Ingrid Mander - Memorial Page
Ingrid Katharina Mander
Ingrid was born in Königsberg, Germany, to Margarete and Karl Fuchs. On January 18, 1960, she married George Mander in Frankfurt, Germany, and subsequently immigrated to Vancouver, Canada in June of 1960. In July of 1960, Ingrid and George moved to Castlegar, B.C., and lived there until May 1961, when they returned to Vancouver once more. In September of 1965, Ingrid and George had their first and only child, a son, Michael. In May of 1966, Ingrid, George and their son moved to Coquitlam, B.C., and there she spent the next 42 years with her husband George, until her death in 2008.
She is survived by her husband George, her son Michael and her sister Elisabeth Robson.
Here is a link to my father's memorial page with the eulogy he gave at my mother's memorial service.
(Following is the eulogy I gave at my mother's memorial service on May 5th, 2008)
How do I remember my mother? First and foremost, I remember her as absolutely the most decent person imaginable with the highest possible moral standards that anyone could have.
She strongly believed that all people, no matter their race, their colour, their creed, their cultural origins... that all people deserved equal respect and equal rights in our society.
She bitterly remembered the horrors of the second World War and, over the years, voluntarily contributed enormous amounts of energy to a variety of projects which sought to educate people on that ugly time in Germany’s history. She was also involved in a project to educate children and encourage their acceptance and understanding of different cultures and beliefs at an early age.
She applied those high standards to herself as well, of course. I even remember, many years ago after returning from a trip to Germany, my mother’s intense embarrassment at discovering that she had somehow, by accident, managed to steal a small metal teaspoon from the airline - I believe the spoon had an Air Canada logo on its stem. She found it in her purse some weeks later, and immediately called the airline to apologize and ask how she could return the spoon! The bemused person on the phone thanked her for her honesty, and said that it was okay for her to keep it.
Whenever she received a letter, card or gift from someone overseas, she would always make a point of reciprocating back with a letter, card or gift of her own. She would be upset with herself if she realized that she had somehow forgotten to answer back or thank someone for their correspondence or gift.
From an early age, my mother made a point of impressing her high moral standards onto me as well. She taught me not to steal, not to pick on other children, to respect one’s elders. She abhorred violence or crime of any sort and made sure I did so as well. She always took an active and encouraging part in my education, from the earliest years in elementary school, on up through university.
For all of this, I thank her deeply.
I remember her love of art - painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, native carvings, totem poles, jewelry - she appreciated a very diverse range of art forms. When I was young, before I started getting involved in photography myself, I remember watching her as she took photos. She would hold the camera up to her eye and proceed to shuffle back and forth, left and right, bob up and down, sometimes even kneeling or sitting on the ground in the dirt. Not content with just holding the camera up and taking a snapshot, she always paid close attention to the composition of her photos. While on vacation, we would be driving along and suddenly she would see something and, much to my father’s occasional annoyance, say “Stop the car! I see a photo there...”
A number of years ago, I took some photos on a trip to Death Valley in California. Upon showing a particular shot to my mother, she said “That rock looks so familiar” and promptly dug up one of her photo albums. Sure enough, many years before, she and my father had stopped at the side of that same road and she had taken almost exactly the same photo, with the very same rock, nearly the same composition, everything! There was no pullout, no scenic view marker, nothing particularly distinctive. Just a boulder and a nice view of some spectacular mountains in Death Valley, a view that caught both her eye, and then many years later, mine as well.
I believe that I mostly have her to thank for my interest and dedication to photography. Certainly any artistic ability that I might claim to have, would have come from her...
I will remember her for her love of travel, her appreciation of beautiful scenery, of nature and wildlife, especially birds. How she loved birds! Chickadees, Stellar’s Jays and Humming Birds were among her favorites. At home, the Stellar’s Jays got so used to her feeding them, that they would actually tap at her window in the morning with their beaks, trying to wake her and remind her to feed them!
Back in September of 2003, when she was already unable to walk very well, I visited the Reifel Bird Sanctuary with my mother and father. With great difficulty, my father and I took her around in a wheelchair, over the gravel, the roots and the soft ground. The effort was worth it, since I remember her joy when the Chickadees began landing on her hand and starting taking sunflower seeds from her.
In later years, we didn’t always see eye-to-eye. She tried to get me interested in politics. Well, not much to say there... she didn’t have much luck with that!
We disagreed on many aspects of technology - she hated computers and email. She thought the Internet was a huge waste of time. When she was diagnosed with cancer and suddenly felt the pressure to write an autobiography, imagine my surprise when she agreed to writing it on a laptop computer! Although she still hated computers, she grudgingly accepted that they were, occasionally, actually somewhat useful for something!
I had always expected that she would reject my move from photographing with film cameras, to using digital cameras. However when she saw the results I was getting, that despite all the electronics and computer circuitry, a digital camera could still be used to take compelling and beautiful photos, she even supported that technological intrusion on my creativity.
In the end, I have much to thank her for, much more than I have time for here. It is my sincere hope that she was aware of my gratitude. I hope that despite the unavoidable ups and downs that a family can have, she knew that she was loved and appreciated.
Thank you Mama, for your love, your teachings and your inspiration over the years. I will miss you.
Mike Mander, May 2008