February 4, 1940 – May 20, 2021

With great sadness we announce the passing of Uwe Hans Embacher on Thursday, May 20, 2021 in Calgary, Alberta, at the age of 81.

Uwe was born in Gotha, Germany and, at the age of 10, immigrated to Canada with his family.  He lived in Montreal, Quebec, Ottawa, Sturgeon Falls, Ontario and Cochrane, Alberta.

Uwe was an avid outdoorsman who loved climbing, skiing, ice boating and any activities involving the untouched wilderness. His unique work as an ice engineer brought him to Ellesmere and Baffin Islands where his love for adventure blossomed. It was here he made the first ascent of Barbeau Peak, the highest mountain east of the Rockies.  He later began a teaching career, and for last 15 years, tutored math and science to a host of Cochrane students.

Uwe is survived by his wife, Janet Embacher; children, Monica Embacher (Ed), Louise Wenzlick (Steve), Kevin Embacher (Sarah), and Alina Couch (Andrew); grandchildren, Taylor, Kiaora, Russell, Melissa, Peter, Erik, Carl, Keanna, Cayley and Owen;  his sisters, Elke (Klaus) and Uta (Heiko); and his brother, Dirk (Danielle).

Uwe was predeceased by his parents Kurt and Charlotte Embacher and his first wife, Janet Hopps.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Camp Horizon (www.easterseals.ab.ca/camp-horizon) or The Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada (www.braintumour.ca)

The family invites you to download a copy of the recording of the Celebration of Life for Ewe Embacher at the link below. This download will be available until approximately Thursday, June 24, 2021.


Arrangements entrusted to Bridget Halfyard, Funeral Director

Cochrane Country Funeral Home – Ph: 403-932-1039

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  1. On 25/05/2021 at 4:26 pm Sara Romanchuk Said:

    My sincerest and deepest of sympathies to you Alina, Janet and the rest of the family as well. May you always hold the cherished memories you have created with him close to your heart always. You have an Angel watching over you all always. You are in my thoughts and prayers and I am sending you all Strength and Love during these difficult times.

  2. On 25/05/2021 at 6:19 pm Norm Parrott Said:

    Janet + family; we are so sad to hear about Uwe’s passing. Please accept our heartfelt condolences. Uwe was one of a kind and we will remember him fondly!
    Norm + Dorica Parrott

  3. On 26/05/2021 at 11:46 am Uta & Heiko Vaneijnsbergen Said:

    Uwe’s decline, borne valiantly, and passing was a shock and then a sorrow for us both. Our paths together and his feeling for nature and art are special memories. Thank you Janet and Alina for your constant presence with Uwe over these past months and for keeping us connected. Janet, your peace and steadfastness through the years continues to be both a blessing and an inspiration. Our heartfelt sympathies to Janet & all the families. Uta & Heiko

  4. On 26/05/2021 at 12:18 pm Dolina & Ross Watson Said:

    Janet & Family,
    Uwe will be missed. He touched many lives in his 81 years and will be well remembered.
    Dolina & Ross Watson

  5. On 26/05/2021 at 1:00 pm Mireille, Andy, Chelsie-Anne and Hannah-Lee Harris Said:

    We feel so grateful for having known Uwe and shared some lovely social gatherings with him and with you Janet. You and your family have been a true inspiration to us during the last few months. Uwe will always be in our heart and we will continue to cherish his memory.
    Sincere condolences from Mireille Hamel, Andy Harris, Chelsie-Anne and Hannah-Lee Harris

  6. On 26/05/2021 at 1:22 pm Leeza Pierson Said:

    Much love to you and your family Janet. You and Uwe have been such an important part of Gabe’s life. He is missed. Love Leeza, Gabriel & Jeff

  7. On 26/05/2021 at 9:44 pm The Borsa Family Said:

    We extend our deepest sympathies to Janet as well as Uwe’s family and friends. May you hold your memories of Uwe close to your hearts during this difficult time. Uwe’s adventurous and kind spirit will always be remembered by the countess lives he touched. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

