Hanne-Lore (Anna) Hayward (nee Grabow)
June 25, 1929 – March 29, 2019
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Hanne-Lore (Anna) Hayward (nee Grabow) passed away peacefully at OTMH on March 29, 2019.
Born in Schwerin, in northeast Germany, Anna was one of two children of Paul Grabow and Anna-Marie Pinnow. In what would become the first of several life-changing events, she became the only child at the age of five following the tragic drowning of her older sister in the canal behind her rural home in the village of Banzkow. A few years later, WWII broke out and Anna’s father (OPA), after resisting recruitment, was pressed into the air force at the ripe age of 42. Anna and her mother followed him to the Isle of Silt off the coast of Denmark for several months prior to OPA being captured and held as a POW until the end of the war when he returned to Russian-controlled East Germany.
Realizing the difficult future ahead in post-war East Germany, Anna’s parents made the heart-wrenching decision to arrange for the escape of their only child to the West so she could have a chance at a better life. It was a monumental decision for a 17-year old who fully understood that she would be saying goodbye to her parents for a very long time, perhaps forever. With a backpack full of clothes, money, and supplies, Anna set out to rendezvous with a “fixer” who led her through a midnight journey across barbed wire fencing, patrolled by barking guard dogs and border guards with a mandate to shoot at first sight, where she then ran through an open field to freedom.
Scared but relieved, Anna made her way to southern Bavaria to stay with family friends. A year later, she travelled to New York by ship and then on to Toronto where she very quickly advanced her English speaking and writing skills and landed a job as an administrative assistant at U of T. Several years later, she met Leonard, her future husband, with whom she had three sons, John, Paul, and Jeffrey.
Anna was also a gifted homebuilder. She immersed herself in the ambitious project of steering the construction of a fabulous country home in North Burlington where the family moved to in the early 1970’s. Anna was also an amazing cook as all of her friends and family are well aware – her repertoire was vast and ranged from Hungarian goulash to deep fried wontons.
Finding herself living alone and back in town in later years, Anna discovered her creative and entrepreneurial spirit. She sourced and designed a variety of jewelry and Christmas ornaments to sell to gift shops across Ontario and beyond. Perhaps her best remembered creation was “Culinary Heritage” which is a recipe collection book for merging families, typically newlyweds, so that favourite family dishes could be saved and passed down the line.
Over the past several years, Anna struggled with the challenges of dementia but carried on as best she could. She rose to her final challenges in the same way that she had throughout her eventful life – with strength and determination.
A Memorial Visitation will be held on Sunday, April 7th, 2019 from 2-4 p.m. at the Kopriva Taylor Community Funeral Home, 64 Lakeshore Road West, (one block east of Kerr 905-844-2600) Oakville.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions to the Alzheimers Society of Canada alzheimer.ca in Anna’s name would be most welcomed.
Sunday, April 07, 2019
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Kopriva Taylor Community Funeral Home Inc.
64 Lakeshore Road West
Oakville, Ontario L6K 1E1
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Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de Hanne-Lore Anna Hayward nee Grabow June 25 1929 March 29 2019..
Décès pour la Ville: Oakville, Province: Ontario