It is with great sadness that Kris Maxwell announces the death of her beloved husband and friend who lived life fully and shared the last ten years of it with her on the Sunshine Coast.
Gunter was born in a small farming village, Cossern, in Germany into a family who owned a flour mill. At fourteen he left for Düsseldorf where he trained to become a pastry chef which helped him gain a five-year contract in Australia to a resort in the Snowy Mountains. Along with four other young men learning to speak Aussie English, he helped transform the quality of food service there.
In the sixties he worked as a ski instructor at Whistler and taught many ski-school classes as well as in his spare time, some famous people. One such person was Pierre Trudeau. The stories of that day are hilarious; what he and Pierre did to try to avoid the Press and admirers. In the end it all went for naught, Pierre executing his well-known pirouette getting off the ski lift!
Eventually, tiring of working for other people, he opened his own fifties diner in Enderby, BC. By now he had married a young woman with three daughters whom he helped to bring up. He then built and operated the Black Forest Inn outside of Revelstoke. Here, he created a European menu which was very successful and his pride and joy. On moving to Vancouver Island, he built the Homestead in Courtenay, which still exists today, under a different name. Unfortunately his marriage dissolved and thus began a career in the hotel and pub industry in Victoria. His favourite hotel was the Chateau where he worked for several years.
At the end of his working life, he wanted to teach the skills he had acquired throughout his working life in the hospitality industry. He was employed by two colleges in Victoria as an instructor in international hotel management for five years. His crowning achievement was earning his instructor’s diploma, a challenge for someone who had never had a formal English lesson. It enabled him to better pass on his acquired knowledge peppered with many stories.
Upon reaching his retirement, he started searching the internet for a new partner and found one in Tina. He moved to the Sunshine Coast and the remaining ten years of his life, though too short, were happy fulfilled ones. He taught himself to carve wood knots and bark creating a memorable number of woodspirits as he liked to call them. His woodspirits are found in many local homes and have been taken all over the world. He also realized his dream of a timeshare in Hawaii, hiking in Austria, visiting his family in Germany and cruising the world.
Günter is predeceased by his parents, survived by two brothers, Volkmar and Rainer and their families in Germany, a cousin’s daughter, Doris, in Canada and his wife, Tina and family.
In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to Sechelt Hospital where Günter received such good care.
The Celebration of his life will take place at Cooper’s Green Hall, 5500 Fisherman Road (off Redrooffs Road), in Halfmoon Bay at 2 pm on Saturday, November 28. Everyone is welcome.