    The Borsa’s

  8. On 26/05/2021 at 10:46 pm Chandra vanEijnsbergen Said:

    Holding you all close to my heart right now. All my love,

  9. On 26/05/2021 at 11:33 pm Lisa Hupkes Said:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your dad.

    From the Hupkes family

  10. On 27/05/2021 at 2:37 pm Elke and Dr. Klaus Esrom Said:

    Dear Janet and family,
    When we think of Uwe there is also the thought of the famous Canadian poet Robert Service (Songs of the High North)
    in our mind: Go to the Wild that waits for me,
    Go where the moose and the musk-ox be;
    Go to the wolf and the secret snows;
    Go to my fate… who knows, who knows !
    Uwe, our brother and brother-in-law has had a long and fulfilled life, accompanied many tasks, has known burdens and pleasures, always unassuming, gentle, but full of courage and loving nature, the Northern Land, the mountains, the snow,
    rivers and lakes, the northern sky, and – perhaps – the ice on Ellismere Island, where he did research.It was a blessing that
    he was spared very long suffering, Thank you, Janet and Alina, for taking care of him in those difficult times, being always with him and giving him comfort, the rest of the family so far away. We cherish our fond memories of Uwe, May his soul rest in peace. RiP.
    Heartfelt condolences also from Cousin Andreas and Inge of Dresden, Germany

  11. On 27/05/2021 at 2:40 pm Elke and Dr. Klaus Esrom Said:

    Dear Janet and family,
    When we think of Uwe there is also the thought of the famous Canadian poet Robert Service (Songs of the High North)
    in our mind: Go to the Wild that waits for me,
    Go where the moose and the musk-ox be;
    Go to the wolf and the secret snows;
    Go to my fate… who knows, who knows !
    Uwe, our brother and brother-in-law, has had a long and fulfilled life, accompanied many tasks, has known burdens and pleasures, always unassuming, gentle, but full of courage and loving nature, the Northern Land, the mountains, the snow,
    rivers and lakes, the northern sky, and – perhaps – the ice on Ellismere Island, where he did research.It was a blessing that
    he was spared very long suffering, Thank you, Janet and Alina, for taking care of him in those difficult times, being always with him and giving him comfort, the rest of the family so far away. We cherish our fond memories of Uwe, May his soul rest in peace. RiP.
    Elke and Klaus Esrom and family

    Heartfelt condolences also from Cousin Andreas and Inge of Dresden, Germany

  12. On 27/05/2021 at 2:45 pm Diane Hickey Said:

    Dear Janet and family. My deepest and sincerest condolences on the loss of a loving husband and father. Wishing you love and strength during this difficult time.

  13. On 27/05/2021 at 9:12 pm Marcos Parrado Said:

    Janet, how sorry I am for Uwe’s passing. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

  14. On 28/05/2021 at 9:19 am Catherine Smith Said:

    Dear Alina and your extended family,
    Our most sincere condolences on the passing of your wonderful dad. He sounded like a brave adventurer, it is obvious where you get this from.
    Thinking of you all at this very sad time.
    Catherine, Roger, Grant and Adam (from Cults, Aberdeen )

  15. On 28/05/2021 at 2:15 pm Dirk Embacher Said:

    “It’s Better In The Mountains” I am thankful to Uwe for his sense of adventure, desire to be a lifelong student and willingness to share his passion with family and friends. Our parents came to Canada with almost nothing except four war babies, but were determined to learn the language, find work and try to fit in with their new country. In this spirit, as a youngster, Uwe made a “scrapbook of knowledge” in which he kept all kinds of 1950s-era scientific information and do-it-yourself projects that were the inspiration for many years of creative achievements in all of his life. He enjoyed finding the best route up the face of a mountain, building a log raft or a skate sailboat to race across a frozen lake. His children, wholesome and self-reliant, inherited his love of the outdoors. We grieve for Uwe and will hold his memory dear. With love, Dirk and Danielle

  16. On 28/05/2021 at 2:34 pm Lesley Hegland Said:

    Ewe was one of the most interesting man I ever met. His love for adventure was interesting to hear about. I loved listening to him talk about countless stories about rock formations and where he’d been hiking. Janet was always worried about him but he most always came home without a scratch. You will be missed my friend. Climb on in the after life.

