Walter Driedger was taken into the presence of our Lord on Sunday, May 24, 2020 in Calgary, Alberta.
Loving husband of Takako, supportive father to Kayko (Josh), Mika (Russ), and Emmi (Stefan), and proud grandfather of Akira, Hiro, Lochlann, Brynja, Toshi, and Mynah, he also leaves behind siblings Maria (John), Berni (Annette), Peter (Tatyana), and nephews and nieces. He is predeceased by his parents, Gerhard and Hilda Driedger.
Walter Driedger was proud to be a professional engineer and mentored many others through his long career. Deeply impacted by his experience as a child refugee from Germany after WWII, he enjoyed helping other newcomers make Canada their home. He was a lifelong supporter of the Lutheran Churches he attended, including Shepherd of the Hills, Shepherd King, and Church of the Cross (all located in Calgary).
He will be remembered by his acquaintances, friends, and family for his excellent advice, his memorable stories, and his terrible jokes.
The funeral service for Walter will be held via Zoom on Saturday, May 30 at 11:00, hosted by Lutheran Church of the Cross. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the service can be attended online by clicking here.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Canadian Lutheran World Relief. https://www.clwr.org/donate
Please feel free to leave a kind remembrance or message of condolence in the Reply box below.
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22 thoughts on “Home”
Please share your favourite memory of Walter – something he taught you, a story he told you, or even music he shared with you.
I was about to fail one of my university physics classes, and my dad said one of the most memorable things to me:
“There are some rungs of the ladder that you can’t reach just yet.”
I retook, and passed, the class two semesters later. As always, he was right.
Emma and Family, Sorry to hear of the loss of your father and grandfather! Especially during these very trying and challenging times. Please know that we will keep you all in our prayers and thoughts. Hugs from Ross and Joanne Fiest and family!
Kayko, I have fond memories of your dad when he was visiting you at the UC Berkeley Village. It was clear how happy he was to be around you and the kids and how much he loved you all in his quiet and kind way. He had a quirky sense of humour and I can still picture the mischievous glint in his eye and grin when he was trying to make you laugh.
When our family visited you in Calgary for Stampede in 2017, your dad and mom, were so kind and generous to open their home to us and have us stay with them. It was nice to interact with your dad and see him in the home in which he raised you — it helped me better understand you and appreciate your close relationship with your dad.
I was glad to get to know him, through your life and our friendship. I’m so saddened for you and your family’s loss.
Sending hugs and love to you and your family during this tough time,
Noriko (Pat, Kiyomi & Keiji) Bouffard
My deepest sympathy and prayers to you and your family, Walter will deeply be missed.
Walter helped mentor me through various phases of my engineering career starting at Fluor, then at Colt and onto Worley.
I will always cherish the fond memories of our discussions…
Rest in peace old friend.
Our condolences go out to Walter’s family at this sad time. May he rest in peace,
Alan and Roberta Kimber
To Walter’s family,
We are deeply saddened to hear about your loss. At the University of Lethbridge we will always remember the generosity of Walter, his siblings, and the family for supporting our history students with scholarships and sponsoring the annual Driedger Lecture through your remarkable gift. My colleagues and I enjoyed getting to know Walter and the family. He was a passionate storyteller, who inspired and shared with us good laughs.
Our heartfelt condolences to you.
The most important advice I got from my dad, which came in the form of work stories, and not actual advice, was “Every project goes over budget (by 10%) and over time. If you plan that in, then you when you come in on time and on budget, you look good. When you come in under, you look great.” That has turned out to work for everything from home renovations, to writing articles, to grocery shopping.
Also, “a goal is not a plan. What’s your plan?”
I was so surprised and saddened to hear about Walter. We so much enjoyed his stories and his abundant love of life; he was a true character. I can only imagine what a wonderful son, sibling, husband, father, and grandfather he was. Our hearts go out to all those who had the pleasure of knowing him.
From cousin Barb: When I think of Walter I think of how he generously helped so many people including me. One memory I have of Walter occurred when I was grade nine. I was ill prepared for my grade nine Provincial Achievement test. Walter kindly and patiently agreed to help me study effectively for my English exam. (I passed). Another memory I have of Walter is his curiosity and thirst for learning. When I was attending U of Calgary, both Walter and I lived with Oma and Opa in Montgomery. Many a morning Walter sat at the breakfast table reading the “Scientific American” absorbed in an article. I had the honour of being a part of Walter and Takako’s wedding as bridesmaid, wearing a special Japanese kimono. Walter embraced life with humility and humanity.
