April 8, 1935 – September 13, 2018
Adored by his family and friends, Dieter Topf passed away suddenly last Thursday at the age of 83. While Dieter had been in frail health, his death came as a shock to all who knew him.
Born in Berlin, Germany in 1935, Dieter emigrated to Vancouver in the early 1960s. Within a short time, he met his future wife, Yvonne, an Englishwoman who had travelled to Vancouver for a work experience, but ended up marrying Dieter, a dashing young German with a Volkswagen Beetle and a passion for skiing.
In 1969 Dieter was offered the chance to move to Winfield to help manage Vanguard, an RV firm that started in Richmond. After a few years Dieter and his business partner, the late Gunter Gahrns, struck out on their own and started Frontier Manufacturing. The company was very successful, so much so that B.C. billionaire Jim Pattison decided to buy them out. Pattison eventually sold the merged company, leaving Dieter at a crossroads. He tried his hand at real estate, then ran a dry-cleaning store for several years before retiring full-time.
Yvonne and Dieter were very happy in retirement, taking many trips together and enjoying their beautiful home overlooking the lake in Magic Estates. A plan to live out their last years together in a downsized townhouse went awry when Yvonne died of cancer in January 2018. Her loss was a big one for Dieter, making the last few months very difficult for him. His family is very grateful for the support of good friends who rallied around him during this time.
Dieter is survived by his son Andrew, daughter Christina and son-in-law Philip Burns, brother-in-law Stuart Cook, sister-in-law Charlotte Kushner and nephews Jeremy and Daniel Cook.
A celebration of Dieter’s life will be held at Springfield Funeral Home, 2020 Springfield Rd, Kelowna, BC on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 at 10:00 am. The family requests no flowers.
Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.springfieldfuneralhome.com.
Springfield Funeral Home