  17. On 29/05/2021 at 9:30 am Tony, Judy White Said:

    We are so sorry for the loss to our family. We wish that we could be there with you, but know that you will be comforted with love and support from around the world. With love Tony and Judy

  18. On 29/05/2021 at 9:37 am Shannon White Said:

    Auntie Janet, Kevin, Alina and families – I am so deeply sorry for the loss of U2 (U squared always made him laugh). I have so many fond memories and I certainly learned so much from him. His adventurous spirit will live on in each of you and your memories will be there to you to comfort you always. Shannon

  19. On 29/05/2021 at 10:29 am Kathryn Embacher Said:

    I haven’t spent much time with Uwe of late, but I recall him as a funny and adventurous man. I can’t help but think the adventure genes run in the Embacher family. I am so glad his many years were filled with adventures and he inspired so many with his love of the outdoors. Much love, Kathryn, Andrew, Shea, and Nate.

  20. On 29/05/2021 at 12:32 pm Clare Leonard Said:

    To Janet and family. We are so sorry for your loss. He has helped many children in Cochrane with education needs. Condolences to you all from Clare & Tegan

  21. On 29/05/2021 at 8:12 pm Kate Peters & Christian Cormier Said:

    Alina and Janet and families, we are so sorry for your loss. We are grateful for Uwe’s life, and how he shaped Alina and her family who we love so much. Thinking of you in this difficult time,
    Kate, Christian, Paul & Anne

  22. On 30/05/2021 at 11:41 am Glenda Nyberg Said:

    Losing a loving partner is one of the hardest situations we face in life. But they would want us to carry on and be brave as I know you will. You (and I) have been blessed with a loving family who will help you ease in to the changes that will come in the days ahead. Take care and be good to yourself.
    Fondly, Glenda.

  23. On 31/05/2021 at 1:08 am Pat (Lubbock) Gooch Said:

    Last year Uwe appeared like a Genie out a bottle at our home in Scotland, 60 years after our graduation from university, reawakening happy Golden Days of climbing in the Laurentians with the McGill Outing Club. Uwe was the very essence of MOC. He was a natural leader, and a great instructor. He was a source of inspiration and adventure and fun providing a substantial character forming influence on those around him. Barb (Wallis) Cullen, thank you for opening this link to past times and present, including his wonderful family. Janet, Alina and Barb, thank you for keeping in touch during his hard time. I hope you can accept my condolences in love and appreciation for your exceptionally steadfast, true and kind man. May his legacy continue.
    Love, Pat

  24. On 31/05/2021 at 6:21 am Cheryl and Gary Kjersem Said:

    Janet and family, we’re sorry for your loss. We always enjoyed visiting with Uwe. He was an interesting person and he could always get us to laugh.

  25. On 31/05/2021 at 7:09 pm Yvon Charles Said:

    Janet and family, please accept my condolences for your loss.

    Uwe touched my and surely many other people’s lives.
    In the 1970’s, he taught us physics and math during the day, and the love of climbing and outdoor trecking after school and on weekends.

    He was a generous, respectful, funny, patient and last but not least, non pretentious man.
    How I remember his love of adventure and sense of humour.
    He was a fine example of a man.

    Farewell Uwe!

  26. On 03/06/2021 at 7:07 pm Allan and Jean Strandberg Said:

    Dear Janet and Family, we are so sorry for your loss. Uwe was a great hiking, mountain climbing partner, work colleague and friend. His was a life full of adventure. Grieve well. You will be in our thoughts and prayers. Allan and Jean

  27. On 04/06/2021 at 12:03 pm Barb Cullen Said:

    Dear Janet and family, we’re so sorry that you have lost dear Uwe. He was a kind and gentle soul with a lust for life. I am so thrilled that I made contact with him again so many years after our glorious MOC days. Hiking, camping, skiing, and of course, climbing, Uwe did it all. He would climb anything-chimneys, building, statues when a mountain wasn’t handy. Uwe was so knowledgeable about the great outdoors and the wilderness we spent our time in. He helped where needed with such patience. His infectious laughter lightened our moods on the toughest days. And as for his singing, well what can I say.
    I shall miss you deeply, my old friend.
    With love from, Barb and John

  28. On 04/06/2021 at 12:43 pm Marc Brouillette Said:

    I met Uwe almost 50 years ago in Sturgeon Falls. He was a math and physics teacher at my high school. He had a passion for the outdoors that most of us living in northern Ontario also enjoyed. During this time, he started an outdoor activity club.

