OBITUARY

Gudrun "Gudy" Shrimpton

December 16, 1929May 28, 2018
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Gudy passed away peacefully on May 28th in North Vancouver, B.C. She is lovingly remembered by her husband David, her sons Peter (Cindy), Paul (Karen) and Mark (Carolyn), and her nieces Susanne and Lilo, and her grandchildren Matthew, Deanna, Harrison, Samantha, Michaela, Kiara, Hamilton and Carsten, as well as extended family and friends. Gudy emigrated from Frankfurt, Germany to Vancouver, Canada where she met and married David in 1960. After raising her boys and sending them to university, she studied and proudly earned a degree from UBC. She continued to travel extensively with David and in her later years she enjoyed writing about her life and travels. She was known for her energy, enthusiasm, optimism and sense of humour. Funeral Mass will be held at Noon on June 15th, 2018 at St. Anthony's Catholic Church, 2347 Inglewood Avenue, West Vancouver, B.C. Officiant Father Gary Franken

Services

  • Funeral Mass for the late: Gudrun Shrimpton Friday, June 15, 2018
REMEMBERING

Gudrun "Gudy" Shrimpton

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debra Quercetti

June 13, 2018

Dearest David, Peter, Paul, Mark and families,

My condolences in the loss of your Wife and Mother and Friend.
Yes Friend, She was definitely the matriarch to "her boys", but she welcomed all of us that were friends into the family with a loving smile and open arms. My favourite memories of Gudy, was when we were on our way in the early morning hours for a day at whistler and she had packed a lunch that was nourishing and literally heavy. Heavy with the love she provided in all her homemade baking and sandwiches. We used to hang the back pack in the trees and I smiled just knowing that she was up early or late and making sure that one of her sons - and their friends.... had plenty of nourishment for the exerting day on the slopes. She was with us in spirit then as she is now. Please take comfort in knowing that the love passes the veil between life and death and know that she is smiling on how well you learnt her gifts of love and sharing and zest for life.

Much Love
Debi Q

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Biography

Eulogy of Gundrun Gudy Shrimpton Tuesday, June 15, 2018


Thank you all for coming here to honour and celebrate the life of our Mum, Oma, Gudy. Her loving husband of almost 6 decades, David, we three sons and our extended families, are indeed very grateful.

For the many of you who have had the privilege of getting to know Gudy well, you will appreciate how truly difficult my task is to restrict this eulogy to the suggested 5 minutes!

So, to provide structure and to keep me on track, I have chosen 6 words for which we remember and celebrate Gudy. Each word starts with the letter which corresponds with the respective letters of her legal name “Gudrun” [“Goodrune”] (for heaven’s sake, not “Gud-Run”, which by the way is the reason she shortened it to “Gudy” with her first English-speaking employer soon after World War II). Soto, here goes:

G is for Gregarious, and all the associated attributes of one who loved to share her life stories and her opinions so freely. She relished holding court at family luncheons at her beloved Hollyburn Country Club, in the classroom discussions at Capilano and UBC, on the many cruises she and David enjoyed in the last quarter century, and at the semi-annual Seniors Groups’ sojourns at the Fairmont Chateau in Whistler in the last decade. Her eight grandchildren admired her for her vivaciousness and curiosity, yes, but perhaps not quite as much when she was grilling them on European history or literature!

U is for Unique, most visibly by her fashion sense (you will note the almost ubiquitous presence of a variety of hats in the photos downstairs). But it was her sense of adventure and purpose which was really unique. In 1970, with 3 boys under 10, she convinced David that we all needed to experience German culture more directly and to improve our command of her mother tongue. So she re-located us from placid West Vancouver right smack into the middle of the Cold War in Frankfurt. While we were only there for 9 months, the move back to West Van lasted a mere year. She thought her boys would benefit from the vaunted British educational system (think Oxford & Cambridge), though of course we were still all in the elementary school system! Gudy therefore packed us all up again, this time for London, England. Unfortunately, the early 1970’s was a time of social & economic upheaval in Britain, so she again convinced David that perhaps West Vancouver was indeed best, and we settled back here permanently in 1975. Of significant note is that during this entire time she denied us the joys of nannies, cooks and babysitters, taking on all those roles on her own, with gusto and flair!

