July 16, 1939 - September 3, 2019
Gisela passed away peacefully on September 3, at the age of 80. Gisela is lovingly remembered by her children, her cherished grandchildren, and numerous extended family members. Gisela was born in Czechoslovakia in 1939. Her family was relocated to Germany (Wilhelmsfeld) where she lived until she turned 18. After her eighteenth birthday, she travelled by ship to Australia and went to work as a nanny in Queensland. She eventually made her way to Melbourne where she met her future husband John. Gisela had their children Robyn & Michael in Melbourne, and Sandra was born after they moved to Adelaide.
In Adelaide Gisela, who was a devoted stay at home mother, opened her heart and her home to a steady stream of family, friends, stray animals and stray children. She would often play host to her kid’s school classes. The teachers would lead the kids from school to Gisela’s house and they would spend the afternoon in the yard picking and eating fruit from one of her many fruit trees.
Gisela was an avid gardener and loved to be outside. Gisela & John often took her kids, and quite often their friends, on adventures in the hills where they would fish, climb over rocks and look for fossils.
Two years before moving to Canada she had subscribed to the Calgary Herald. In 1976 she read an article about a church in Calgary and reached out to them. When the family arrived in Calgary in 1978, they already had a place to stay and a church to go to. Gisela’s faith in God was always very important to her and no matter which church she attended she formed close friendships and became part of the church family very quickly.
Gisela ran a day home for almost 25 years. She looked after dozens of children. To Gisela they were her family and she stayed in touch with many of them over the years. She also looked after her grandkids, Jerik, Nicole, Alex and Bradley for many years. She was always the friendly face the kids came home to after school, usually greeting them with a hug, a warm drink and some sort of snack.
In her later years, once her children had grown, Gisela and John hosted a church seniors group. John would drive around picking people up in his van while Gisela stayed home preparing soup. She loved having the seniors over. Gisela loved to cook and cooked for everyone. If a meal was needed Gisela’s schnitzel and red cabbage was usually one of the first meals to be delivered. For her it was less about the cooking and more about feeding people.
Gisela loved to volunteer, and when the opportunity came to be a part of the Community Kitchen Program she, and the whole family, jumped in. She and John organized and cleaned cans, they picked up produce and for years they volunteered to pack Good Food Boxes. She also volunteered with the church and continued to make meals for anyone who asked, and even those who didn’t.
Gisela was always able to see the good in people. Her ability to make the best out of any situation was a true testament to who she was. She had a great sense of humour and rarely complained. She prayed for everyone, especially people who were unkind. For those people, she prayed more. She was fiercely determined. Even when her knee was failing her, you could still find her on her hands and knees scrubbing her floors, or in the kitchen making meals.
Gisela was a genuinely lovely woman with a huge, giving heart and a kind soul. Her strength, determination, courage and kindness were an inspiration to everyone she met.
A Celebration of Gisela’s life will be held on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 at 1:30 pm at the Foothills Alliance Church, 333 Edgepark Blvd NW, Calgary, AB. Gisela’s family wish to extend an invitation to all who knew her to join them to share memories and celebrate her life.
To view and share photos, condolences and stories of Gisela please visit www.choicememorial.com. Arrangements entrusted to the care of Choice Memorial Cremation & Funeral Services