Ingeborg (Inga) Frass (nee Loennecke)

Ingeborg (Inga) Frass

(nee Loennecke)

January 10, 1925- August 7, 2013


Inga was born in Northern Germany (Grafelde) on Jan. 10 1925 and grew up in a small community, Syke, near Bremen. Her father was a high school teacher. He was very hard working, and raised rabbits, silkworms and kept bees. He tended a large forest garden. Inga’s mother sewed, embroidered, knit, cooked and kept house for her growing family.

Inga was the eldest of seven children, and was always busy babysitting. Her very kind and much loved mother died when Inga was only 15. After that, Inga had to take on a lot more household responsibilities.

Inga did her nurse’s training in Tuebingen. It was during the war, so she recalled always being hungry and tired. The nurses often had to move all our patients into the hospital basement because of nightly air raids.

After the war, Inga spent 5 years in England in Wolverhamptom. She studied midwifery and worked as a midwife. She really enjoyed these years and delivered over 1,000 English babies. Inga often visited London’s art galleries and museums during this time. Inga then returned to Germany and did sick children’s nursing in Bremen. In 1956 she decided to emigrate to Canada. Inga found a nursing position in St. Cathrine’s , Ontario, and she left Germany by boat with one suitcase and 20$.

In St. Cathrines Inga worked in the maternity ward. After a few years she moved to Edmonton and nursed there. She soon became head nurse of a maternity ward.

Inga met Michael Frass at the home of mutual friends in Edmonton. They began corresponding, and decided to marry. Michael did not want to come to Edmonton, so Inga moved to the Kootenays to marry Michael. She worked at Castlegar’s hospital, and later at KLDH after moving to Nelson. Inga was not able to transfer her RN credentials directly from Alberta to BC, and it took some years before she became an RN in BC. Inga chose to work at Mt. St. Francis’ hospital since she could get a part – time position there when her children were small. She stayed there until her retirement.

Michael and Inga bought a house on 614 Latimer St. They had 2 children, Chris and Hanna. Michael worked at the CPR, and was tragically killed in an accident in 1966 when the children were very small. As a widow with 2 children, Inga worked very hard and had to be very thrifty. She was grateful to her neighbors on Latimer ST for their kindness during this time. The family later moved to West Gore St. in Rosemont when the children started school.

Over the years, Inga was very busy working, raising 2 children, caring for her beautiful garden, canning and preserving, doing needlework, reading many books, doing crossword puzzles, listening to CBC radio and feeding birds. Inga loved growing medicinal herbs. She continued doing a lot of handicrafts and gardening after retirement. Inga really kept herself active and busy with all her hobbies. She was a member of the rock club, and used to volunteer at the IODE. She went to the Lutheran Church. Inga was a bit shy, but very well read and well informed.

Inga worked hard all of her active life, and took pride in what she had achieved. Though she was a single parent (widow), Inga went without herself in order to save for Chris, Hanna and her grandchildren. She helped them as she could. She was proud to give Chris and Hanna property and to be able pay to build Chris’ house. She was a very fair and unselfishly loyal mother. She cared for and loved us deeply. Her children and grandchildren always came first. We were always in her thoughts and on her mind. She worked so hard for us, and did what she could for us. We are deeply grateful.

Our dear mom was very independent until a sudden stroke May 2011. After her stroke Inga understood her surroundings, but had difficulty expressing herself (expressive aphasia and dyspraxia). She still loved to see friends and family and loved watching good movies, the news, soccer, nature and science programs. She liked puzzles and looking at books. She especially appreciated books about geology, rocks and minerals. After her stroke, Inga had a beautiful smile, and though she could not speak, her beautiful smiles brightened our days and our lives. During the last 2 years of her life, Inga was dearly cared for by the Staff of Jubilee Manor. She passed away on August 7th 2013. Inga was much loved, and she will be missed so much.

Inga is survived by her grandchildren Chad Frass and Elise Tesling; Her children Chris Frass and Hanna Tesling and their partners; Her brothers, sisters and in-laws in Germany Hilde, Wolfgang and Lore, Gerhard and Annemarie, Herman (surname Loennecke) and Helga and Juergen Richter Loennecke. She is survived by her nieces, nephews and their families.

