Wilfred “Willie” Rometsch

Wilfred "Willie" Rometsch


June 13, 1936 – November 4, 2011

Willie Rometsch was a character larger than life.

Willie passed away on November 4, enveloped by

the love of his wife Karen and his three children,

Marina, Christian and Stefan.

Willie was born in Bad Wildbad, Germany to parents Frieda Rosa (Friedel) and Hermann, and was virtually raised,

along with younger brothers’ Hermann (Mogel) and Hans

by his older sister Trudel.  He grew up during the Second World War, and in the aftermath, quickly learned to be a crafty, clever, very street smart young man. These qualities served him well through his entire life.  At the age of twelve, Willie began his apprenticeship to become a chef, at the Sommerberg Hotel in Bad Wildbad and quickly mastered

the skills required for his chosen profession.  In his early 20’s he moved to Sweden and it was there that he officially became a Master Chef. He had the honor of cooking for

the King of Sweden, and for Noble Prize dinners. His next position was as head chef aboard a luxury cruise line for

the “around the world” cruises.  The many amazing

experiences he had during this time, affected him greatly, and he became an avid traveler—a pleasure he enjoyed

for the rest of his life.  After Germany, Italy was his favorite destination, having much in common with the fun-loving

Italians. He and one of his best friends eventually purchased a farm house, vineyard and olive grove in Montalcino, Italy.  Willie moved to Houston, Texas and married his Swedish girlfriend, Berit, and worked as Executive Chef for several major hotels.  After a short time he was able to open his

first restaurant, The Bismarck, together with his friend Mike Steinmann.  Many other restaurants, nightclubs and

business ventures were to follow.  After his divorce, Willie met and married Evinia, who was from Kelowna. She

introduced him to the many charms of the Okanagan. 

After a long and extremely successful restaurant career,

Willie earned a Michelin star for his restaurant the Rivoli

and he later semi-retired from the business. In the 1980’s

he opened 2 nightclubs in Arizona, and 1983 he met his

3rd wife Karen. They married in 1988 and had 3 remarkable children, Marina, Christian and Stefan. These three children were the light of his life, and to quote Willie “My greatest achievement of all”.  Willie and Karen moved to Kelowna, BC, Canada in 1990, where they built a beautiful home and established a wonderful network of friends and business

associates.  Willie was a man that one could hardly help

but love. He was charismatic and generous. He hugged, kissed and charmed everyone he met and will be missed

by everyone who had the good fortune to know him. 

He wanted you to know that if you think you’ve had a

brilliant idea, you didn’t, it was him whispering in your ear!  We ask that his many friends and fans to remember him, celebrate his life!  In lieu of flowers, please donate to


You can visit them by going to

www.centralokanaganfoundation.org.  click orange button DONATE NOW next click on the red button DONATE NOW and you should see the “THE WILLIE ROMETSCH

FOUNDATION FUND”.  Or simply call

250-861-6160 and ask for Leanne or Mark. 

There will be a private Celebration of Life.  

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