DANIEL, Martha Katharina

June 20, 1927 – March 24, 2023

Our beautiful mother Martha Katharina Enck was born in Gescher Germany on June 20, 1927.

She fell in love and was engaged after a very short courtship. She married our Papa Hans Rudi Daniel at the age of 25 in 1952. Soon she found herself on a month long arduous journey by ship to Canada to start her life in the city of Regina leaving behind the lush green landscape of her hometown. It was a huge mental and physical undertaking but she trusted Papa would make it ok for her and their future children. She went on to have 5 children, Anton, Juliane, Christian, Gisela and Claudia. Life was not always easy but her northern German backbone kept her moving forward and she had very little time to mourn the comforts Germany had given her. She sacrificed a lot as she would have so enjoyed a career in interior design but as that went with the times, Papa working, and studying to become an Engineer, she filled the role of looking after the household and raising the children. All of us were very blessed when we arrived in her arms and soon learned to cherish and revel in her many skills. One thing we knew for sure, we were all taken care of by a mother who was often referred to in German as a Glucke, a mother hen. We always felt very protected and secure under her wings and knew it to be absolutely true.

Mama had a knack for interior design…even if furniture was sparse the house became a home. A home many times over after 20 some moves. Our mother knew the value of a dollar. Broken items would get repaired or altered to make into the perfect piece… and as the saying goes, less was often more. Home-sense later became a favourite store if not to necessarily to buy from but to get fresh new ideas. Watching her work and see how things took  shape was exciting, rewarding and so fun.

Mama was a wonderful hostess, an amazing chef and a skilled baker. Marriage preparation in her day included cooking classes at the renowned culinary school in Westphalia and her keepsake cookbook was referenced throughout the years.

Roast beef dinners accompanied by potatoes red cabbage butter lettuce salad and a side of apple sauce was a family favourite. That tasty salad dressing was her own invention and we always said it should be bottled and sold.

The baking was often enjoyed by neighbours when they came over for a Kaffeeklatsch. The tortes and sweets were always quite the gift for the unsuspecting palates and rivaled any bakery.  Beyond sweets, the artisan scene was non-existent in Canada and the only choice being “poof Brot” or what was known as Wonder Bread. She set out to create the same breads she was so used to eating in her early life. Years later with seven mouths to feed, baking several loaves per week proved a bit of a dilemma; 10 pound bags would not suffice her even beginning the task. She wanted a minimum 100 pounds. So she and a good catholic “parish” friend came upon a little scheme to pose as owners of a restaurant they named Harry’s Restaurant. This would “allow” them to buy from a mill that did not sell to the general public. Driving home in a truck loaded with several bags of white, rye and whole wheat flour had them crying with laughter and cheerful of their success. This became a twice-yearly outing. Baking could now commence in earnest and it must be mentioned that recipes were not referenced ; it was simply a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

In her 80’s when it became apparent the breads were becoming scarce and she could no longer punch down and knead the dough, Juliane spent the afternoon painstakingly throwing a measuring cup under mom’s hands to catch what she poured into an 18 inch bowl in order to have a ballpark measurement. Fortunately, we now have documented the infamous pumpernickel recipe.

Over the years she was able to see her 5 children marry and then have children of their own. She enjoyed the role of being a grandparent and bestowed upon them the same care and love she gave us. She managed to be around for all her grandchildren to reach adulthood and they knew they were loved dearly and enjoyed many memorable occasions of camping with the trailer, several weddings, conversations and a fierce match of mini-sticks well into her 80’s. Her 6 great-grandchildren was the icing on the cake.

We will miss you. 

Lovingly remembered, your children:

Anton, Juliane, Chris, Gisela, Claudia

The family wishes to send a special thank you to the staff at the Manor Village of Rocky Ridge for their exemplary around the clock care. The stressful journey was eased by giving us answers to every question or concern raised and a warm hug and nourishment when needed.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, April 20, 2023 at 11:00 am at St Boniface Church (1923 Broadview Rd NW, Calgary, AB).

I lost my beloved Mama last week at the age of 95. Mama had a wonderful life and was loved by all that knew her. She left Germany to join my Dad and start their new lives together in Canada. When I think back to what she did at such a young age, not knowing the language and raising 5 children in an unknown country – it could not have been easy. 
I will always remember my childhood so fondly as my mom always made the best of difficult circumstances. We were five children living in an undeveloped basement in the student housing at the UofC while my dad was taking his PHD. We had all five beds lined up beside each other. Good thing my siblings weren’t snoring yet. While some may found this sleeping arrangement a hardship, I found it awesome. Mama would always would have hot bricks that she would place in our beds so that our feet would be nice and cozy in that cold basement. She always had a way of making things work.
On Christmas Eve, my dad would take us on some 6 hour cross country ski trip so we would come home and find that the angels had decorated the most beautiful Christmas tree- it was magical. 
Mom was alway a great supporter of me doing sport. However, she would worry about me doing too much. During Ironman Canada, Sue would let me know during the race where my mom was standing so I could smile and pretend I was having a great time. During soccer she would yell at me from the stands to run faster. “Schnell, Schnell, Schnell.”
Whenever any of us would visit her, she would drop what she was doing and always would make us something delicious to eat. I will so miss those meals and the wonderful visits with her. 
I was blessed to be there when she left this earth to be with Papa. I was able to tell her I loved her and she was the best mom ever. No truer words have ever been spoken
. ❤️❤️❤️

