Erika Eveline Spiller
January 16, 1935 – June 17, 2018
It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Erika Eveline Spiller (nie Schoelermann) on June 17, 2018. She is survived by her daughter, Ingrid Buday of Toronto, and her two grandchildren, Stephanie Michaud (Dan) of Denver, Colorado and Richard Thomas Spiller of Edmonton, Alberta. Erika was predeceased by her husband, Richard Frank Spiller in 1990 and by her son, Richard Alan Robert Spiller (Linda) in 2014.
Erika was born in Berlin, Germany. At the age of 19, Erika left Berlin in 1954 and immigrated to Canada. She initially worked as a nanny and housekeeper in Montreal, and soon found the weather too cold and moved to Vancouver with several close friends. In 1955, while out on a Sunday bus tour, they stopped at a small diner for lunch to find only one waitress available to serve 40 passengers. It was at that time that she (or an afternoon walk on the docks in Vancouver,) was observed by Richard Spiller (Dick) who admired Erika’s “take charge” personality and kindness in helping the waitress serve all the customers in the café. Dick was a recent German immigrant who had been visiting the Vancouver area from the Northwest territories where he had been working in the mines. It was love at first sight and they shared 34 years together raising their two children, Richard and Ingrid.
Erika and Dick worked extremely hard together in building their family home and creating a life together. They found great joy in raising their two children and in creating a beautiful garden home on Granville Avenue, in Richmond, B.C. There they enjoyed their lovely garden and small blueberry orchard and met many life-long friends in the neighbourhood and enjoyed meeting others while harvesting blueberries in the summer months. You would always find Erika and Dick sitting on their patio at 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon having their kaffee and kuchen in the garden. This was their special time in the garden when they were both at peace.
Erika loved to travel and she and Dick travelled extensively to many distant lands. Some of their favourite places were Hawaii, Mexico, Alaska, South America, Central America, Europe and even Russia. Erika was a very social person and enjoyed meeting others outside the home. She worked for over 30 years part time with Sears Canada and there she had made another circle of friends known as the “Stitch and Bitch”group. This circle of women provided many years of friendship and support as they enjoyed talking about their lives knitting, crocheting and visiting together.
After Dick’s passing, Erika moved to her own home in Boundary park in South Surrey. There she enjoyed her smaller garden and met many new friends in her neighbourhood. Erika enjoyed living there for seventeen years and it was during those years when she volunteered in the community by driving patients to medical appointments downtown, helped usher guests to the local theatre and weekly helped at the blood donor clinic for the Canadian Red Cross.
Erika loved the sunshine and White Rock was one of her favourite places to walk. She moved to the area to enjoy the close proximity of friends and to be walking distance to movie theatres, restaurants and shopping. After being there for three years, Erika faced another health challenge at the same time of her son’s illness. She recovered fully from her chemotherapy, but never felt she was 100%. A recent stroke in July 2017 impacted her independent living but she continued to enjoy living in the south Surrey area. Erika was very appreciative of her kind neighbours, friends and family support who helped her maintain a quality of life in comfort and at peace.
May the sun always shine on our Rainbow Omi!
- Celebration of Life Friday, June 29, 2018
Erika Eveline Spiller
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July 7, 2018
I was very sad to read of Erika's passing. We worked together at Expo for many month and had a great time together with other new made friends. We also met Richard and I went to their home in Richmond a few times and even received some of their treasured plants. We also had a gang over at our home and again had a reunion at the little castle where Jimmy Pattison joined us. All in all good memories. I think I met you, Ingrid on one of my visits.
My sincere condolences to the family.
Doris and Bill Mulder.