Joseph Sternberg

May 28, 1928 – September 30, 2020
Joseph Sternberg passed away peacefully on the morning of Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at his home in Uxbridge, Ontario in his 92nd year.
Joseph had a full life. Born May 29, 1928 in the village of Gesmold, Germany, he grew up during very difficult times.
He was the eldest of ten children and the only one who ventured abroad. When he came to Canada in 1952 to start a new life, Joe brought along his knowledge of farming. He was very touched by the kindness of Canadians towards him as a newcomer.
He was forever grateful to the Government of Canada for letting him become a Canadian citizen. Joe travelled and worked his way right across Canada – from Halifax on the Atlantic Ocean to Kitimat on the Pacific Ocean. In 1963 he finally settled down in Tappen, British Columbia with his new wife, Brigitte and their first set of twins.
It was here that he started his forty-five year long career as a dairy farmer. Joe and Brigitte were always thrilled to welcome relatives, friends and exchange students from around the world.
Joseph and Brigitte were married for over 58 years. Their greatest achievement was raising their six children — Gabriele (Chris), Michael (Yolanda), Yvonne (Thomas), Teresa (Barry), Marcus (Leaf) and Thomas (Sharna) — a true family team with three girls and three boys, including two sets of twins.
Having not been able to finish his schooling as a youth in Germany, Joe valued education and was involved directly and indirectly with his children’s schooling. Not only did he like to read the books they brought home from school, he also loved to peruse their university textbooks when they came home to the farm. It gave him many opportunities to model his belief of the importance of lifelong learning.
Joe was a board member of the Okanagan College Board and Shuswap Hospital Board, and a trustee for the Shuswap School Board. He also really enjoyed being a member of the Rotary Club of Salmon Arm and being a member of the Knights of Columbus. Joe did all this to show his children that he really valued family and community. He is Opa to fourteen grandchildren — Ayleena, Zachary, Narmaya, Armaan, Noah, Nathaniel, Zhizhuo, Maxwell, Benoît, Jean-Luc, Renae, Baylee (Kevin), Carina and Joshua.
He leaves behind the following advice to them: “Five minutes early is better than five minutes late, it shows respect”; “Whatever you do, do it with effort and determination, or don’t do it all”; and finally, “Knowledge is much more valuable than money, no one can ever take it away”.
Opa will be fondly remembered as a ‘people person’, with a great sense of humour who loved to share jokes. His own bookshelf contained an incredible variety of reading material, including Archie Comics, Agatha Christie murder mysteries, historical biographies and Louis L’Amour westerns. Most of all Opa will be remembered for having an incredible sweet tooth (thanks Oma) and for his love of one-on-one conversation!
The Catholic Church community was always a big part of Joseph’s life, whether it was in Gesmold, Ottawa, Calgary, Salmon Arm or Uxbridge. A Funeral Mass was held at Sacred Heart Parish in Uxbridge, Ontario on Saturday, October 3, 2020 with arrangements entrusted to the Low and Low Funeral Home, 23 Main Street South, P.O. Box 388, Uxbridge, Ontario L9P 1M8 (905-852-3073).
Burial of cremated remains to follow next year when the family can all come together to celebrate Opa’s life. Donations in Joseph Sternberg’s memory can be made to the Sacred Heart Parish Building Fund. A sincere thank you to Joseph’s palliative care team and to Dr. Carlye Jensen!
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