In loving memory of Dad
Dad was born on his family’s homestead in Windthorst, Sask. to Berhnard and Theresa Neurauter (Feldbrugge). He is of Austrian and German descent and both he and Mom could speak German. Unfortunately they didn’t teach it to us children but rather spoke it when there was something they didn’t want us to know. His birth was attended to by his aunt Mrs. Anna Troendle, his mother’s sister. He was the 11th of 12 children. He is predeceased by his wife of 37 year, Edna (Maerz), (Sept. 18, 1984), three sisters, eight brothers, the latest being Harry age 98 (March 13, 2011). Predeceased also by grandson Matthew Hobbs age 18, (Oct. 1995) and great granddaughter Emilie Hobbs age 12hrs, (March. 22, 2009). He is survived by his seven children, George Jr., Helen (Bill) Bird, Brenda, Katherine, Bernadette (Wayne) Inkster, Bernard and John Neurauter. Survived by eleven grandchildren, Don (Christine), Doug (Shauna), Chris (Sue), James (Tamara), Deborah, Nathan, Jerry, Karen (Jay), Wesley, Gabe, Erin (Mike) and eighteen great grandchildren: Jessica, Ainsley, Kaylie, Zachary, Melissa, Shawn, Howard, Connor, Ashlynn, Justin, Leah, Meredith, Antoine, Kaidence, Joshua, Felicity, Kayla and Aiden. Survived also by numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and many special friends. Life was tough and dad learned to work hard on his parents farm at an early age. Every child had a job to do, rising early to feed or milk cows before going to school. Dad attended a one room school, Mount Murray, until grade 8 when he was needed to work full time on the family farm. He later took a diesel mechanics course and owned a 2 bay garage (with brother Ben) in Northside, Sask. where his nephew Clarence Martodam eventually started a small store. Dad sold out and moved to Allen, Sask. He worked there as a mechanic for 7 seven years where he met and married Mom in 1947. (Dad married late in life, at age 37). Four children were born in Sask. before they moved to Penelton Bay, B.C. in 1953, then to Burns Lake in 1954 where the other three children were born. Dad worked horse logging on his brother Frank’s ranch at the portage on the east end of Babine Lake. He boomed logs, hacked ties, and hauled many loads of ties and lumber with his 1953 Dodge truck, he was very fond of, to local mills in Burns Lake. Dad also worked as a mechanic for Marshall Wells Hardware and Garage for a time in Burns Lake in the mid 50’s for Jack Brown Sr. Dad worked for and became watchman for Broman Lake store and garage in his later years where he was well known and loved for his great sense of humour and many jokes. He worked until about 70 years of age and then caregiver for his wife Edna until her passing. During the 1950’s the town of Burns Lake was booming. Dad came into town by train expecting to be met by his brother Frank, but Frank was a no show. As per local young resident at that time (Bob Saul) Dad was worried. He had his first meal in Burns Lake at Omenica cafe and overnighted at Tweedsmuir Hotel, cost $3.00 per night with rain patcher for the tent. Brother Frank showed up next day and off they went. First winter down the lake the ice cut a hole in the boat and they lost all or most of their supplies. Uncle Frank broke the ice and hauled the boat to shore. That winter turned out to be extremely long, with no food they were hoping for a moose or grouse or rabbit to show, but no such luck. They ended up shooting an owl, which Dad said smelled like and looked like turkey but was tough as tire rubber. At least they had the broth! They ended up shooting a squirrel, skinned it and put it in the oven. When they opened the oven door the muscles had tightened and it appeared to be ready to jump out at them! The second winter down the lake Dad had to come a thirty mile walk on ice for supplies. He tried to pull supplies on a toboggan but too much drag. Mom helped Dad to put them on a packboard and off he went. He got down to Pinkit creek (15 mile) and fell through the ice. The water comes in over existing ice and pushes down. Dad dropped down about four feet before his feet hit lower layer … Whew! What a relief. He dragged himself out, made a fire, dried out and continued on. When Mom got word of his story it was the end of Dad working for Frank. Frank followed Dad into the trucking business a short while after Dad’s moving to town. In town Dad helped build the Catholic school in the 1960’s as a carpenter. One day he helped a plasterer lift a one hundred pound bag of plaster into a cement mixer. While lifting, he grabbed for support, the grate covering the mixer, and lost three fingers. These missing fingers brought him a lot of sport when asked how he lost them. (He’d tell the children that he’d chewed them off!) During the 1970’s Dad and Mom made many long overdue trips to Sask. to visit relatives and friends until Mom’s death in 1984. Dad and local resident Mark Price struck up a close friendship and Mark took Dad under his wing for about 10 years. During the 27 years after losing his wife, Dad then took a few overseas trips with some of his children to family reunions on his Mother’s side. Staying alone longer on one trip to visit his Dad’s home town in Austria, Dad had everyone worried that he wouldn’t find his way home! Dad and sis Katherine traveled to Israel in 1997 on a guided tour that he quite enjoyed. He was 87 years old at that time. Due to failing health and difficulty walking, Dad reluctantly entered the Pines nursing home in Burns Lake in October 2005 at age 95. Always being a hard worker, dad was known in the Pines to ask if anyone knew where he could get a job! In the Pines, Dad began using a wheelchair and got around quite well. Dad has always loved to travel and really enjoyed family gatherings, especially interacting with the children. We purchased a wheelchair van for him and he was able to enjoy many outings and yearly vacations to the Okanagan and sometimes Saskatchewan to visit family and friends. We moved Dad to Helen’s home in Prince George in December of 2010 as he would be closer and able to get out more, and he did. After three months Dad moved to Gateway Lodge for two weeks of respite and then into Jubilee Lodge where he happily spent his last days. He unfortunately succumbed to aspiration pneumonia. The family wishes to extend their deepest gratitude to the staff of these three nursing homes for the kindness and excellent care dad received while in their care. Grace Memorial Funeral Home were entrusted with Dad’s funeral arrangements. Dad was a quiet, humble, happy, meticulous, generous, genuine GOD fearing man who will be greatly missed. Of all the great men I have known my Dad is the greatest and stands above all in my eyes!
“Memories are treasures, retrieved in bits and pieces, … parts of a beautiful whole … Of all the treasures I have, the memories of you are the most precious.”
Written by daughter Helen and son George Jr. May 10, 2011