It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, wife, and grandmother, Marlies Boytinck (née Hollatz), on Sunday, November 14th in the Purdy Pavilion care facility at UBC. 

Forever an elegant and gracious spirit, Marlies suffered for the past decade from the harrowing effects of Alzheimer's and ultimately passed away in her sleep from resulting complications. 

In her final days she was surrounded in person and via video by her husband Walter Jürgen, their four children Thomas (Andrea), Barbara (Arndt), Monica (Rob) and Cornelia (Keith), as well as ten grandchildren Erik, Marlena, Rosi, Nina, Carl, Cailey, Isaac, Olivia, Matilda and Lara.

Marlies was born on January 30, 1935, in Kamin, West Prussia, a former German province that today is part of Poland, on her parents’ farm that had been in the family since at least 1750. The end of World War II saw Marlies' family forced, in January 1945, to leave their home and flee the Soviets on a 3-months journey that took her to Bavaria as a refugee, a defining experience of her life. 

After helping her family restart, she completed her schooling and eventually found work as an au-pair in London for an American diplomat family. She returned to Germany to train as a secretary and then, in 1959, courageously immigrated to Canada by herself to work at the US Embassy in Ottawa. From there she travelled on to Vancouver, where she met and married Walter in 1967—a union which would last for nearly 55 years.

Four children came into the world in rapid succession from 1968 to 1972, and Marlies was thrust into a whirlwind family life. She championed her children’s upbringing and education, giving them opportunities in music, ballet, languages, and travel. 

In the challenging years of the 1980s, driving around Vancouver in her distinctive VW van, besides being a full-time mother of four, Marlies returned to work as a legal secretary to help support the family.

Marlies will be remembered as warm and poised, an engaging conversationalist, an excellent cook, the ultimate saver, and supportive to a fault. She disliked her curly hair and adored her morning coffee. She had perfect pitch and never felt so good as she did after one of her favorite yoga classes—which she kept up into her 70s. She intuitively loved and understood animals, and they loved her back with delight.

Marlies often said: “Old age is not for sissies.” Alzheimer’s is a cruel disease—and Marlies proved a warrior in the battle. 

We are grateful to the devoted staff of the ASK Centre in Vancouver, which provided Marlies with a wonderful program for people with memory impairment, as well as to the Purdy Pavilion at UBC, where she spent her later months after losing mobility due to a stroke in late 2019. 

Our particular gratitude goes to her daughter Monica, who cared for her lovingly and without fail for the past decade, and who together with our father enabled Marlies to live comfortably in the family home for as long as possible.

From all of us with love, may you rest peacefully. We miss you.

Auch wenn wir damit rechnen mussten und der Tod als Erlösung kam, so schmerzt es doch sehr, Dich hergeben zu müssen. Wir werden Dich so in Erinnerung behalten, wie Du in den schönsten Stunden Deines Lebens mit uns zusammen warst.