Dear Takako and girls, we send our deepest and heartfelt sympathies to you upon Walter’s passing; We had heard he had some health issues, and do hope he didn’t suffer during his last days. Our memories are from Church of the Cross, serving on different committees with him.
With our sympathies,
Bob and Donna Schmidt
I am grateful to have known and worked with Walter over my entire career at colt/worley. While his technical skills were obvious, i will always admire his ability, and willingness, to teach. He was always able to simplify a complex subject into the most simple analogy, and i often think ‘how would walter approach this?’. My deepest condolences to his family. He will not be forgotten.
I got to know Walter when he and Takako joined us when we went on a cruise with Emmi and Stefan. Walter was always up for a conversation, and was so enjoyable to talk with. He always had such interesting stories to share, the most notable of which involved benign chased by a cheetah while riding a motorcycle on one of his travelling adventures. My condolences go out to the whole family.
The more I think of it the more I realize that Uncle Walter is hugely responsible for who I am today. All those random walks throughout the various equally random places be it with family or friends was “learned” through my Uncle Walter. I am sure his siblings can concur There was one time my father and I visited him while the city was in the middle of constructing the elevated section of the C-train blue line. We all put on white hard hats and carried clip boards with paper then infiltrated the site. What started out as a simple trespassing ruse turned out to be a crash course on light rail and civil engineering. From the equipment used, the materials employed and why the inside of it was hollow; it was as if he had designed the thing himself and we were actually inspecting the project. Not once was our presence questioned by anyone working there that day. My father Bernie has the pictures to prove it.
I will make sure to keep watching the skies. The world is more interesting than I could ever imagine: Uncle Walter taught me that.
Dear Takako, Kayko, Mika, and Emmi,
Just watched the service. God’s comfort to you and the whole family. Walter faithfully served his church families for many years. May the peace of Christ which surpasses all human understanding, dwell in your hearts always.
Rick and Lesley Quast
Dan and I would like to extend our sincere sympathy to all of you on the passing of Walter. We were so impressed with Walter’s commitment to those who chose Canada as their safe home. Our wish is that fond memories help at this time. Thank you for making it possible for us to be part of the service at Lutheran Church of the Cross. Sincerely, Dan and Maureen Leonhardt
Dear Takako and Emmi,
I still enjoy the memories of the Alaskan cruise we took together in 2012. It was a lovely time to get to know Walter and Takako. I fondly remember Walter’s kind demeanor and stories. One in particular about being chased by a cheetah. I also recall Takako was quite skilled at cards. Reflecting on this trip, it was a wonderful time and it highlighted to me what a lovely family Stefan would be marrying into.
I am so sorry for your loss. On behalf of my family, we send much love and thoughts. We hope to play another card game soon.
From Jim Johansson
I looked forward to meeting Walter at Church each week. We would often speak about current problems and their potential resolutions. Mostly we just satisfied ourselves with identifying a problem but sometimes I would “carefully” present my potential solution. Carefully, that is, since Walter had a uncanny ability to to distill any suggested solution down to the level of “that would work” or “that wouldn’t work and here is why.”
A great engineer and one who, I think, did not suffer fools lightly. I will miss him and his advice.
I was very sad to hear of Walter’s passing. My sincerest condolences to Takako and family. I worked closely with Walter for many years. He was always a pleasure to work with and taught me many things. He had a broad breadth of knowledge and passion on many subjects (which reminded me very much of my own father). He was always willing to help out. No job was beneath him. He was always willing to teach the younger engineers, and even more so the older ones. His insightfulness and genuine compassion made him a dear friend. He will be missed.
I think fondly of my having spent work on various projects with Walter. He was always an inspiration and a great teacher. On various occasions he “saved” the project. He was always ready and willing to jump in and lend a hand.
I met him last during when we both received our 45 year service award at the ISA. My deepest sympathies to Takako and the Driedger family.
This is a comment from Elizabeth, one of Walter’s father\s cousins living in Germany.
I am sad Walter passend away. When I was 9 years old, he was the first baby I met. I was living with your parents at that time. I had to look after him quite often, till your parents moved to Neuwied. When he started to talk, he called me „Lila“ and when he wanted to be real nice to me, he called me „Lilaletzen“ ( Elisabethchen) You have to read it in German, to understand. 😊 After that I saw him, when your father came to Germany with Walter, he was well over 60 years then.
Thank you for letting me know about Walter
Sorry to hear about Walter