Ursula Maureen Gash
February 24, 1925 – July 20, 2019
Gash, Ursula Maureen
Peacefully on Saturday, July 20th, 2019 at the Niagara Health Centre, St. Catharines Site. Ursula, beloved wife of the late Ernie. Cherished mother of Dorothee, devoted Oma to Charlene (Michael) and Rob (Sarah) and loved great Oma to Tyler and Daniel.
Ursula Maureen Grosse (Oma to our family) was born on Feb 24, 1925 in Berlin, Germany where she grew up, went to school and enjoyed city life. She met Ernest Gash around age 16 and they were later married in 1943.
Oma was an educated chemist and loved her job and being newlywed very much but the war was making life in Germany very dangerous and they had to flee. With Ernie being away at war, Oma went to a little town called Damme by the Baltic Sea all while being pregnant with her soon to be daughter, Dorothee. Oma worked in the fields clearing crops and had humble straw roof accommodations. After the war in 1948 Oma, her parents and Dorothee moved to Holstein where they raised sheep, chickens, pigs and even cows. This was normal life to them now.
For this young family, the opportunity of fresh new start here in our beautiful country was on the horizon. On November 3, 1951 Oma, Ernie and Dorothee set sail for Canada thanks to the sponsorship of a family friend here in St. Catharines. Ernie worked hard in construction and Oma cleaned houses to make ends meet for their young family. One of Oma’s clients was a doctor who asked “what did you do in Germany” when Oma said she worked in a lab. The doctor suggested she apply for a job at the General Hospital’s laboratory and she did so. In short time, Oma worked hard and became the head of the blood bank.
Sadly Oma became sick with a neurological illness that put her in the hospital for a month. She eventually recovered but with a lingering tremor that stayed with her for the rest of her life. This condition resulted in the ending of her working in a lab which was very sad for her. As in life, this end lead to the beginning of a new path for Oma, figure skating.
As with everything Oma did, she devoted all she had to this new passion. She got involved in many skating organizations and held many titles as well: President of the Winter Club, Charter President of the Merritton Figure Skating Club, President of the Western Section, National Gold Dance Judge and National Director of the Canadian Figure Skating Association in which she was the first woman to hold this position! This passion allowed for some exciting travels around the world meeting new people and making friends she had for decades after her skating career was over.
In 1977, Ernie and Oma moved to Clearwater, Florida where Oma quickly found a local skating rink in the nearby mall. Upon visiting the rink she was recognized and was asked for help with their skating club which she accepted right away. Then Oma took to horses after making friends in her new area and loved riding almost daily. Oma didn’t just ride, she loved to jump too and then entered competitions. Her and Ernie also fanatically enjoyed growing Orchids in their back yard. After about 20 years in Clearwater they decided to come back to St. Catharines due to Ernie’s health conditions.
Oma and Ernie enjoyed being back at home with family and missed the season changes and our beautiful snowy winters. Ernie passed in 2001 and Oma remained in their home for another 14 years before deciding to leave the cooking to others and moved into Heatherwood. Oma was there for four years and was very fond of the staff and friends she made.
Oma was a strong willed, hard working, dog loving, horse loving, Orchid loving and family loving person. She will be missed by all her family and remembered for the diverse and full life she lived.
The family will receive friends at the Hulse & English Funeral Home & Chapel, 75 Church St., St. Catharines 905-684-6346 on Thursday July 25th from 12, noon. A Celebration of Ursula’s life will follow at 1pm in the chapel. If so desired, donations made in Ursula’s memory to the Alzheimer Society would be appreciated by her family. Heartfelt thanks to all at Heatherwood Retirement Residence for their compassion and care.
403 Ontario Street, St. Catharines, Ontario L2N 5L5
- Visitation Thursday, July 25, 2019
- Celebration of Ursula's Life Thursday, July 25, 2019
Ursula Maureen Gash
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July 26, 2019
Dear Dorothee, Art and I and the boys want to give you our condolances on your moms passing. They were always happy to cut the grass for your mom. I remember the talks when I went to collect the mail, and the using her front porch for the salads and desserts at our early Timber Lane picnics. She was a wonderful woman and I know you'll miss her. Love Bev
July 23, 2019
I am sorry to hear about your mom. Like Kathy, I have many memories of your mom. Most memories are around high school years, sitting in your living room, waiting for the usual drive to school. Your mom was always so friendly and kind. She was patient with all of us teenagers.
Lee (Plumer) Normet
July 22, 2019
So sorry to read of your mom's passing. She was a wonderful lady and I have many fond memories of her. She drove us to school nearly every day when we went to Grantham ! What a kind lady ! I'm not able to attend the service for your Mom on Thursday....sending huge hugs!