Loving father and devoted husband, Eugene Wenzel Hartmann (89), passed peacefully on March 7th, 2023, with his two sons by his side. For those who knew Eugene, the term “character” would easily come to mind as he had no shortage of entertaining stories to tell or considered opinions to share with his friends, family, and the occasional stranger. In his grand storytelling style, he would talk of his hair-raising childhood adventures, his many travels back and forth across the Atlantic and his most treasured memory, meeting his future wife, Christel. Eugene and Christel immigrated to Canada in 1963 settling down in Toronto to build a new life together and raise a family. Given his love of adventure, it was no surprise that Eugene found himself drawn to a career in the travel industry eventually co-owning his own agency, Crossroads Travel. The travel business also allowed him to indulge a passion for golf, getting a tee time at some of the most beautiful courses around the world – both of his sons inherited the travel bug and one also went on to become a golf enthusiast and future pro. Gene retired at 60 and spent the next stage of his life traveling with Christel to places both near and far and embracing a few new experiences like joining a church choir (he was a great baritone) and playing tournament ping pong (North York, 1999 senior champion, runner up!).
A life well lived brings with it both laughter and joy as well as heartache and tragedy, so it was when his wife of 50 years passed away in 2013 (she was a remarkable lady). Although Eugene struggled with Christel’s loss, he could still find joy in spending time with his boys. The highlight of each passing year was a family trip to the fishing hole he christened, Hartmann’s Bay. He made his last visit to the “Bay” in 2018 and despite declining health still managed to snag the biggest and the smallest fish. Our dad will be sorely missed but there is some small comfort knowing that he will now be reunited with his beloved Christel who we can only imagine is smiling and occasionally rolling her eyes at whatever new grand tale he is about to tell.
Eugene is survived by his son David and partner Angela, and his son Michael and wife Morag and their son Daniel. His family will hold a private service to be followed by a small reception in his memory with details to follow. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Sunnybrook Foundation in support of individuals living with Dementia.