October 22, 1926 – November 26, 2019
Henry Kruckenberg was born on October 22, 1926 in Bessarabia to Klara Drews and Johannes Kruckenberg. Henry had three older brothers, Emil, Albert and Artur. Henry grew up on a farm in the village of Hirtenheim, which was settled by his grandfather. Some of Henry’s childhood memories include his first boat and train ride when he was travelling to Germany, living in a castle in Austria, and riding horses on the farm.
After the war, Henry was happy to be reunited with his parents and brothers in Holzhausen, Germany. It was here in 1949 where he met Ella. After a short time, Ella and her family moved to Canada and Henry thought he would never speak to her again. In the 1950s, Henry and his parents decided to move to the USA to find better opportunities. His brothers were married and living in Southern Germany, so they stayed behind. On January 29, 1952 Henry boarded a ship to Fargo, North Dakota where they had relatives. Henry recalls seeing the Statue of Liberty and the skyscrapers of Manhattan for the first time as they travelled down the Hudson River.
While living in North Dakota, Henry decided to start writing to Ella, who was living in Chilliwack. Henry and Ella met in person in 1952 when Ella was travelling to the US to visit family and friends, and they decided to get married. They were married on April 7, 1953 in Chilliwack, BC. After being separated for 6 months waiting for his Canadian Visa, the two were reunited, and purchased a farm on Strathcona Road. Henry’s parents briefly moved with them to Canada, but they decided to move back to Germany.
Monica was born in September 1954, when the family briefly lived in Williams Lake and Vanderhoof. In June 1956 Lottie was born. In 1961 Henry got his job with the School District and the family moved to Rosedale and built a home. In 1962 Norm was born. The family then moved back to Strathcona Road in 1969. When the children were grown up, Ella and Henry built a home on Swallow Crescent where they had a beautiful garden and Henry built a darkroom where he could pursue his interest in photography.
Henry enjoyed travelling. While his children were still at home, the family took many camping trips including to the Grand Canyon. Once they were retired, Henry and Ella went on many trips to warm places. Favorite locations include Hawaii, Palm Springs, Disneyland, and camping with Emil and Irma Lange. They have also been on the Holy Land cruise, and a cruise to Alaska with their extended family. Henry’s fondest trips were the two trips they took to Germany. The first trip was in 1959 where Henry, Ella, Monica, and Lottie took a boat from Montreal and spent two months visiting family. The second was a trip in 1972 with Ella and Norm.
Henry was very hardworking, trying to provide for his family. Henry was proud to have obtained his steam ticket to maintain the boilers, despite his limited English skills at the time. He retired in 1987 after a long career as a janitor with the school district. Henry’s interests included music, photography, and computers. Henry’s Christian faith was central to his life.
Henry and Ella were married for 65 years. He leaves behind three children, seven grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Henry passed away on November 26, 2019 surrounded by his loving family.
- Celebration of Life Monday, December 9, 2019
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