Renate Schultz [nee Hartig]
Reni's History & Recollections
Summary From An Interview
By Her Brother, John
February 25, 2012
At Nick's Birthday Party
Renate Hartig graduated from St. Mary's High School in Kitchener in 1967. Her first job was as a secretary at the old city hall, working for two of the city's mayors: Mayor Sid McLennan and Mayor Edith MacIntosh. The old city hall was a real historical landmark in Kitchener in those days, with its dome and its stately pillars, and in fact, Queen Elizabeth II herself stood there on the steps of the old city hall, in her pink coat and pink hat, waving to adoring onlookers in the summer of 1957. The old city hall, despite protests was demolished, along with the old Kitchener market, to make room for a new city hall and a new market by 1993.
Renate married Dave Schultz on August 16, 1969. Dave was a grad of St. Jerome's High School and he became a manager of one of the Zehr's Supermarkets in Kitchener. Reni and Dave had Tricia in 1974 and Kelly in 1978 and they raised their kids at 44 Plaza Court, a house only a few blocks away from where mom Rosa lived in the Frederick Street Apartments. Mom Rosa used to walk with her high heels to babysit the girls when they were small. Dad Mike built the facade to the fireplace in Reni and Dave's house since he knew how to do brickwork from his construction working days. St. Ann's Church was the home church for the family as the girls were growing up.
Both Trish and Kelly graduated from St. Mary's High School like their mother did and now both of them are married too. Trish married Matt Duckett in 2004 and they have two boys, Kieran and Jackson, so Oma Rosa became a great grandmother.
Dave and Renate were married for 28 years. They divorced in 1991. Reni moved to a condo at the Trinity Seniors' Home when her multiple sclerosis got worse and she needed more care. From the condo, she transferred to the full care suites in the Home itself after several years. Reni was on the first floor of the Home and mom Rosa was on the third floor. Nick Giesler, a close friend, came to visit Reni regularly at the Home and he would guide her wheelchair into the elevator to go up to the third floor to visit mom Rosa or vice-versa, he'd bring Rosa down for a chat with Reni.
Nick became a close friend while Reni still lived in the Trinity condo. She broke her pelvis in February 2003. and had to recuperate at the Sunnyside Nursing Home for a month or so where she got to know Nick. He was a church volunteer, at the time, who delivered communion to the sick and shut-ins and that's how Reni and he became friends.
They've known each other for over 9 years and Nick is still faithful in visiting and spending time with Reni. A huge part of what bonds their friendship together is their Catholic religion and a strong Faith in God. Nick does a lot for Reni, anything from reminding her of her appointments to getting her coat on on time when she has to go somewhere.
Renate celebrated her 60th birthday party at the Concordia Club in 2008 [arranged by brother George and his wife, Shelley]. Nick danced with 88 year old Rosa while she whistled to the music. Nick himself celebrated his 90th birthday party on Saturday, February 25, 2012 at the Trinity Home so Reni was able to attend easily with her wheelchair. Nick's daughters arranged this shin-dig with banners, cake, coffee, sandwiches and a roomful of well-wishing relatives and guests. Everybody had stories to tell.
Reni remembered mom Rosa as a good mother, though somewhat domineering in always telling the kids to put their coats on. She said that mom used to call her "Kritsch" when she was a kid. When asked why mom called her that, Reni laughed and said: "Because I was the little one." Reni was a skinny little blond girl when she was a kid and so the German nickname somehow fit her. Reni also recalled how she leaned over the railing on the boat we took to Canada when she was only 5 and that I grabbed her away from the railing. Again she smiled: "Otherwise I wouldn't be here anymore."
It's been a long history for Reni since coming to Canada in 1954 as a 5 year old girl. A lot of time, places and people have come and gone. There are 3 ironies which stand out in Reni's life:
There were lots of stories floating around at Nick's 90th birthday party. On his side, his girls recalled Nick's favourite pastimes with fishing and riding horses. There were plenty of pictures in the family album to show off Nick's favourite hobbies: Nick proudly holding up a huge fish he caught for the camera lens and another picture of him perched astride on top of a palomino in a parade. Reni said that she was thankful she had met Nick Giesler and that he was her friend through all these years.
Passed away peacefully on Sunday, July 3, 2016: Renate [Reni] Hartig-Schultz at Trinity Village Long Term Care, Kitchener after a long battle with multiple sclerosis at the age of 67. Dear mother of Tricia Duckett (Matthew) of Breslau and Kelly Grebinski (Evan) of Ayr. Loved grandmother of Kieran, Jackson and Emma. Dear sister of George (Shelley) Hartig and John (Marjorie) Hartig. Also survived by her good friend Nick Giesler. Predeceased by her parents Michael and Rosa Hartig and sister Nelly Kuppek.
Renate's family will receive relatives and friends from 2-4 p.m. & 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday, July 5, 2016 at the Henry Walser Funeral Home, 507 Frederick St., Kitchener, 519-749-8467. Prayers will be held at 8:45 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home and on Wednesday, July 6, 2016 at 10:20 a.m. then process to St. Aloysius R.C. Church, 11 Traynor Avenue, Kitchener where Mass of Christian burial will take place at 11:00 a.m. followed by a reception in the church hall. Private cremation and family interment to take place at a later date.
As expressions of sympathy, donations to the Multiple Sclerosis Society would be appreciated by the family (cards available at the funeral home).
For Renate's Memorial: www.henrywalser.com
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