Hans George Gabriel Kratz was born Elchanan Georg Gavriel Rosenbaum in the British Mandate of Palestine in 1936. After the death of his sister Miriam the family struggled and finally moved in 1948, through the help of Franciscan Monks to Italy, then France then to Canada.
On arrival in Canada the family soon moved to Fort Vermilion in Northern Alberta. Hans was temporarily separated from the family and placed in residential school in Chicoutimi Quebec. Being fluent in English, French, German, Hebrew and Aramic as well as speaking Italian and Latin, Hans used his linguistic skill to teach French in his high school. He was inspired to go into teaching. While still in high school Hans met Juliana, who had travelled to Fort Vermilion to assist in nursing in the hospital his parents, both medical doctors, were running. Juliana and Hans became friends and married in 1954.In quick succession they had three children.
They moved to Fairview Alberta which made it a little easier on the new family as he began his university studies to become a teacher.
In 1963 the family moved to Sherwood Park where Hans had a teaching position. Once he got a position with the County of Strathcona, his creative intellect blossomed. He created the Instructional Materials Centre which facilitated audio-visual instruction, Educational TV broadcast, and at that time cutting edge technology. His inventions and innovations were used in creating ACCESS TV, facilitating the creation of channel filtering for the cable TV industry and for the creation of in-class TV programming. His inventions were always submitted freely to technical associations and magazines to enable others to benefit from his discoveries and inventions. In the late 1970’s, Hans, became Executive Director of the Alberta Educational Communication Authority. In the 1980’s he was published in numerous journals on the use of media in education. His innovations brought him to the attention of Steve Jobs. In his position as Executive Director for the Educational Authority he represented Canada in the International Council for Educational Media. He saw and hoped to bring the potential of computers in to schools, unfortunately the government of the day found this too challenging.
In 1993 Hans and Juliana retired to Qualicum Beach BC where they became involved in numerous charitable and social justice organisations. Hans was deeply passionate about equality, fairness, environmental stewardship and was very generous both in funding and in giving of himself to these ideals. He assisted the Vancouver Island Catholic Diocese in recovering from a financial crisis, became very involved in work of the Council of Canadians, Kairos, Project Watershed, PovNet and Living Wage poverty reduction, as well as many other organisations.
Hans found great spiritual comfort and peace through his involvement with the Quakers.
While he suffered greatly from disabling arthritis, he did not let this stop him from participating in any cause he believed in. Hans passed away peacefully, with Juliana at his side, on November 8 2017.
He is predeceased by his parents Julius and Hannah Kratz, his sister Miriam, and his brother Martin. He is survived by his brother Rick (Mary), his children Martin (Christina), Peter and Karin; as well as his grandchildren Alexandra, Marcus, Stephanie (Brent), and Robert (Susan); and his greatgrandchildren Gabriella, Robert and Michael... however his loss is felt greatest by Juliana, his wife, his friend and companion of 62 years.
The family is grateful for the caring support of the staff and administration at The Gardens in Qualicum Beach.
A memorial service will be held on December 2nd from 1:30-3:30 PM at The Gardens in Qualicum Beach BC to honour, remember and celebrate Hans. Due to other bookings of this facility, guests are respectfully asked to honour this time limit.
Donations, in lieu of flowers, may be made to North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre at Box 364, 1240 Leffler Road, Errington, BC, V0R1V0.
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