~ Chris

Arrangements entrusted to Flo Simpson, Funeral Director

Cochrane Country Funeral Home – cochrane@piersons.ca 403-932-1039

  1. On 05/04/2023 at 11:11 am Howard Phillips Said:

    So sorry for your loss. My memories of your mother are of how warm and welcoming she always was. I can still remember the smell of her baking.
    My thoughts are with during this difficult time.


  2. On 06/04/2023 at 9:35 am David Phillips Said:

    It seems like only a few short weeks ago that I was writing my memories of her husband Hans and now it is Martha. They were so entwined in my mind that I cannot bring up memories of her without Hans being there. Their characters were so different and yet so complementary.
    June and I first met her when as a new immigrant I went to work for the Bridge Branch in Regina in 1958. Hans had recently graduated as an Engineer and it was his first job in that capacity. The office consisted of a small group of approximately ten people, all young and starting out on our careers. Regina was small and had the feel of being on the frontier; there were not many facilities for entertainment so our social lives consisted of visiting each others houses. June immediately felt an affinity to Martha because they were both young mothers coming from another culture and wondering what they had let themselves in for. However, Martha was an ‘old hand’ for she had been here for five years at that time and had two children so I think that June found some reassurance from her. She was always so warm and generous with her friendship.
    Our paths separated in 1960, but came back together in 1967 in Calgary where she was living with her five children in a house in the Marda Loop district. We had four children by then so June had a lot in common with Martha and we visited frequently; it must have been quite something with nine children together. My children remember those visits vividly. I remember that Martha always seemed calm and in control, I admired her greatly for that.
    A couple of incidents stand out in my mind around that time. Hans thought that it would be a good idea if the two families bought half a cow from the Hutterites and have it butchered by the cold storage locker company. Hans made the arrangements with a Hutterite Colony and we drove out together. They took us to a corral and asked us to pick one; of course, we had no idea so just closed our eyes and pointed. They then said “didn’t you bring a gun; we are not allowed to have guns on the Colony?” So, they dispatched the poor animal with the blunt side of an axe and bled it and gutted it in front of us. I just about became a vegetarian on the spot. That was not the end of it for Hans next got the idea that we should do it with a pig! This time I said that he could go on his own. Apparently, it was a bit of a fiasco catching the pig but it was eventually dispatched. However, he turned up at our house with the head in a bucket because Martha refused to have anything to do with it. June was none too keen either so it fell to me to dissect it. Such are the memories that bond us.
    She must have needed all her resources for sometime later the family were living in married student accommodation at the U of C while Hans was doing his doctorate. Those units were not that large and we often wondered how Martha coped with it, but she always coped with everything. The 1980’s brought very difficult times for us and through that time Hans and Martha were very supportive. We left Calgary in 1987 and were only back intermittently to keep in touch. We dined on that magnificent Stollen whenever we got the chance. Although we would ask them to dine with us Martha always said that she preferred to dine at home and that suited us fine for Martha kept a warm and welcoming home. She would have made a great interior decorator.
    Now another generation takes over but the enduring legacy of her life is manifest in her children and the example she set for my children, who remember her well.
    Goodbye Martha.

  3. On 08/04/2023 at 9:30 am Sylvia Hart Said:

    Tante Martha was the most loving and beautiful soul; inside and out, who always greeted you with the most twinkly eyed smile, firm double handshake (never losing eye contact), followed by the most loving and welcoming hug. She made you feel
    immensely treasured and special. I cherish the memory sitting around her crowded family breakfast table as a kid (enjoying delectable meals) visiting my dear friends who have always felt like family. That feeling has only deepened over the years as Tante Martha and Onkel Hans raised the most exceptional family.
    We will miss you so much.

    Love you Tante Martha ❤️
    All our love,
    Sylvia and Peter Hart, and Christopher and Simone.

  4. On 20/04/2023 at 10:21 am Kim and Marguerite Lund Said:

    With deepest sympathy in the loss of your mother. Know that you are still grieving the loss of your father. We are thinking of you in your time of sorrow.
    Kim and Marguerite Lund.

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