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TOPF, Yvonne Anne

TOPF, Yvonne Anne

September 15, 1937 - January 26, 2018

Beloved wife, mother and sister Yvonne Topf passed away at the age of 80 on January 26 in Kelowna - where she lived with husband Dieter since the late 1960s and raised her two children, Christina and Andrew.

Yvonne was born in Ruislip, England to parents Dudley and May Cook, where Yvonne attended grammar school and college for occupational therapy. Yvonne and a few friends decided it would be fun to work abroad, in Canada for a year. They settled in Vancouver and Yvonne soon met a dashing skier named Dieter who proposed marriage shortly thereafter. The story goes that Yvonne’s dad nearly dropped the phone when his daughter called to say she was marrying a German, but they soon warmed up to Dieter when he reminded them it was a perfect match, with “Topf” meaning “Cook”ing pot in German.

Her work-abroad plans solidified into life as a new Canadian. Yvonne and Dieter moved to Kelowna when Dieter was promoted to set up an RV plant in Winfield and Yvonne took a job as an OT at Kelowna General Hospital.

Yvonne worked her way up to Department Head, mentoring many OTs along the way, before retiring in 1998. While some see retirement as a time to relax, Yvonne poured her efforts and time into serving her community. She was President of the Canadian Federation of University Women - a group that meant a lot to her and offered a large social network. Yvonne was very active in the Kelowna arts and culture scene, including as President of the Kelowna Community Concert Association. Yvonne was quietly persuasive in her views, and she was known for her organizational skills, patience and English wit. She helped to showcase many up and coming musical groups, and a highlight was meeting celebrated Canadian tenor Ben Heppner, who she found to be kind and unassuming as well as talented.

When not volunteering Yvonne was a passionate traveller, going on many holidays with Dieter both in Canada and abroad. Some of her fondest travel memories were trips to Hawaii with Dieter and the kids, camping excursions in one of Dieter’s “off the lot” motorhomes, and later in life, a vacation with Tina to the UK to reconnect with her British roots.

She was also an avid reader, crossword puzzler, and enjoyed knitting and making crafts.

Despite living a long and healthy life uninterrupted by serious illness, Yvonne was diagnosed with cancer about a year ago. She put up a brave fight surrounded by family and friends.

Yvonne is survived by her loving family: devoted husband Dieter, son Andrew, daughter Christina, son-in-law Philip Burns, brother Stuart Cook, sister-in-law Charlotte Kushner and nephews Jeremy and Daniel Cook.

The family wishes to thank Dr. Wendy Wickstrom, an exceptional GP whose knowledge and compassion was of great comfort to us during Yvonne’s illness.

A celebration of Yvonne’s life will be held at Springfield Funeral Home this Friday, February 2, at 10 am, 2020 Springfield Road, Kelowna, B.C. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.springfieldfuneralhome.com.

Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.springfieldfuneralhome.com, 250-860-7077.

Link: www.springfieldfuneralhome.com
Condolence Messages
  • Feb 01, 2018
    Dieter and family, so shocked to hear of Yvonne's death. I remember you all so well when we lived in Kelowna. May and Dudley moved out the same year as we did and joined the Dance group the year after. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Rose Powell
  • Feb 01, 2018
    Dieter, Christina, and Andrew. We are very sorry to hear of Yvonne's passing. What a remarkable, beautiful lady. Our sincere condolences.
    Ernie and Bea Stinner
  • Feb 01, 2018
    I am so sorry to learn of Yvonne's passing. I am Celia Runka's sister and well remember when you lived next door to Celia and Gary. The children played together often, so many years ago. I knew Yvonne through work as well and would meet her while she did her volunteer work....she was a lovely, kind lady and will certainly be missed. My condolences to you Dieter and the family.
    Gladi Rowlett
  • Jan 31, 2018
    Casey and I would like to send you, Dieter and your family, our deepest condolences with the passing of Yvonne.
    Sincerely, Casey and Connie van Staalduinen
  • Jan 31, 2018
    Dieter and kids, So very shocked and sad to hear of Yvonne's passing. I had no idea she was even ill. When I am back in Canada I will arrange to visit you, Dieter for sure. My thoughts are with you during this very difficult time. My thoughts are about Yvonne, this amazing person I was fortunate to know very well for many years.
  • Jan 30, 2018
    So sorry to hear about Yvonne. She was my OT for many years helping me with splints and other needs for arthritis. When she retired, Yvonne was missed by many of us.
    Colleen Landon
  • Jan 30, 2018
    Dieter and family,
    It is with greatest sadness that we learned of Yvonne's passing. She was a joy to work with and she often mentioned different members of the family during our casual conversations.
    Please accept our most heartfelt sympathy.
    Gerry Bleiler, ex Personnel Director KGH
  • Jan 29, 2018
    I am shocked to read of Yvonne's death. I have great memories of working with her at KGH and helping her staff set up the computer links in her department. She was always kind, very professional and passionate about her team/staff, and her department. I loved seeing her at Kelowna Community events as well. A true professional with a loving caring heart. She will be missed by many including her wonderful family. Barbara Carroll.
  • Jan 29, 2018
    Please receive our condolences. We are very sorry to hear that Yvonne passed away. I was her hairdresser and we had lots of fun, she will be missed.
    Dragica and Patrick
  • Jan 29, 2018
    Sincere condolences to you and the family. Been many a year since we last saw each other, but always appreciated the conversations and business we did.
    David Langton
    Competition Glass