D is for Driven.... Gudy grew up during a terrible time. Imagine her early childhood in the 1930’s pre-war Nazi Germany, and then those long years of war for her between the ages of 10 and 16. She was very fortunate to be evacuated from Frankfurt to her aunt’s farm in the country where she worked the fields. By the end of the war, Germany was devastated. She rode her bicycle alone for 150 kms to Frankfurt (bypassing military checkpoints by cycling through forests), to see that very little was left of her beloved city of birth after the destruction from the British aerial bombardment.

Gudy was therefore driven to learn English, mostly on her own, when she realized that fluency in that language would be the only way to get ahead due to the Allied occupation. After 6 months with the American military, she switched to another former adversary at the busy Frankfurt airport, and even directed aircraft on the landing strip for British European Airways during the first Berlin Blockade. At her next job, she quickly rose from “tea girl” to become Executive Assistant to the British Centre’s Director.

But her vision was grander. She struck out on her own in 1954 for distant Canada, ignoring the fervent pleas of her own parents to stay (the phonetic equivalent of the word Canada in German is “No one there”!). Arriving alone in Vancouver 3 years later, leaving her Montreal and Toronto friends behind, she successfully turned temporary secretarial assignments into a permanent job at a downtown law firm.

In Vancouver she met a quiet, polite young lawyer from England, and despite David being from former enemy territory, they fell in love. It was on their first date that they discovered that they had the same birth date, exactly one year apart. But Gudy had already planned to move to a much better paying job in Los Angeles. David had to bus all the way there in order to propose to her (proving that he could, perhaps, match her “Drive”!).

However, there was a problem at the Canadian border upon her return, when she was denied entry. In tears, she begged the Customs Officer to allow her into the country so she could get married. To prove it, she opened her trunk to reveal her wedding gown. There was no stopping this bride-to-be, so Gudy was permitted back into Canada where she married David at Vancouver’s Holy Rosary Cathedral on New Year’s Eve, 1960. The supervising priest was none other than a very young Father Peter Mallon, who later served as priest here at St. Anthony’s for many years before being elevated to Archbishop. (His photograph with my parents at their wedding is on the slide show downstairs, which by the way is also on the online obituary.)

R is for Righteous, as in virtuous, ethical, upright, decent. Her devotion to family, friends and her church was exceptional. She ruled over her young family with a wooden spoon (ok, ok, I said it....) and then as her boys sprouted, she forced us to sit down so we could be at eye-level. But she then remained standing, delivering her warnings and admonitions with wagging forefinger for us to stay on the right path, whether in school or in relationships. While I don’t wish to diminish our father’s role, she should take all the credit in getting the family out to Sunday Mass every single week and to Friday night church youth group! Of course, all her actions and words were based in love, and there are many friends of mine here who will remember her generosity and inquisitiveness when they came over to visit.

U is for Uncompromising, as in her relentless efforts to provide her sons with the best possible education and then to show them that she too could match us. My parents made considerable financial and personal sacrifices to enable their sons to attend St. George’s School. The 5 university degrees we garnered amongst ourselves, however, weren’t enough for her. About 30 years ago, at a family dinner at her home, we were all very surprised indeed by her declaration that she too would go get a degree from the University of British Columbia. Ten years afterwards, when Gudy was 67 years old, we all wore huge goofy grins and were wiping away tears of joy and admiration, as she walked onto the stage at the Chan Centre to accept her first class UBC Bachelor’s Degree.

N is for her Nostalgia and also for her Non-fictional skills, exemplified in her 4 self-published autobiographical books she painstakingly and lovingly wrote in the last few years of her long life (under her birth name of HONIG, which incidentally is German for “honey”). A few copies of the books are available downstairs, or you can order them on Amazon.com.

“My Journey to the New World” is the first installment of her autobiography wherein she wrote of her childhood and youth in war-time and post-war Germany, and her travel to Canada in the 1950’s.

“Getting to know you, getting to know all about you?” is the second installment of her autobiography, in which she recounted how she learned more about David, his family and his British origins (David also contributed).

“Incan Empires Cruise” is her personal commentary and observations of her and David’s month long cruise from San Diego to Lima, Peru in 2013.

“Life in Short Stories” is a collection of her personal reflections on her later life in West Vancouver

AND FINALLY, to repeat her frequent refrain in her later years, as she lay in her reclining chair at their Pink Palace penthouse rental on the West Vancouver waterfront, while gazing happily over English Bay:

“ALLELUIA, ALLELUIA, ALLELUIA. GLORY BE TO GOD!”
(AND NOW WE CAN ALL SAY “AMEN” TO THAT....)