    Although it included hiking, camping and x-country skiing, his main passion was climbing. The first time I went climbing, I was hooked. For the next four years, we traveled around Ontario, locating and enjoy various climbing locations. Uwe’s passion, enthusiasm and love of this sports became contagious to all of us who enjoyed not only the outdoor, but also his friendship.

    Just before my last year of high school, Uwe and his family moved to Alberta; I promised myself that I would visit some day. But faith had a better plan for me.

    After graduating from university, I had a job offer in Edmonton, Alberta. Although I’d be moving far from the rest of me family, the lure of the Rocky Mountains and the chance to continue my outdoor activities was too great to pass. Within a month of settling down in Edmonton, I contact Uwe and agreed to meet in Calgary. It was nice seeing him again!
    Over the next decades, we spent a lot of time enjoying the outdoors, winter camping, hiking the Rockies and of course all the climbing expeditions. In addition, there was all the many new adventures; such as spelunking in Grotto Mountain, white water kayaking Kananaskis river, canoeing down the Bow river, ocean kayaking on the west coast, and many more.

    My most fund memories however are how Janet and Uwe always made me feel like I was part of their family. From spending most holidays at their house, to enjoying family outings with the Kevin and Alina, taking the kids to visit West Edmonton Mall, and so on; those are memories I’ll cherish forever.

    Uwe’s relationship to me had started as a high school teacher, then an outdoor mentor, but most of all, he was my friend.

    You will be missed; may you rest in peace.

  29. On 04/06/2021 at 2:26 pm Julia Esrom Said:

    My uncle Uwe will always have a special place in my heart. It’s true. The adventure gene seems to run in the family. Shortly after I did some research out West with dogs, he told me about his research in the far North and the sled dogs they had taken along. The Arctic was clearly a highlight in his life. His ascent of Barbeau Peak on Ellesmere Island, Nunavut in 1967, is described in some detail. He must have been part of an amazing expedition. The achievement was recorded by the University of Toronto on their Canadian Centennial Activity page “because it marked the ascent of the highest mountain (2616m) in North America East of the Rockies, and the highest peak in the Northernmost range of mountains in the world.” I was quite amazed to read the details: “Canadian mountaineer Uwe Embacher, and research team leader Geoffrey Hattersley-Smith (a British scientist working for DRC) made an ascent by a more difficult route and met Arnold’s team at the summit […].”

    Perhaps, taking the more difficult route to explore new territories also runs in the family genes. Taking the difficult route is not always the easiest and not always the most pleasant, but it can be the most rewarding. The journey is the reward. – Der Weg ist das Ziel.

    Uwe has now turned a corner during his journey of life. Whatever it is he finds there now, we will join him one day. Until then, he will always be in our hearts. Thank you, Uwe, for showing us that taking the more difficult route can lead to the highest mountain peak and happiness.
    Our thoughts are with Janet, Monica and Louise, Alina and Kevin.

    Rest in Peace, Uwe.

    Love from Julia with Jason, Tristan, Leander and Phelan

  30. On 05/06/2021 at 6:10 am Joe Middleton, Jodie Atkins, Maya & Sasha Said:

    Uncle Uwe lived a fuller life than most other people could ever hope to. He was tougher than most and at the same time was very generous in sharing his love of the outdoors, of photography, and countless other adventurous pursuits. Watching Uwe and Alina paddle to shore at her wedding is a memory that very few people I know could pull off. Uwe was a legend. We will miss him and we are thinking of you all.

  31. On 05/06/2021 at 12:28 pm Mumtaz karim Said:

    “When I Die “ by Jalaludin Rumi, a Sufi poet ( an excerpt from the poem)

    “ how can there be an end
    When the sun sets or
    The moon goes down
    It looks like the end
    It seems like a sunset
    But it reality it’s a dawn….

