December 13, 1937 – May 27, 2022
In loving memory ~
With sadness we announce the passing of Siegfried Otto Kemmler (Siggi) on May 27, 2022 at the age of 84. Born in Leipzig Germany on December 13, 1937, by his early teens he had escaped from communist east Germany to the west. One evening in a chance encounter in Heidenheim with a young vibrant Maria he was instantly struck by that this would be his life partner, and they have been married 67 years since.
Siggi was bold and adventurous throughout his life. In April 1960 he swept up his wife and two young children and crossed the Atlantic to start a new life in Canada. Soon after landing in Hamilton Siggi joined the Hamilton Symphony Orchestra having learned to play the violin since the age of 6. Working a few years in the steel industry, the west captured his heart and off to British Columbia it was.
Siggi’s career as a millwright, foreman and other roles took the family to amazing locations including Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Gold River, Tahsis, Crofton, Duncan and the TRIUMF facility at the University of British Columbia.
Conditions of his childhood did not present him an opportunity for secondary education, a life- long desire. With the unwavering support of Maria, and after5years of dedicated study and work Siggi realized his dream when in Nov 1988 he was granted a Bachelor of Arts with a double major, while working at UBC. His passion for education was further expressed in the financial support he provided to those of his grandchildren that sought higher education.
In the late 1960’s Siggi and Maria discovered a love for sailing having purchased their first little 20ft sloop. In 1974 the 35ft sloop Elusive joined the family, and in 1981 after teaching himself celestial navigation and acquiring his HAM radio license, Siggi and Maria sailed the little red sloop ‘Tanager’ to Hawaii and back.
In 1994 Siggi and Maria built their retirement home in Duncan and over the course of years since have crafted much of their 5 acres into a gorgeous forested rhododendron, azalia and flower paradise.
Siggi’s passion for learning endured throughout his retirement evident in his remarkable collection of gorgeous books. So too his passion for sailing endured and in 2015 he crewed for a friend and sailed from BC to San Diego. He continued sailing in and around Vancouver Island in his 28ft sloop – ‘single handed’ thru to the summer of 2021 at the age of 83.
Pre deceased by brother Walter (1945) and Arno (2008) Siggi is survived by his wife Maria, children Eva-Maria, Siegfried (Johanne), Robert (Susan), Annette (Steve), 12 grand children and 10 great grand children.
Unstoppable, passionate, loving, always available for meaningful conversation, a good laugh, and a great glass of wine; you are so very much loved and missed.
A Memorial Service will be held: June 12, 2022 at 1pm, First Memorial Reception Hall #375 Brae Road, Duncan.
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