20 September, 1931 – 7 April, 2021
“Between every two pines there is a doorway to a new world”. John Muir
In the early morning of April 7, 2021 our father Alfred Guggi walked, no ran, through that doorway and on to a new adventure.
Alfred was born September 20, 1931 in Maria Lankowitz, Austria. Growing up in the ravages of World War 2 was tough and at the early age of 14 he left home to embark on a millwright apprenticeship in the city of Graz.
On October 7, 1951 as part of the World War 2 displaced persons program in Europe, he embarked on the M.S Anna Salen to start a new life in Canada. As fate would have it he met his future bride to be, Hilde Muller (deceased 2013), on that voyage and they married and settled in Victoria, British Columbia where he worked as a mechanic for BC Ferries. With the first addition of the family pending, Alfred and Hilde moved to St. Catharines, Ont. to be closer to family who had settled there. He was a long-serving millwright at GM Canada.
Alfred was a quiet and stoic man. There were however times when a different persona would emerge, most notably as author and narrator of the Flying Mop Ghost stories. At family gatherings he would often have his children and the cousins circle around and listen with rapt attention to how the ghostly world worked. FRIGHTENED they would shriek with surprise when the Mop would emerge in midair dangling from the stairwell, only to beg for more stories before the night’s end.
Alfred loved the colour green. His only car ever, "George" was green. His clothes were green. His hats were green and it made sense because he was a lover of nature, the trees, the mountains and the sing song chirps of the birds.
In his spare time he restored century homes on Queen Street and he became known as the King of Queen. His favourite project however was the restoration of his ancestral Austrian farm home with his beloved nephew Wolferl. That restoration took place over several years with the intent that he move back to his beloved Austria. Sadly that was not to be.
Alfred leaves behind his three girls: Ros (Ken), Anita (Deane) and Heidemarie (Simon); his grandchildren Daniel, Cameron, Gaelan and Katie; his step grandchildren Thomas and Malcolm and many nieces and nephews both in Canada and Austria. He was predeceased by eight siblings and leaves behind a sister, Juliana and a brother, Eduard in Austria and a brother, Adolf in Sweden.
The family is grateful for the care and compassion Alfred received during his years at Henley House.
Cremation has taken place and private memorials will happen in both Canada and Austria when Covid leaves us and we can travel again. We ask that those who wish to honour Alfred’s life plant a tree in his memory.
Fly free Dad!
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
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23 April 2021
Sending heartfelt condolences to you at this time. Keep close to your memories to help you through.
12 April 2021
I met Alfred nearly two decades ago. I had been dating his daughter, Heidemarie for some time and one day I was summoned for a Slivovitz test. For those unfamiliar with this delightful beverage, Slivovitz is an Austrian spirit, a traditional European drink. It no doubt originated from a time when the only medicine available to folk was that of the distilled kind. It was also used for rituals of male bonding, the completion of rites of passage and the like. So, there I was, poised at the dining table of 111 Queen Street. Then out it came. There was a formal solemnity to the occasion and Alfred played the part like he was the high priest. (he did it with a twinkle in his eye) The bottle looked inviting and I was almost looking forward to the shot. Alfred poured like it was a holy communion (again playing it up with mischievous solemnity) We composed ourselves and hoisted the drinks. Comrade-in-arms stares followed. A dramatic pause. Alfred toasted to my good health and down went the drink. In one go, mind. Alfred put the empty glass down and gave me a wide grin. I did my best to keep a poker face as the hooch coursed down my throat like molten lead. My diaphragm convulsed and my toes curled. How I kept my composure is beyond me. 'Another?' Alfred intoned, his grin a tad wider than before. 'I'll wait a bit, if you don't mind,' I managed to reply. We sat for a spell, having been given room by the women for our male liturgy. Another followed... Then another. .. Suffice it to say, I passed the Slivovitz test. Barely. Kind of. If I didn't Alfred was too much of a gentleman to say so. Anyway, the bottle was retired to its place of honor in the glass cabinet and the ceremony was complete. I will remember Alfred as a quiet man who had an alluring smile, charm and a touch of the trickster. He was stoic, resourceful and worked hard for his family. Safe Journey Old Feller.
11 April 2021
Your dad was a kind, stoic man who loved his children - and the kids of Queen Street. He always seemed to be "busy". I once asked him what he was "doing all the time". His reply was what I thought was totally him - he said, "I am busy, making sure my family have a place to live and turning these homes into what they should always look like"!
We were always welcome to be in the Guggi home - always - I miss those days!
I hope the memories that your dad gifted you with offer you comfort in your loss.
11 April 2021
Remembering Uncle Alfred and those scary stories and of course the mop! Thinking of you all at this sad time!
10 April 2021
I remember, he would ask that we knock on the doors of his house before entering a room, to warn the ghosts, that we were coming. How we would love Opa’s tours of his haunted house. So many great memories, hidden treasures and Austrian treats!
I will always cherish the time we had together! Rest in peace Opa.
10 April 2021
What a beautiful tribute to your father.
Your father was a hard working man and accomplished so much in his lifetime.
I’m proud that I got to know him over the years.
These last years were not easy for him or your family.
May he Rest In Peace
Sending love to you all 💙