A Beautiful, Noble Woman
Lina Marie GROSSMANN was born on February 8, 1932 in Schwagsdorf, Germany, to Luise Elise and Heinrich Wilhelm STORCK. Lina was the middle of three children; her older brother Erich was 10 years older and her sister, Lisa was three years younger. The rigours of farm life and the war years provided ample opportunity for her to develop into a strong, independent-minded woman, highly skillful and unafraid of the road ahead. Always full of hope and optimism, Lina surmounted every obstacle in her life, and there were so very many.
Like many women who came from a farming background, Lina was a talented cook, knitter, seamstress, gardener and homemaker. After the war, Lina found employment in various households of medical professionals and a taxi company. She was offered a chance for further education as a dental assistant, but declined as she was about to be married. On June 11, 1953 she married Wilhelm Franz Rosemann, then her daughter Gudrun Katharina Luise was born on January 27, 1955. By May 13, 1956, Lina and family were landed immigrants in Canada and then her son, Peter Fred William was born in Hamilton on June 23, 1957.
Imagine life in a foreign country where you do not read, speak or understand the language! Lina tells that she once brought home a can of meat, and as there was no picture, was horrified to learn that it was actually cat food! Within a short period of time, a house was purchased on Grant Avenue and a variety of tenants and boarders made life more affordable, interesting and lively. Through friendships (general conversation and playing Scrabble) and a desire to learn, Lina became a competent speaker and writer of English.
Unfortunately, the marriage was not to last, so Lina moved with her two children to her first apartment on Rebecca Street and found employment in various households as a housekeeper with a love of children to guide her choices; she worked for the Peddlars, the Goodwins, the Zavitz and Inch Families, the Dorseys and the Wylie Family to name a few. She developed a very strong bond with each of the families creating friendships that lasted to the end of her life.
Lina was remarried on November 29, 1977 to Josef Grossmann as he had already become her life partner by 1969. They shared some common interests and travelled to Germany together where Lina befriended Josef’s family and she remained in regular contact with them after Josef passed in 1998. “Little” Tim who came to visit her with his family also remained in regular correspondence and has sent pictures, drawings and mementos of his life and travels; such was her connection with children and family.
Lina made friends everywhere she went. On trips to Costco, for example, when she could only walk for short periods of time, she would find a place to rest at the food kiosk and would strike up a conversation with whomever about whatever, making a new friend along the way, often citing the detail that she was ‘bionic’ (two knee replacements).
An athletic and curious child, Lina was a strong runner and passed along a love of sports to her children. Afraid of the water she made sure her children learned to swim and fostered a particular interest in badminton; a sport both her children still play to this day. Lina also promoted the value of a good education and was proud of the accomplishments of both her children. Even in her 70’s Lina tried something new; she joined Premier Fitness where she worked out regularly three times a week until her knees made it impossible.
Lina was renowned for her hospitality and guests were never disappointed. As those who looked and knew, Lina kept a fridge full of food in the event she might have to feed a passing army. Lina’s “Torten” were memorable and highly sought after as were her homemade grape jelly and pickles.
Lina was also interested in artisanal activities that included but were not limited to pottery, pine cone wreath making, hand-made Christmas ornaments, and a variety of handicrafts; she was always busy creating something beautiful.
Of particular interest was the Formula 1 circuit and her favourite driver, Michael Schumacher. Lina knew all the statistics about the various drivers, their cars, the history of racing and watched both the qualifying race and the race itself whenever televised. A Lego Ferrari and both Ferrari and Schumacher memorabilia grace a shelf in the living room which in turn encourages much conversation and prognostication about the sport and the ever-changing rules.
Friday night was ‘game night’ and included pizza and board games. Risk, Settlers of Catan, Rummikub and Trouble were among her favourites. Lina had a habit of helping her grandson, Matthew, win and was very proud that he graduated from Guelph University with a degree in Agricultural Business. These evenings of games and laughter brought great joy to a woman who valued family above all else.
Lina had little time for or interest in pettiness or idle gossip. She was an honest person of humble origin who lived her life in a conspicuously forthright manner. Her beacon in life, a philosophy that she promoted actively, can be captured the way she expressed it: “Whatever you do in life, always do your best, and always be kind”.
Lina passed on January 28, 2023 at St. Peter’s Hospital, Hamilton, Ontario. There are not enough words of thanks and gratitude for the loving, thoughtful care provided by Dr. Solomon and the palliative care team; an energetic, thoughtful, attentive and caring group of people. Lina is predeceased by her husband Josef, and will be remembered and cherished by her daughter Gudrun Mitterling (husband Toni), her son Peter Rosemann and her beloved grandson, Matthew Mitterling.
There will be a private family laying to rest of Lina’s ashes in the spring.
Lina’s memory can be honoured through donations to the charities she personally supported:
The Colin B. Glassco Charitable Foundation for Children,
The Heart and Stroke Foundation, and
The World Wildlife Federation.