October 12, 1931 to May 27, 2021
After a short battle with cancer, Werner Hermann Kleinitz died at the Mineral Springs Hospital surrounded by his family. He was 89 years old. He is survived by his wife Ruth of 55 years, his son Kai, daughter Jennifer, his sister Helga (Gustl) and numerous nieces and nephews.
Werner was born in Berlin, Germany, the oldest of 8 siblings. During the war the family was evacuated eventually settling in Vilseck, Germany. As an athletic youth his favourite activity was climbing. In his early twenties, each summer he quit work for six weeks, got on his motorcycle and spent his time climbing extensively throughout the Alps in Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland. He climbed mountains such as the Matterhorn and even attempted the north face of the Eiger, but had to turn back partway up due to bad weather. His trade before he left Germany, was a film projectionist but really, he was the ultimate handyman – there was nothing that he couldn’t fix or build.
All the while he continued to enjoy his favourite pursuit of climbing in the Rockies (which he enjoyed so much that he decided to stay in Canada and settle in Banff). He spent as much time as possible outdoors hiking, backpacking, biking, canoeing, skiing, and of course, climbing all over the Rockies. Well into his 80’s, he was still downhill skiing and staying active, walking and riding his bike whenever possible.
After retiring from Banff Lifts, where he worked for 29 years, he was recruited by the Stumboeck Club to become a ski guide for Germans coming to visit the Rockies. It was his dream job – he got to ski and was paid to do it. He continued to work for Stumboeck until age 75 when regulations wouldn’t allow him to continue.
The family would like to thank the nurses for their excellent care during his final week at the Mineral Springs Hospital.
Cremation has taken place.
Donations may be made if desired to the Bow Valley SPCA (in memory of his cat Matrix, who died just weeks before him) or to the Canadian Cancer Society, directed towards bladder cancer research.