Some basic information about Alma Pedde
Alma Pedde was born Alma Alwine Schmigelski in Kempa Kikolska, Poland, July 17, 1914. She spent part of the first world war in Russia, sent there with her family by the Russian Czar who was afraid that Germans living in Poland would take the side of the German government in the fighting against the Russians. After the war, her family was allowed to return to Poland. In 1937, Alma married widower Julius Pedde and welcomed his daughter Wanda into the family. Their first son Edgar died as a baby and then later two other boys, Albert and Erwin, were born.
In 1944, during the second world war, Alma and Julius decided to flee towards the west to escape the Russian army advancing from the east. Alma and Julius left separately intending to meet up en route. Instead, they lost track of each other and were separated until Julius managed to find Alma in the summer of 1945, after the war had ended.
With Alma during the winter of 1944-1945 as they trudged on foot across northern Germany seeking safety were children Wanda, Albert and Erwin. Alma was several months pregnant. Albert and Erwin succumbed to hunger and cold and died in a children’s clinic in Graal Muritz in northern Germany. Alma and Wanda pressed on and finally found safety in a small village north of Hamburg. When Julius finally found Alma, he had lost two sons and gained another, Siegfried, who was born in July of 1945.
In 1949, Alma and Julius left to start a new life in Canada. They settled originally in Alberta where another son, Alfred, was born in November of 1949. In 1950, Alma, Julius, Wanda, Siegfried and Alfred moved to Port Colborne, Ontario.
Alma and Julius were among the pioneers of the German church which ultimately was to become the Christian Life Assembly. Together with others from the early German community in Port Colborne, they met in various homes to hold church services and eventually, under the first pastor, Arthur Schulz, a small church was built on Chippewa Road.
When Alma reached her sixties, she needed an outlet for her creative energies and started to write and paint. She chronicled family history and also began to write German poetry. By the time she gave up writing, she had written over 150 poems. Some of her poems were put on the internet and Alma received emails of appreciation from around the world from people who had been blessed by the messages in her poetry. One high school in the United Sates even used some of her poems in the curriculum of their German Studies department.
Alma Pedde leaves 3 children and their families:
1. Daughter Wanda and husband Alfred Pekrul of Port Colborne.
Grandchildren (Wanda and Alfred’s children) Harold and Rita.
Great-grandchildren (Rita and husband Rob’s children) Sidney and Jacob.
2. Son Siegfried and wife Chrystyna of Thorndale, Ontario.
Grandchild (Siegfried and Chrystyna’s son) Zachary.
3. Son Alfred and wife Joyce of Mossley, Ontario.
Grandchildren (Alfred and Joyce’s children) Jasmine, Amber, Jordan and Jessiah.
Also surviving Alma is her brother Erwin of Edmonton, Alberta.