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Hans Weiher, aged 98, of Thunder Bay, Ontario, passed away peacefully in his home on February 24, 2024, with his wife of nearly 66 years and sons by his side.

He was born to parents Paul and Gertrud Weiher, on December 12, 1925, in Deutsch Eylau, Germany. He married Rita, the love of his life, in 1958, who survives him. Hans is also survived by his sons Thomas, Christian (Shawna), and Andreas (Lucie), his grandchildren Paul, Amanda, Christine, Colin, Matthew, and Sophie, as well as a sister Edith and nieces and nephews in Germany. Hans was predeceased by his parents Paul and Gertrud, stepmother Charlotte and a sister Ursula.

Hans was born during a tumultuous time in Germany’s history. He developed a lifelong passion for flying, joining the Luftwaffe where he learned to fly gliders and other aircraft culminating in his favourite, the FW 190. Thankfully fuel shortages prevented him from seeing action and his war time experience became a harrowing tale of survival and escape before reuniting with his family.

In 1950, he sent letters of immigration to 3 countries, Canada was the first to respond and thus it became the country he proudly called home. In 1957, he met Rita, a young woman from Germany visiting her sister and it was love at first sight. They married in 1958 and enjoyed a marriage based on love, respect and understanding.

Before starting his career with the Department of Lands and Forests, he worked as a miner and then a lumberjack and wood scaler. Hans’ career with the Ministry of Natural Resources spanned over 30 years becoming Forest Operations Manager for the District of Thunder Bay before he retired in 1985.

Hans was a founding member of the Lakehead Gliding Club and became President and Chief Flying Instructor and taught all 3 sons to fly. Hans organised and managed the construction of the Kakabeka Falls Airport. He was an avid outdoorsman and took his family camping, canoeing and hiking. With his prized Leica camera, he took many beautiful pictures.

In the early 1970s, faced with a growing family, Hans undertook the monumental task of renovating their beloved family home on Hilldale Road, a testament to his craftsmanship and determination.

Retirement in 1985 marked the beginning of a new chapter as Hans and Rita embarked on adventures across Canada, moving first to Nanaimo and then Nanoose Bay on Vancouver Island before coming back to Ontario, initially in the Ottawa Valley and returning finally to the Lakehead. Hans spent his final years in their lovely Waverley Park Towers condo with Rita tending to all his personal care and well being until his death.

While there will be no funeral, a celebration of Hans's remarkable life will be held at a later date, offering an opportunity for family and friends to honor his legacy of love, resilience, and boundless curiosity. Hans’ spirit will forever soar among us, a testament to a life well-lived and deeply cherished.

Thank you to the team of the Fort William Health Clinic, Dr. Kaylie Mauro and Dr. Amel Abdallah. A special thank you to Geriatrician Dr. Trevor Bon and to Jennifer Almgren of Home and Community Care Support Services. And a heartfelt thank you to Delphine from ParaMed.

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