It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Rolf Frank Kowalsky on July 4, 2019 after a battle with cancer. Rolf leaves behind his beloved wife of 62 years, Brigitte Kowalsky; his children Bernice Higgins (Geoff) and Glenn Kowalsky (Sandra); and his grandchildren Jeremy (Jasmine) and Gillian Higgins (Wes), Tara and Laura Kowalsky. Rolf also leaves behind siblings (Margot Heldt, Helga Rehberg, and Horst Mika) and nieces and nephews in Germany.
The world will miss this beautiful and gentle soul. Rolf was born in Genthin, Germany in 1930 to Otto Kersten and Helana Kowalski. Rolf’s childhood was not always easy growing up during the Second World War. Rolf witnessed tragedies and also kindness during that time. He became very resourceful and never complained about hardships. Rolf’s Uncle Max and his grandmother, Valeria Kowalski played a large role in the raising of this beautiful human being. Rolf moved to Berlin and then to Koln. It was in Koln where he met his treasured wife, Brigitte, through his sister, Helga. Rolf and Brigitte married in August 1957.
Rolf was a self-made man immigrating to Canada with his wife in 1957, first settling in Winnipeg, Manitoba and then in Victoria, B.C in 1972. He learned a new language, created a business, and built a home for his cherished family. Rolf’s gentle and trusting nature paved the way to quickly forming business and personal friendships. Rolf was a natural ‘Jack-of-all-Trades’ and loved to fix things. Nothing would be thrown away that could be remotely repaired or reused. He was always first to pitch in if there was a job to do. Rolf was generous with his time and helped others with home renovations. Rolf played a large role in the rebuilding and renovation of the Victoria Edelweiss Club in the 1970s.
Rolf was always game for travel and local adventures. Family road trips took him far and wide all the way to Florida. Rolf made a few trips back to Germany to visit family. His last trip to Germany was made at the age of 85. Rolf made full use of the transit bus system once he gave up his driver’s license and Rolf and Brigitte would frequently be seen making their way to the bus and then on to downtown and the various local malls. His goal was often to get his A&W Teen Burger. Rolf also made full use of his personal mobility scooter going on daily trips to Save on Foods (which he nicknamed ‘Jimmy’s).
Thank you to the many family and friends who helped make dad’s life easier and joyful. Rolf’s granddaughter, Tara Kowalsky, deserves special mention as she moved into the family home and helped in countless ways during these past months. Thank you to Dr. D. Woodley, The Red Cross, Victoria Cancer Clinic, VIHA home care, the nurses and staff at St. Charles Manor for their compassionate care.
Nothing kept Rolf down and he never complained. Rolf lived by simple rules: work hard, love your family and friends, relax and live life. Everyone loved Rolf.
Dad, you will forever be in our hearts.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Canadian Red Cross or the B.C. Cancer Foundation. A Celebration of Life will be held on July 20, 2019 at at 2:00 PM at the Victoria Edelweiss Club, 108 Niagara Street, Victoria, B.C.
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