah https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJFhHf-NjRg&list=RDaJFhHf-NjRg&start_radio=1&t=0
Way Maker https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfdOP8139i4&list=RDaJFhHf-NjRg&index=5
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Charlotte Hirch, please visit our floral store.