March 17, 1946 – October 30, 2022
In loving memory ~
On October 30, 2022 we suddenly and unexpectedly lost a beautiful and loving wife, mother, sister, Omi, and friend. The void she leaves in our lives is immeasurable and the weight of the loss indescribable, both a consequence of the great joy she brought to the lives she shared. Our birthdays were full of hand sculpted cakes, favorite foods, and memorable gifts. There were hand sewn costumes for figure skating competitions and Halloween, and baskets of cookies at Christmas with gluten and without. Over time she turned 10 houses into homes and there were always words of encouragement for friends or family in need. Her literal dying words were ones of consolation for a friend with cancer. No husband, child, sister, grand child, or friend was ever left wanting.
She was also strong, smart, and excelled at organizational efficiency, keeping her home and workplace on task and on time. She was never afraid to share her views or opinions yet continued to maintain the respect of colleagues and employers across multiple venues including as a telephone operator, book keeper, office manager for an international accounting firm, or regional manager for an employment agency. Trained in accounting she had a head for numbers, balance ledgers, linear logic, and connections between cause and effect. She also had a sharp wit and great sense of humour. Hers was a life well lived.
Brigitte was born in the small town of Kronprinzenkoog, Germany. She was born in a temporary and tiny one room apartment in the company of her grandmother Anna, her mother Grete, and her sister Erika. As displaced persons in the aftermath of the Second World War they experienced food shortages, housing insecurity, and social isolation. With the help of the Red Cross they were finally able to settle in the southern part of Germany and begin some semblance of a normal life. Brigitte attended school in Rastatt eventually training in accounting.
Rastatt was not far removed from the Canadian air base at Baden-Soellingen and both Erika and Brigitte ended up married to Canadian servicemen. Brigitte must have been quite confident in her choice as she and Harry Leonard “Larry” Hunt were married three times, once in the Rastatt City Hall, a second time in the Rastatt Church in German and again on the base in English. As a member of the RCAF, Larry’s time in Germany was short lived which for Brigitte meant the thrill of travel, learning a new language, and seeing a new country. Her enthusiasm, however, was surely tempered as her first introduction to Canada was the windswept shores and dirt roads of Gimli, Manitoba in the dead of winter. In the early 1960’s there was little more than a picket fence between Gimli and the North Pole to block the wind, and the best that could be said about the community in winter was there were no mosquitos. We are not sure exactly how the subsequent negotiations went but the end result was Brigitte living in Winnipeg while Larry commuted back and forth to Gimli. It was while in Winnipeg in 1966 that Brigitte gave birth to her son David. Now that was a good year!
The family was then transferred to air base “Southport” located south of Portage la Prairie MB. Despite the rather uninspiring name, Southport at the time was home to the RCAF demonstration teams the Red Knights and the Golden Centennaires. Their aerial displays filled the prairie sky, rivalling the squadrons of mosquitos in size and almost making up for the absence of trees, hills, or scenery in the surrounding area. To pass her time Brigitte was an avid 5 pin bowler, but she also made base history as a founding member of the Squirrels, the first all women’s ice hockey team. Sadly, her hockey career was short lived as the Squirrels went down in defeat during the inaugural parent-child hockey game. As if that game wasn’t enough excitement, 1970 was also Manitoba’s Centenary so lots of cause for celebration. Oh, and daughter Cara Christine was born that year too, so, a “so-so” year overall.
The family welcomed a transfer back to base Baden in 1975. Returning to Germany, Brigitte was able to revisit her childhood home and reunite with her mother Grete. It was also a highlight in the lives of her family as together they explored their familial connections and traveled Europe, Britain, and Scandinavia. From Big Ben, windmills, the Alps, the Black Forest, bull fights, cuckoo clocks, marzipan, and schnitzel it was a veritable smorgasbord of sights, sounds, and experiences. None more memorable than her cherished 1966 VW bug which was a sight to behold, made weird sounds, and offered an experience not soon forgotten.
Travelling at speeds only slightly faster than 2 people could push it, this mechanical marvel rivalled a Stuka dive bomber for decibels and a Red River cart for suspension comfort. With only enough room for the preferred child in the passenger seat and a hockey bag in the back seat poor Christine received the most commanding view of the road, perched on the hockey bag and with the top of her head touching the inside of the roof. Not sure which of those two sustained the most dents, but “Gun it Mom!” became a rallying cry of the preferred child before each bump in the road.
Alas, all good things must come to an end, so with family in tow Brigitte once again said goodbye to her mother and childhood home to forge a new beginning back in Winnipeg, and eventually in her very own house – acquired by way of an accommodating bank and the exorbitant interest rates that prevailed in the 1980s. Time marched on and there was another transfer, more houses, children leaving home, grandchildren, and finally retirement in the Comox Valley along with her sister Erika with whom she continued to share the closest of bonds. Upon retirement Brigitte reveled in her garden, being an Omi to her enkelkinder, and making the daily run to Tim’s for coffee and good conversation with staff.
For the accountants who may be keeping score that is 1 husband, 1 poor choice in automobiles, 2 children, 2 languages, 2 great grand children (soon to be 3), 4 different careers, 5 air bases, 6 grand children, 10 houses, 14 countries, 59 years of marriage, 76 birthdays, and 1 helluva life!
Brigitte is survived by her other favorite child Cara Christine (husband Chad and children Carver, Conlin, and Caitlin) with whom she shared daily phone calls; son David (wife Karen, children Olivia, Madilyn, and Ethan, and great grand children Julian and Josephine); and her beloved sister Erika (husband Claude). She is also survived by her loving husband, Larry, of 59 years who remained by her side until the very end and whose love for Brigitte continues unabated.
In accordance with her wishes, there was a private viewing for immediate family members held at Piercy’s Funeral Home. Brigitte was cremated along with photos of all her family and with written letters of appreciation and love from family and friends. While she is missed terribly, we are comforted to know she will again be reunited with her mother Grete and we suspect that under Brigitte’s watch the trains in heaven will be moving just a bit more efficiently now.
Brigitte passed away at home in Comox in the company of her husband Larry. We would like to offer our thanks to the fire fighters and ambulance attendants who performed CPR, and to the RCMP who attended. All showed compassion, empathy and professionalism throughout. Many thanks as well to Piercy’s Funeral Home for their services and the dignified treatment of our loved one.
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