Gertrude: April 1, 1918 to June 2, 2000 / Ludwig: July 19, 1908 to April 1, 2002
In 1974 Gertrude and Ludwig Klein chose Salmon Arm as their retirement home, and for over a quarter of a century they enjoyed living in the Shuswap. They loved their flower and vegetable gardens, their friends and the community. This idyllic home did not stop them from taking trips to other parts of the world, but they were always happy to return to “heaven on Earth,” as Ludwig liked to call Salmon Arm.
Ludwig was born in Gross-Zimmern (near Frankfurt) in Germany. He grew up on a small farm where he developed his love and understanding of nature. As well, he was passionately involved in sport, gymnastics, and coaching young athletes. He lived through two world wars, and developed a strong pacifist attitude and an environmental consciousness.
In 1952, he decided to leave Germany, and immigrated to a new life in Canada. He went first to a job in St. John’s Newfoundland and saved his wages to allow his family to join him. When his young family arrived in 1953 they settled in Montreal and started life with the three trunks that contained all their possessions. Here Ludwig continued to practice his trade as a master toolmaker.
The first years of immigrant life were difficult–learning the language and adapting to strange customs in a new land. Those years were filled with hard work and a conserving life- style that remained with them all their lives. The entire family worked together to build their future in Canada.
Gertrude was born in Schifferstadt, and was raised in Ludwigshafen, Germany. She had a wonderful youth creating works of art with wool, yarn, and fabric; travelling by bicycle and car and going to concerts, operas and balls. She loved to dance. Gertrude also loved to drive her car and had a 64-year impeccable driving record. In Montreal she embarked on a busy career supervising a chain of bakery stores located all over the Island.
Through her tolerant nature and love of the arts, especially music, Gertrude gave her family life-long gifts. Ludwig was a man ahead of his time, an inventor who loved to solve problems–he wanted to improve people’s lives. Both Gertrude and Ludwig showed their all-consuming love for peace and nature by treating everyone with respect and treading gently upon the Earth.
The example of their dignified lives filled with a sense of duty, self-reliance, honest and hard work, integrity, compassion, love and respect for others as well as the Earth and its gifts, is their legacy.
In honour of Gertrude and Ludwig’s gentle, creative and caring lives, a memorial fund has been set up with the Shuswap Foundation to support in perpetuity projects advancing Peace, the Environment and the Arts.