Erwin Renke

With a heavy heart we announce the passing of Erwin Renke, our father, husband, brother, son and uncle who left us suddenly on the morning of Saturday January 17th, 2015 at the age of 81. Erwin was born on October 24th, 1933 to his parents Emil and Emilie Renke in Strassburg in what is currently known as the Republic of Moldova. He moved with his family across Europe as refugees of World War II through Czechoslovakia, Poland, East Germany and West Germany to then follow his oldest brother Herbert to Canada in 1953.

Erwin apprenticed and certified as a Baker in Germany and brought those talents to Canada eventually landing a job in 1954 as a Baker in a logging camp on Moresby Island (part of the former Queen Charlotte Islands). Erwin took a Head Cook job three years later in Port McNeill but after two years returned to Moresby for a better kitchen and “only 120 men to feed.” His younger brother Alfred met him at Moresby leaving the youngest brother Paul back in Germany. Erwin always looked back fondly at his time at Moresby. In 1962, Erwin worked with a catering company first as a cook and later as a manager.

Erwin met his wife Christa in 1964 and they married in Germany in 1965 to return and settle in Port McNeill working at the Dalewood Inn as Head Cook. There they stayed for the next 30 years, raising their family with Erwin as a hotel Owner/ Operator. In the mid-1970s, he created and ran Port McNeill Bakers serving baked goods across the North Island. In 1995, Erwin retired from the Dalewood Inn and relocated to Comox in 2000.

Erwin was a fair and generous man whose greatest joys included cooking for friends and family and being out on the salt chuck chasing salmon. Erwin is survived by his wife Christa Renke, son Martin Renke with his wife Davinda, daughter Christine Watson with her husband Dwight, grandchildren Alyssa/ Jeremy and Riley/ Rebecca, respectively, and brothers Herb Renke, Al Renke and Paul Renke and their respective families.

A celebration of Erwin’s life will be held at the Comox United Church (250 Beach Drive, Comox, BC – one block east of St. Joseph’s General Hospital). Date and time unconfirmed at time of publishing; please contact martinrenke@gmail.com or 778-899-4470 for details.


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