Alma (Schmigelski) Pedde
July 17, 1914 - July 28, 2002
Kempa Kikolska, Poland
Port Colborne, Ontario
Alma Alwine Schmigelski was born in Kempa Kikolska, Poland, on July 17, 1914. In 1937, Alma married widower Julius Pedde and welcomed his daughter Wanda into the family. Their first son Edgar died as a baby and then later two other boys, Albert and Erwin, were born.
In 1944, during the second world war, Alma and Julius fled towards the west to escape the advancing Russian army. They lost track of each other and were separated until the summer of 1945, after the war had ended.
With Alma during the winter of 1944-1945 as they trudged on foot across northern Germany were children Wanda, Albert and Erwin. Alma was several months pregnant. Albert and Erwin succumbed to hunger and cold and died in a children’s clinic in Graal Muritz in northern Germany. Alma and Wanda pressed on and finally found safety in Gross Steinrade, near Luebeck. When Julius found Alma, he had lost two sons and gained another, Siegfried, who was born in July of 1945.
In 1949, the family left to start a new life in Canada. They settled in Alberta where another son, Alfred, was born in November of 1949. In 1950, the family moved to Port Colborne, Ontario.
When Alma reached her sixties, she needed an outlet for her creative energies and started to write and paint. She chronicled family history at the request of her son, Siegfried and also began to write German poetry. By the time she gave up writing, she had written over 150 poems. Some of her poems were put on the internet and Alma received emails of appreciation from around the world from people who had been blessed by the messages in her poetry. One high school in the United Sates even used some of her poems in the curriculum of their German Studies department.
Alma's life story is in German, her mother tongue, and can be read here: http://www.pedde.net/AlmaStory.html. Some of her poetry can be seen here: http://www.pedde.net/canada/alma/index.htm.