Dorothy Ann Rhenisch (Leipe)

Dorothy passed peacefully into the space between one breath and the next, with family by her side on the sunny morning of Sunday, November 23, 2014.

Dorothy came from a long line of Prussian state administrators on her father’s side and Bohemian Germans full of laughter, light operas and great wit on her mother’s. History brought her to us in the middle of the Great Depression, in Mission, British Columbia, took her to the Bulkley Valley in 1947, and to the Okanagan in her early adulthood. There she met Hans Rhenisch, in 1956, and soon became his wife of 58 years and the mother of their three children: Roland (Sue) of Jacksonville, Florida, Harold (Diane) of Vernon, and Marsha (Alan) of Victoria, and the grandmother of Hans, Nichole, Anassa, Leandra and Sonja.

In another age of the world, Dorothy would have been a supreme court judge, a naturopathic researcher, a government deputy minister, or a national bank leader. Because she carried her mid-century Canadian experience among immigrants supporting each other in the bush deep in her heart over the last eight decades, she was able to turn these talents towards farm and banking administration, a passion for knitting for children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and private naturopathy, bringing her husband and herself into a restful retirement in Oyster Bay.

In all the flamboyant years of her life with Hans, through the storm of modern British Columbia, she remained a quiet, gentle and steady matriarch firmly at the helm of her family.

She was loved deeply by all who knew her and succeeded with undiminished integrity at her heroic life mission of healing divisions and creating unity, right until her last hours.

A celebration of Dorothy’s life will be hosted in Merville Mennonite Church Hall at 2424 Kruger Road from 1-3pm on Saturday, November 29, 2014. There will be joyful singing.


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