We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our beloved wife and mother Waltraud Schlicher on September 2, 2023. She leaves behind a legacy of love, laughter, and wonderful memories.
Waltraud, who many knew by her nickname Wally, was a creative and loving soul. Born in Frankweiler, Germany, on June 23, 1950, she grew up in the aftermath of the second world war and came into her own in the 1970s. She had a strong moral compass and often quoted her father by telling her family to "never look down on anyone." She lived by this phrase. Early in her career as a medical book illustrator, she quit her job after witnessing an injustice toward a colleague, an act of solidarity that perhaps few would have done. Her warmth and kindness towards others was genuine, and her thoughtfulness knew no bounds.
Always an avid reader, Wally devoured many books in her lifetime. Her interests varied widely from spiritual literature on reincarnation to watercolour techniques and children's literature. Continuous learning was a major theme in her life. She returned to university in her thirties to study art history, and was known to do meticulous research and reading on topics of interest to her.
Wally often remarked that she felt a keen interest in people from foreign countries in her youth. She even studied several languages, including French, English and Farsi. Perhaps this underlying interest in foreign cultures was destiny at work. In the 1980s, Wally took a bold leap into the unknown and moved to Canada to marry her husband Peter. The risk paid off. Toronto would become her new home. It was where she and Peter raised their two daughters, Silvia and Danielle, and where she touched the lives of so many.
We will feel her warmth and tenderness when we bake her favourite cakes. We will see her in her watercolour paintings, each stroke a work of art. And, we will find her in her writing, in the stories she wrote and in the handwritten notes that fill her beloved books.
We will remember her for everything she did for us. Thank you for being the glue that kept and will always keep us together.
We love you very much.
Wally is survived by her husband Peter Gruttke, daughters Silvia (Nick Gushaty) and Danielle (Ryan Snow), mother Edith Schlicher, brother Bernd Schlicher and extended family in Germany. She was predeceased by her father Erich Schlicher. A special thank you to the Oncology and Palliative Care medical teams at Centenary and Scarborough General hospitals who gave Wally the best care and support in her courageous fight against cancer.