February 3, 1929 – June 22, 2020
Otto Robert Tirschler, 91, of Comox, British Columbia, passed away on June 22, 2020, at The Views of St. Joseph, Mountainview Seniors Home,
with his eldest daughter Angelika at his side.
Otto was born the eldest son of millers and farmers on February 3, 1929, to Hedwig Tirschler (Lange) and Albert Tirschler in Schmottseiffen, Silesia, Germany, who traced their ancestry back to the 12th century.
A proud Canadian of German descent, he survived WWII, and at the age of 17 was released from a Russian prisoner-of-war camp, after which he worked in construction under the Marshall plan. He then immigrated to Canada in 1957.
With his qualifications and mechanical talents, he was immediately hired in Montreal, Quebec, during construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway and rose to become a master mechanic of the night shift, followed by supervising construction of runway landing light systems at airports across Canada, and Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Thereafter, he fulfilled his dreams of owning his own business, Otto’s Diesel & Fuel Injection Service, a small Mercedes-Benz dealership, and a farm in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. He retired to Kelowna, British Columbia, and moved to Courtenay-Comox in 2016.
Otto married Irmgard Charlotte Reimer in 1953; together they immigrated to Canada and raised their three children, primarily in Swift Current.
She predeceased him in February 2016. He is survived by his brother Ehrenfried Tirschler (Montreal), daughters Angelika Christiane Sirois (husband Neil), Sabine Irmgard Tirschler (husband Peter Gervan, Edmonton), and son Markus Otto Tirschler (Dallas, Texas).
Otto is also survived by grandsons Michael Sirois, Stefan Tirschler, Thomas Otsig, and granddaughter Mika Tirschler-Peckson, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Otto’s interests varied from flying lessons to the Kiwanis and Toastmasters clubs in Swift Current but he was best known for: his love of family, in which he took great pride; good food (being an avid beekeeper, keen hunter, and gardener); friendships; charity; profound technical and mechanical comprehension; ability to repair, improvise and construct anything he set his mind to, which conformed to his philosophy of personal responsibility through self-sufficiency.
A generalized quote often attributed to Stephen Grellet became Otto’s favourite, and in later years, he would sometimes recite it, or slip a typed version of it on a fragment of paper to a deserving individual.
“I expect to pass through this world but once. Therefore, any good or kindness that I may show to any creature or fellow being, let me do it now, for I shall not pass this way again.”
Godspeed Otto Robert Tirschler
The family would like to express its sincere appreciation to Dr. Stephen Matous and the entire staff at Mountainview for their excellent and compassionate care. There will be a gathering of family and friends in memory of Otto at a later date.