    That is when your soul is freed..

    I feel blessed to have known Uwe ,this beautiful soul

  32. On 05/06/2021 at 1:50 pm Ron Harvey Said:

    My sincere condolences Janet to you and family on Uwe’s passing. May your memories of time together continue to bring you comfort.

    I feel fortunate Uwe’s and my paths crossed even though a bit later in life. It provided much enjoyment for us both remembering childhood lifestyle experiences in Montreal, times in the Arctic, of course the odd bit of politics, but mostly the shared love of being outdoors enjoying what Mother Nature provided and hiking together.

    Uwe enriched many lives in many ways, including mine. I’m sure his spirit will continue to inhabit the Kananaskis trails and rock faces of the Rockies. RIP my friend.

  33. On 05/06/2021 at 2:29 pm Eric Perrault Said:

    Dear Janet and Family My thoughts and condolences are with you. I had the pleasure and priveledge of kicking around in the outdoors with Uwe. Those days with Uwe were indeed special. Travel well.

  34. On 05/06/2021 at 3:09 pm Anita & Rob McLean Said:

    Janet and Family,

    Our deepest sympathies in your loss. It was a beautiful memorial to Uwe!
    Rest in Peace Uwe.

    Love and hugs from Anita & Rob McLean

  35. On 05/06/2021 at 3:12 pm Tran Family Said:

    Uwe came into our lives when our mother, Lan, an immigrant with very little english skills wanted to better her life with formal education. Janet and Uwe had taught evening GED classes in Calgary, which our mother had attended. It was from here, where Uwe would go on to tutor the rest of us, including our extended family, in math and science. Uwe touched many of us from the Tran family with his humour and generosity and we are forever thankful for him. Thank you Uwe for all you’ve done for us. May you rest in Peace.

    We would also like to send our love and condolences to Janet and family, our hearts go out to you.

    Lots of Love from Connie, Lan, Brenden, Fenton, Olive, Wendy, Eric, Sewell, Virginie, Samson.

  36. On 05/06/2021 at 4:26 pm Kris Mann Said:

    Although I do not know any one of you in Uwe’s family, I am writing to send my heartfelt condolences for the loss of your beloved Uwe. It was clear from the memorial service that he was fortunate to have such a large and loving family.

    I first got to know Uwe at the McGill Outing Club, where he tried to teach me how to climb and to rappel, at which I was a complete failure! Time passed and we moved on from Montreal but he was one of the few friends I remembered, partly because my dear friend Pat Lubbock Gooch would give me news of him whenever she had some.

    To Uwe’s family, especially Janet & his children & grandchildren, may you find peace in the days and years to come, knowing that Uwe lives on in your memories of him and in the family that you hold around you.

    With best wishes to you all,
    Kris Mann Kullberg
    Anchorage, Alaska

  37. On 05/06/2021 at 11:50 pm Shobha Said:

    Dear Alina and extended family,

    Please accept our heartfelt condolences on passing of your dad. I pray for peace and comfort for you and your loved ones in the difficult time. It was a beautiful memorial to your dad!

    Love, Shobha, Satheesh, Svara and Sanat (Aberdeen)

  38. On 06/06/2021 at 3:24 pm Bill & Christine Boyd Said:

    Dear Janet and family,
    We were so sorry to hear about Uwe’s passing. An adventurous, intelligent and kind man who clearly shared a love of the outdoors with his children. Thinking of all of you. Kind regards, Bill & Christine Boyd

  39. On 24/08/2021 at 12:43 am Gerald Holdsworth Said:

    I happened to feel that I should check up on my longtime friend Uwe. My first meeting with Uwe was in 1969 in Ottawa where I had just obtained my first ever employment as a glaciologist with the Department of Energy Mines and Resources. Uwe was already there in the position of glaciologist doing programmed glacier surveys in the eastern high Arctic (Baffin Island) Uwe was a very special person, easy to get along with (I was about 6 months older than him and he was always very respectful of me). We did some rock climbing and XC skiing in Gatineau Park together. I shall always remember him. I send my fond wishes to the family and relatives and other friends.