Memories of Uwe Winfried (John) Gehrmann
Celebrating the life of John Gehrmann
7/11/1938 - 26/6/2016
Husband to Antje Gehrmann, father to Britta, Martin and John, and loving Grandfather to Ben Gehrmann. He made friends wherever he went.
We all miss you.
A German in Australia
Born in Prussia in 1938 as Uwe Winfried Gehrmann (and adding "John" to his name when arriving in Australia in 1981), Uwe's first migration experience was one of leaving all worldly possessions behind in the middle of the night, at age 6, to escape into West Germany before the Eastern borders closed.
John lived in the kennel of a guard dog german shepherd, while he and his family gleaned left over potatoes from the fields of the farmer that gave them refuge.
From these humble beginnings he grew into a strong, loving man who worked and studied tirelessly to educate himself and provide a home for his wife and family. His infatuation with Antje Hermann led to their eventual marriage (after a period of on-again, off-again, to-ing and fro-ing) in 16 Feb 1962. Mother nature celebrated their marriage with one of Germany's greatest floods ever. They did not realise the flooding had occurred until the day after their nuptial night, thinking the power failure and flickering lights were simple passionate side effects.
Working in potato chip production and assorted other jobs, Uwe gained his accounting and managerial credentials at night school, and worked his way up the corporate ladder, culminating in managing and part-owning a large printing firm in Germany.
Itchy feet and cold-war pressures then started the next adventure of the Gehrmann clan, migrating to Brisbane, Australia on the 10th May 1981. With 127kg of excess baggage (no extra charge!), we arrived in a tropical winter greenscape in our octagonal architectural delight.
Speaking very "square" barely intelligible English, Uwe's communication skills very rapidly would increase with a bottle of brandy. Making friends easily, he was never scared to share his opinion on how the world should be ruled under his dictatorship.
Early years in Australia led to the founding of Vannexe, a vinyl annexe manufacturing business that fed the family of five and taught us all to use power tools and other machines. Eventually the thrill of self employment and sporadic cashflows wore off, and his remaining working years were spent as a storeman.
Uwe created a beautiful home and oasis in Camira, a place he was very proud and fond of, and his own personal paradise. So often both Uwe and Antje would exclaim "Aach ist das hier schoen".
In his later retired years, Uwe and Antje's focus shifted to channelling their energies into being the Umpalumpa Grandparents to Benjamin Gehrmann, continuing the line in this Great Southern Land. With the patience of a saint with a full bladder near running water, he was a great guardian and guide.
A flashing dashing smile and charming gleam in his eye served him well, and at the end of the day he always forgave and loved us all. Embracing difference in a very head strong way, his energies will enrich the greater whole, now that he has returned to where we all come from.
With loving memories and hearts filled to overflowing, the rest of the Aussie Gehrmann Clan.
|There are 14 personal tributes|
July 7th, 2016 at 10:17 pm
Liebe Antje und Familie ! Mei Beileid für den großen Verlust . Es ist schwer für euch diesen Verlust zu ertragen . Ich war sehr erschüttert und habe damit nicht gerechnet . Wir haben doch noch gesprochen und es war wie immer . Mirfehlen die Worte . Herzliche Anteilnahme von Elke und Familie
|Karin und Gunter|
July 5th, 2016 at 6:17 am
Liebe Antje,liebe Britta,lieber Martin,lieber John und Familien.Mit Bedauern haben wir die Nachricht vom plötzlichen Tod von Uwe gelesen.Wir sind sehr traurig und es fehlen uns einfach die richtigen Worte.Wir errinnern uns gern an die schöne Zeit mit Euch.Wir wünschen Euch für die nächste Zeit viel Kraft.Herzliche Anteilnahme Karin und Gunter und Familien
|Herbert und Christel|
July 3rd, 2016 at 12:40 am
Liebe Antje und Familie! Betroffen durch den plötzlichen Tod Uwes, ist es schwer die richtigen Worte zu finden. In Gedanken sind wir bei Euch. Da werden auch so manche schöne Erinnerungen wach, das Kennenlernen bei der Firma Habekost, viele heitere Abende bei Rotwein oder Cognac, wo dann viel gefachsimpelt wurde, über Erfindungen (die Andere dann umgesetzt haben) und interressante Gespräche, anyway. Später wurden Neuigkeiten über Telefon, Post, Kassetten, E-Mail und per Skype ausgetauscht. Es war immer eine Bereicherung und eine Freude, die uns sehr fehlen wird. Da Ihr im letzten Jahr diese beschwerliche Reise nach Old Germany auf Euch genommen habt, konnten wir mit Euch eine wundervolle Zeit verbringen. Wir sind dankbar für diese tolle Freundschaft! Mögen Euch viele schöne Erinnerungen Trost spenden! Herzliche Anteilnahme von Herbert und Christel Silke, Jörg, Judith, Jonas und Jan Tschüss lieber Uwe.
|Tony & Lainie Egan|
July 2nd, 2016 at 11:25 am (edited)
It was with shock and sadness that we heard of Johns sudden passing. Although having known John only for the last few years,we will miss him dearly on our regular visits to share car and knitting exchanges with Martin and Jeannine. These common interests were the avenue that brought our two families together and resulted in the joy of getting to know John and Anne and always having lively and interesting chats with John. We will miss his welcome and smile that was always present on our visits. Tony and Elaine (Lainie) Egan
|Robert & Annette Reilly|
July 2nd, 2016 at 9:06 am (edited)
On the happy day that our daughter Jeannine married Martin Gehrmann, Uwe said 'Now we are family' and it has proved to be so. Never a cross word between us, happy acceptance of whatever the majority wanted to do, enjoyable get-togethers for any good reason or no reason at all, and the most glorious of all our shared grandchild, Benjamin. Our admiration for Uwe in his courage to leave all he knew in his own country to begin again in Australia and succeed, and make a beautiful home with Antje's special touch, keeping his family close whilst never restricting their ambitions, earned our sincere admiration. If you think this is fulsome praise, not so. We never did know what he was saying when he broke into German! It could have been anything. What we do know is that he was a dear family member, his children are lucky to have had such a father, and Benny a great mate. We will miss him and Antje has our sincere sympathy always. With love, Annette & Robert Reilly, and all our family.