Heinz was born January 9, 1927, the oldest of 3 children and passed away in the Fort Saskatchewan Hospital, October 17, 2017 at the age of 90. Heinz spoke German, Russian (learned in prison camp) Polish, Ukrainian, and English (learned from the owners of Pine Bungalows in Jasper Alberta) quite fluently with little formal training. His preferred language throughout his life, was German.
Heinz grew up in Unterfelde, Germany (now Poland). In 1944 Heinz was captured by the Russian army while fleeing their advance with his mother by horse and buggy. The rest of his family had gone ahead by train. He was sent to a Russian prison camp and put to work in an Iron Ore mine. In October, 1949 Heinz, one of only 47 survivors of the camp, was returned to East Germany. He found his family in a small town near Leipsig, Germany where they had relocated in 1945. Six months later, not liking it there, he attempted to sneak across the border to West Germany but was captured by a Russian guard. When the guard learned conditions in his home town, where the guard’s family still was, were improving he was so happy he pointed west and let Heinz go, rather than turning him in.
He worked in the Rhineland as a farmhand then in Dusseldorf as a laborer and machinist until 1954 when he chose Canada over Australia to immigrate to. He went immediately from Quebec to Edmonton by train and was picked up by the owners of Pine Bungalows and put to work.
In 1955 he moved to Edson where he helped build houses, then part time at CN Rail and the City of Edson. In 1958 he got on full time at CN Rail and stayed until 1961, when the Edson Yard was closed down. To stay with CN he was forced to move to Edmonton in 1961.
He then moved to Kamloops in 1982 for the weather and retired from CN in 1983. He had built his own house in Kamloops and moved there with the love of his life Maria. He had known Maria since 1955 in Edson but both had been married to others at that time. They met again in Edmonton and married in September 1979. In Kamloops Heinz pursued his passion of gardening while Maria ran the household. They were also both avid target shooters. Maria passed in 2013 and in 2015 Heinz moved to Fort Saskatchewan to live with his daughter Maggi and son-in-law Henry in order to be closer to his remaining family around Edmonton.
It is with great sadness the family of Heinz Gerhardt Voigt announces his peaceful passing on Tuesday October 17, 2017, at the age of 90 years.gt
He is lovingly remembered by his two daughters; Maggi Voigt (Henry), and Ingrid Stephen (Ian), stepsons; Bill Friedrich (Fay) and Peter Falkenau, and good friend Edd Mason. Nephew; Eckhardt Modes, Hartmut Modes, niece; Erica Sladeczek, grandchildren and great grandchildren in Germany as well as his grandchildren Jenna O’Neill (Chris) Michael Friedrich, Ryan Freidrick and Justin, Stephen (Joanna) and great grandchildren Benjamin O’Neill and Jack O’Neill in Edmonton.
Heinz is predeceased by his loving wife; Maria, sister; Rita, brother; Erwin, mother; Lina, father; Ernst.
A memorial service will be held at Serenity Funeral Service on Monday, October 23, 2017 at 2:00 PM.
Memorial donations in honour of Heinz Voigt may be made directly to the Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital Foundation, Room 1C-012 9401-86 Avenue Fort Saskatchewan, AB T8L 0C6.