Inga was predeceased by her husband Michael Frass and his immediate family, her grandson Tyler Frass, her sister Irmgard Loennecke, her parents Herman and Marta Loennecke (Brauns). It comforts us that she is with these loved ones now.

Inga will be missed very much by her children, grandchildren, relatives and friends. Our Oma and Mami has passed on. Our hearts are broken, and we long for her beautiful smiles. Granddaughter Elise (5) says: I want to kiss my Oma and snuggle with her! My little Oma died and I miss her!

We will hold a memorial ceremony for Inga in October 2013, date TBA. She wished to be cremated. She will also have a memorial ceremony in Syke, Germany (where she grew up). Her urn will be interred at a later date awaiting relatives from Germany who wish to attend her funeral.



In Loving Memory of

Ingeborg (Inga) Frass (Loennecke),

January 10, 1925- August 7, 2013



Celebration of Life, Easter Monday, April 21st,

11:00 am at St. John’s Lutheran Church (321 Silica St.)




Inga was born in Northern Germany (Grafelde) in her grandmother’s farmhouse on Jan. 10, 1925, and grew up in a small community, Syke, near Bremen. She was the eldest of 7 children and was always busy babysitting. Her father was a high school teacher in Syke. Her parents built a large, isolated house on a forested hill with a magnificent view of Syke. There the family raised rabbits, silkworms, kept bees and tended a large forest garden. Inga’s mother sewed, embroidered, knit, cooked and kept house for her growing family. Her mother came from a musical family, sang and played lute and piano. Inga’s father played cello and the children played violin, piano and recorder. They practiced music together and had regular family concerts. Every Sunday, they would sit together and listen to concerts on the radio. Books were held in high esteem, and Inga grew up with a love of reading.

From the roof of their hilltop home the family saw the fire bombing and resulting inferno of Bremen during the war, but they were safe except for a stray fire bomb which they managed to move outside before detonation. Inga’s father had received an iron cross for valour in the first world war, and was one of very few survivors of his regiment. Because of invalidity, he stayed in Syke as a schoolteacher during the second world war. This was extremely lucky for the children. With their large gardens, the family managed to be self sufficient.

Inga was sent to a girl’s high school in Bremen 1938, but by the summer of 1939 the students were spending most of theirschool day in bunkers because of random bombing and air attacks. Inga returned to Syke and completed her schooling there. Inga’s very kind and much loved mother died after childbirth when Inga was only 15. After that, Inga had to take on many household responsibilities, staying home from school regularly to care for the household until the family employed a housekeeper.

Inga started studying to be a home economics teacher in Nienburg (1942). Since increasing air raids made the train trip to the school impossible, she could not continue her course. She was then sent to Greifswald for one year on work duty where she adjusted barometers with her sister Hilde.

Inga started her nurse’s training in Tuebingen in 1943. She recalled always being hungry and tired. The nurses often had to move all of their patients into the hospital basement during nightly air raid alarms. Upon the end of the war, in 1945, Inga walked about 650 km from Tuebingen to Syke through a war-ravaged Germany. She was relieved to find yher members alive. Inga always expressed deep sympathy for the people of all war-torn countries.

Inga completed her training as a sick-children’s nurse in Bremen at DRK Krankenhaus, and from 1945-49 she nursed in Bremen. In these post-war years, her salary for one month was just enough to buy some underwear. As a nurse, she received her uniform, her accommodation, and a small allowance. She worked 12 hour days, 7 days a week, and had only ½ a day off each month. The few times she had a full day off, she walked 20 km to Syke to help her family with chores.

Inga lived in England from 1950-54. She studied midwifery in Wolverhamptom, and then worked as a midwife in London. She really enjoyed these years. She delivered over 1,000 English babies, including many home-deliveries in houses without running water. Inga was a regular visitor to London’s art galleries and museums and took long walks in the countryside. Inga returned to Bremen in 1954, and worked at St. Josefs Stift as a midwife. She wished to see the world, and was deciding whether to work in Canada or Peru.

In 1956, Inga emigrated to Canada. She had found a nursing position in St. Cathrine’s, Ontario. She left Germany by boat with one suitcase and 20$. In St. Cathrine’s, Inga worked in a maternity ward. After a few years she moved to Edmonton and became head nurse of a maternity ward. She was a midwife, and a sick-children’s nurse, but still did not expect to be offered the position of head nurse. She worked as head nurse in a maternity ward until moving to the Kootenays.

