We are very sad to announce the passing of Hans Schwabl, father, grandfather, husband, faithful friend and 50-year resident of North Vancouver.
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Hans was born in Saalfelden, Austria, a small town in the Alps, in 1933, grew up during the war, and started providing for his family when he was about 12 (his father died when he was 2). He left Austria with a few friends to see the world when he was 18 - and when his friends backed out at the last moment, he went on his own. He arrived in Halifax by boat and took the train to Winnipeg, where he had to work on a farm for a year to pay for his passage. He had imagined a ranch with horses "like in American movies" - but it turned out to be a sugar beet farm, and there were no cowboy hats. He didn't take to the flat land and when his year was up, he moved west and settled in Vancouver. That's where he met his wife, Olga, and they started their family. He trained as a carpenter and became a contractor and built about 100 houses on the North Shore. Later, he became involved with the stock market as an investor, promoter and director. He and Olga raised their kids, Sandra and Steven - and then he raised his grandsons, Andrew, Matthew and Michael, too. He was an honest, hardworking and truly unique man who did things his own way, always believed the best in people (often despite the best evidence), and would do absolutely anything for the people he cared about. A service will be held on July 30th at the German Alpen Club, 4875 Victoria Drive, Vancouver
Published in The North Shore News on July 26, 2013