Helmuth (Hank) Goertz


The first decade of Helmuth’s life was spent on the family farm in Boqueirão, Brazil. At 12, he immigrated to Canada with his family. In 1950, they returned to Brazil, where Helmuth finished school, did mandatory military service, and became a bus and truck driver. In 1958, the family settled in Kitchener, Ont., where Helmuth again drove truck. After a neck injury in 1975, he turned his gardening hobby into a business. Following several difficult years, he began designing kitchens. In 1990, when a car accident forced him to retire, Helmuth followed his passion by joining the Niagara Community Male Chorus and finding a new hobby: making pens out of rare woods. In 1995, he was diagnosed with diabetes and in 2008, contracted West Nile disease. Helmuth was a caring husband, father, grandpa, uncle, brother, and friend. His parting words were always “Just keep smiling.”


  • Birth: October 2, 1936
  • Birthplace:
    Curitiba, Brazil
  • Death: February 15, 2013

  • Parents:
    Cornelius & Maria (Klassen) Goertz
  • Married:
    Ruth Peters, July 2, 1966
  • Family:
    children Richard (Christiane), Robert (Wendy), Lynda Klassen, Bill (Becky); 10 grand-children; 3 siblings
  • Baptism:
    Zion MB, Kitchener, Ont., Aug. 29, 1982