Gisela Brown

Gisela Brown (Oberhofer)

Sunday, July 16th, 1939 - Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019
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Gisela Brown
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 Arrangements entrusted to the care of Choice Memorial Cremation & Funeral Services
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Patricia Grunewald, Judith, Andrea and families, and others have sent flowers to the family of Gisela Brown (Oberhofer).
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Patricia Grunewald

Posted at 12:32pm
Until we meet again Patty and Bob Grunewald, James and Kyra , Berger family
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Patricia Grunewald purchased flowers for the family of Gisela Brown. Send Flowers


Judith, Andrea and families

Posted at 06:19pm
To Sandy, Jeff, Michael, Jerik, Nicole,Marina, Alex and Bradley. Sent with love and remembrance.
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Judith, Andrea and families purchased flowers for the family of Gisela Brown. Send Flowers


Andrea Clasohm

Posted at 06:30am
My childhood memories of Gisela. I have video going back to myself as a toddler, happily playing with my sister Judith and Gisela's children, Robyn, Michael and Sandra in the Brown's back yard, it's summer and we splash about in the wading pool and Gisela is looking on. There is also video of lovely shared family picnics with the Browns and Normansell's in the Adelaide park lands. My memories don't go back that far but they do go back to me as an older child, playing at the Brown's house. I remember Gisela being there to cheer on Sandra and myself, dancing our neighborhood performance of ABBA's 'Money money money". Gisela also taught us how to create art, we spent many hours creating beautiful plaques of artwork using Australian gum nuts and flowers. Christmas was also special at Gisela's house with the first 'real' pine Christmas tree in the neighborhood and delicious German baked cookies hanging on the tree. I also remember attending church with the Browns, I remember the beautiful tapestry work of the Lord's prayer at the local Uniting Church, this I associate with Gisela. Gisela and family set off on their adventure to Canada when I was about 11, but have left me with lasting memories and connections for the future.

B.j. Mueller

Posted at 11:43pm
What a gem! What a privilege to know this precious woman . . . and the entire family! We remember their first Sunday at church and the incredible story that brought them to Calgary. Gisela and John became such an important part of everything that happened at Calgary Christian Center. Together they could fix anything, manufacture and put together a better whatever-it-was-you-needed . . . and always with such humbleness and a sweet smile. Quality people who invested their lives in the lives of others. Such wisdom deserving of so much honor. With love and appreciation - Ernie & B.J. Mueller

Olga Vines

Posted at 05:00pm
I met Gisela at the Bethany centre at our weekly hymn singing. I am a volunteer and it was always a pleasure to get Gisela from her peaceful room and bringing her to the piano room. Her voice was very week but she knew every hymn and I could see that she was following the words by her lips movement. I am from Slovakia and when I realized that she is originally from Czechoslovakia I spoke to her in Slovak and it was a bit amusing to see how she is letting me know that she did not completely understood me. Gisela was very gentle soul and I consider myself privileged to know her at her later life stage. After reading her story I am amazed at her extraordinary life she has led. I will miss her gentle smile and her touch. Rest in peace Gisela and thanks for your gentle encouragements. Olga Vines

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