Inga met Michael Frass at the home of mutual friends in Edmonton. They began corresponding and then married 8/8, 1961. Their first home was in Castlegar, then they moved to Nelson in 1962. Inga would be a resident of Nelson for over 50 years, more than half of her life. Inga was not able to transfer her RN (registered nurse) credentials directly from Alberta to BC, and it took some years before she became an RN in BC. Inga worked at KLDH until she had children. Since there were only full-time nursing positions at KLDH at that time, Inga chose to work part time at Mt. St. Francis’ hospital when her children were small until her retirement. Inga always regretted not being able to work as a midwife in Canada. She loved midwifery. She was excited when midwives were finally allowed to practice in Canada, but she was already retired then.

Michael and Inga bought a house on 614 Latimer St. They had 2 children, Chris and Hanna. Michael worked at the CPR, and was tragically killed in an accident in 1966 when the children were very small. As a widow with 2 children, Inga worked very hard and had to be very thrifty. She was grateful to her neighbors on Latimer St and to friends from the United Church for their kindness during these years. In 1972 the family moved to Rosemont when the children started school. Inga was always grateful that she had been granted a bank mortgage to buy her own Rosemont home. In the early seventies, single women with children were only rarely granted mortgages. Inga often spoke about how difficult life was for single parents, both in the 60’s and later.

Over the years, Inga kept busy working, raising 2 children, caring for her beautiful garden, canning and preserving, doing needlework, reading many books, doing crossword puzzles, listening to CBC radio, feeding birds and growing medicinal herbs. She was a member of the rock club, and a volunteer at the IODE. Inga was a Lutheran since her baptism, and a member of the Lutheran church in Rosemont after 1972. She supported numerous charities, two favourites were the Christian Blind Mission and SOS children’s villages. Inga was a unassuming and shy, but very well read. She had well-informed, progressive views on many topics.

Inga worked hard all of her active life, and took pride in what she had achieved. Though she was a single parent (widow), Inga went without herself in order to save for Chris, Hanna and her grandchildren. She helped them as she was able. She was proud to give Chris and Hanna property and to be able pay to build Chris’ house. She was a very fair and unselfishly loyal mother. She cared for and loved us deeply. Her children and grandchildren always came first. She worked so hard for us, and did what she could for us. We are deeply grateful.

Our dear mom was very independent until she suffered a stroke in May 2011. After her stroke Inga understood her surroundings, but had difficulty expressing herself (expressive aphasia and dyspraxia). She still loved to see friends and family and loved watching good movies, the news, soccer, and nature programs. She liked puzzles and looking at books. She especially appreciated books and programs about geology, rocks and minerals. After her stroke, Inga had a beautiful smile, and though she could not speak, her lovely smiles brightened our days and our lives. She was our sunshine. During the last 2 years of her life, Inga was well and dearly cared for by the staff of Jubilee Manor. She passed away on August 7th 2013, the day before her 52nd wedding anniversary to her late husband Michael. Inga was much loved, and we miss her so much! Her life was not easy, she had to work very hard, her youth was disrupted by war, and she was widowed with two babies. But her life was full of caring in her own loyal and unassuming way; For her siblings, father, children, grandchildren, and for her patients as a children’s nurse, midwife, and geriatric nurse (she loved her infant patients most).

Inga is survived by her grandchildren Chad Frass and Elise Tesling; Her children Chris Frass and Hanna Tesling (Kent Lindqvist); Her brothers, sisters and in-laws in Germany, her nieces, nephews and their families. Inga was predeceased by her husband Michael Frass and her baby grandson Tyler Frass. It comforts us that she is together with these loved ones now.

Inga is deeply missed by her children, grandchildren, relatives and friends. Our dearest Oma and Mami has passed on. Our hearts are broken, and we long for her beautiful smiles. Granddaughter Elise (5) says: I want to kiss my Oma and snuggle with her! She was our little Oma, but she died. I love Oma!

Inga had a beautiful memorial ceremony in Syke, Germany (where she grew up) in September 2013. Inga wished to be cremated. Her urn will be interred in Nelson beside her late husband Michael on April 22nd at 11:00 am.

In lieu of flowers, Inga would have asked for donations to SOS Children’s Villagages.