April 13, 1943 – September 9, 2021
Alfred Dyck was born in Rosengart, in the Crimea Region of the Ukraine on April 13, 1943. He passed away in Quathiaski Cover on Quadra Island, BC on September 9, 2021 at age 78. In recent years, he divided his time between Vancouver and Quadra Island.
As a young child, Alfred survived WWII in Europe along with his siblings Helen (Dyck) Epp and Victor Dyck and his cousins Dietrich Hildebrandt, Helga (Hildebrandt) Stobbe and Gayla (Hildebrandt) Kehler. His mother Anna (Hoeppner) Dyck and his aunt Helena (Hoepper) Hildebrandt witnessed their husbands being taken by the Russians.
The two sisters stuck together during the occupation of the Ukraine by the Germans. They arrived in Germany as refugees in 1943. After the war, the Mennonite Central Committee assisted many Mennonites in travelling by ship to Canada, the US and South America. Alfred was 6 years old when he arrived in Canada as a refugee.
Anna and her children lived briefly in the Langley area, then Chilliwack and then Vancouver. Helen and Victor contributed their wages so the family could buy a house in Vancouver. Not long afterwards, Anna married a widower named Jacob Dueckman. Alfred gained an extended family of siblings who had grown up in Canada.
Most of them were married with young children, specifically, John and Luella Dueckman, Mary and Art Schmid, Jake and Mary Dueckman Agnes and Viktor Rokitjanski, Dave and Louise Dueckman, and Leo and Betty Dueckman. Only the youngest, Dora, was still living at home.
Alfred and his new sister Dora attended John Oliver High School and sang in Teo Repel’s choirs. In the subsequent years, Helen married Corny Epp, Victor married Elfrieda Neufeld and Dora married Ed Becker. Anna and Jacob had two more children in their twilight years, Peter and Anna.
As a young adult, Alfred had 20 siblings and an ever-increasing number of nieces and nephews! The little children all have fond memories of how lively and fun-loving he was.
After high school, Alfred worked as a busboy at the Bayshore Hotel. He made plans to attend bible school in Europe in 1963. He took the train across Canada and then boarded a ship to cross the Atlantic. In September, his hosts in Europe notified his mother that he had not arrived.
Youth around the world were joining the hippie movement in the 1960s. He eventually showed up at their door in October, much too late to join the school term. Instead, he enrolled in hotel school in Switzerland, which provided formal training for the hospitality sector.
He spent his career as a waiter, first in Europe, then in Canada at the Chateau Champlain and the Hotel Vancouver. He went on to enjoy many years as a waiter at the Cara Lounge at the Vancouver Airport.
During those years in Europe, Alfred sent home postcards to his family, especially the children. He made friends easily and traveled extensively with a guitar at his side. It’s likely that he often sang for his supper. For the rest of his life, he always had cash in his pocket and a bag of coins stashed nearby.
Alfred was 27 when his mother passed away, leaving behind 14-year-old Peter and 11-year-old Anna. His stepfather was 69, faced with raising two young children on his own. Alfred started working a split shift at the airport so he could be home at suppertime.
When Helen and Corny moved to Aldergrove, he bought their house on 51st Avenue in Vancouver. This became a base for Peter and Anna – a place to call home between travels and university semesters. Over the years, many of Alfie’s friends relied on him for a place to stay during a rough patch.
He gradually learned the wisdom of charging rent. During the 1980’s, he bought an apartment building on 16th, a duplex on 12th and then a house in Campbell River where his friend Danny Jerowsky lived. A strong friendship with Bill Pritchard started with a kind offer of an apartment.
Alfie kept decades of correspondence with family and friends around the world. At the age of 66, he finally gave up bachelorhood to get married. Alfie and his wife Dora-Mae had a wide circle of friends on Quadra Island and in the Campbell River area. He died peacefully at home with family at his side.
Alfred is survived by his wife Dora-Mae Wray on Quadra Island, his siblings Victor Dyck and Helen Epp, and his siblings and their spouses Dora and Ed Becker, Peter and Irene Dueckman and Anna and Hans Krueger. He also leaves behind many treasured nieces and nephews and his close cousins Dick and Margaret Hildebrandt, Helga Stobbe and Gayla and Ken Kehler.
Family and friends are invited to a Graveside Memorial on Friday, Oct 22, 2021 at 2 pm. This will be a safe outdoor event. Please wear masks and dress warmly. No reception to follow.
Location: Valley View Cemetery in Surrey, BC 14644 72 Ave, Surrey, BC V3S 2E7
Online Memorial Site: https://alfred-dyck.forevermissed.com
You are invited to visit this site anytime to leave your condolences and upload pictures. There will be videos of the memorial and Alfred’s life story available at this link at the end of October (https://alfred-dyck.forevermissed.com).