Annemarie Buchmann-Gerber 21 September 1947 - 23 December 2015 It is with profound sadness that we inform you that Annemarie has succumbed to the ravages of her brain cancer (glioblastoma). Left to mourn are Heinz, husband of forty-four years, her children Marc [Karen] and Carmen, grandchildren William and Hannah, her brother Willy [Brigitte], sister Edith [Hans], and brother-in-law Rolf [Bea].
Annemarie was born in Burgdorf, Switzerland, the second of three children. Her family resided in Oberburg where she spent her childhood and attended primary school, followed by secondary school in Burgdorf. Thereafter she worked on a farm for one year, then a prerequisite for admission to the College of Home Economics, Berne, from where she graduated with a dual degree: teacher of home economics and of textiles. Her first teaching position was in an institution for slow learner girls. To get a feel for the English language she went to Southampton, England, worked as an au pair girl and attended English classes at the Southampton College of Technology. In 1971, six weeks after her marriage, she emigrated to Canada. Annemarie resided in Winnipeg for one year where she worked as dental assistant. At the end of that year she moved to Prince Albert. There, her Canadian roots were to take hold - made easy by the many and very friendly people and a vibrant arts community. In 1976, her Oath of Allegiance to Canada made her a proud Canadian citizen. In Prince Albert she created her first tapestry on Canadian soil - many more were yet to follow. She became involved with a group of painters under the tutelage of an experienced teacher, George Glenn, artist in residence. She participated in every Prince Albert Winter Festival art competition and her connection with the Prince Albert arts community has remained strong to this day. When there was an opportunity to teach home economics, she accepted this position and taught for one semester. Marc was born soon after. After her maternity leave she returned to teaching and with the birth of Carmen she became a full-time mother and home maker and much of her spare time was devoted to painting and textile arts. On December 1st, 1980, the family moved to their new and more spacious home in Saskatoon. After settling in, Annemarie's art flourished. To expand her art knowledge, she attended the University of Saskatchewan and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, magna cum laude. She had many solo exhibitions, participated in group exhibitions, and received numerous awards. In 2013 she was awarded the most coveted prize of Saskatchewan: the Premier's Prize. On the international level she represented Canada in South Korea, when her work was included in the 2013 Cheongju International Craft Biennale. She was a founding member of the Saskatchewan Craft Council for which she was honoured with a Honourary Lifetime Membership. She also served for eight years on the board of trustees of the Mendel Art Gallery. Annemarie was ever mindful of those in need and volunteered wherever the need arose and supported many good causes financially. Politics played an important role in her life and she was quite outspoken about the inequities that permeate our society. She was a long-time supporter of the NDP. Annemarie was also a restless person who needed challenges. For many years she worked at the Craft Council as part-time gallery attendant; she also devoted much time to the Consumers' Association of Canada. She loved to interact with people. Her last job was with Home Instead, where she worked as a caregiver. It is ironic that the help she gave to her clients she herself would need soon, too. One of the greatest joys in her life were the grandchildren, William and Hannah. She watched over them like a hawk, she exposed them to music, theatre, and galleries, and kept them busy with drawing, painting, and outings. Annemarie has often said "I've had a good life". Indeed, she enjoyed a personal freedom that only Canada could afford her and had the opportunity to travel to many places: Europe, Nepal, India, South Africa, Mexico, Cuba, South Korea, the U.S., and, of course, Canada. She loved canoeing and for over twenty years the Churchill River system was her annual playground, complemented by extended trips on the Clearwater River, Fond du Lac, Sturgeon Weir, and the Seal River in Manitoba. Besides travelling, she was an avid and 'ruthless' gardener: "No weeds in my garden!". Many people stopped to admire her front yard. She applied the same motto to her house, keeping it spotless and clean. For over three years Annemarie, the senior artist, and Jan Conn, the accomplished poet, have collaborated and the outcome is a set of astonishing paintings and poems. And now, deeply saddened, we have to say goodbye to a caring wife, 'retired' mother, grandma, loyal friend and talented artist, mentor and volunteer, whose life has been cut short by an insidious disease.
Annemarie's ashes will be interred at the communal grave of Oberburg, Switzerland.
A date for a memorial service will be announced in the Spring of 2016.
Services entrusted to MARTENS WARMAN FUNERAL HOME, Warman, SK, 306-934-4888.
Published in Saskatoon StarPhoenix on Jan. 2, 2016.