June 9, 1932 – August 29, 2021
…family, perseverance, hard work, resilience, insatiable thirst for knowledge, practical, intelligent, empathetic; these are the qualities I associate with Horst.
Born June 9, 1932, in Selgenau, Germany (now Poland), he was the oldest child of Minna Rosa Struck and Arthur Emil Helmut Struck. Horst had two brothers whom he survived; Heinz Struck and Ulrich Struck.
Born during the Great Depression in a country required to use most of its resources and production to pay for reparations from WWI, Horst grew up along the boarder of two hostile countries. In his early years, he was exposed to the constant threat of violence from neighboring Polish communities.
He shared stories of having to hide in the forest with his brothers while his village was pillaged. With the start of WWII in 1939, Horst’s father was called to serve as a medic, leaving the family to fend for themselves.
When Horst was 11, the war came to their doorstep and in the middle of the night, his family was forced to flee from their home with nothing more than what they could carry. They escaped to Western Germany where Horst, at age 13, was conscripted into the army as only the young and old men were left to defend their local communities. Although the war eventually came to an end, Horst’s family, like many, continued to fight for their survival and avoid starvation.
In 1954, Horst left Germany and came to Canada as a DP (displaced person). Leaving Germany in search of a better life, he ended up in Regina, Saskatchewan. In 1958, he married and over the next 5 years became father to three children, Wilfred, Monica and Bernd.
During this time he convinced his mother and father to emigrate from Germany. Shortly after the birth of his youngest child, Horst became a single parent. Once again, the Struck family pulled together as Horst’s mother, father, brother (Ulrich) and sister-in-law (Carol) all joined in helping raise the three children.
During his time in Saskatchewan, Horst established a construction company that built over 600 homes. He was very proud of the fact that his company was completing a home every week for over 12 years! He eventually moved his family from the prairies to settle in Sidney, B.C.
Once in B.C. Horst was able to pursue his interests and expand his knowledge. He added to his Red Seal in carpentry by teaching and mentoring apprentices. He also completed First Aid and electrician courses to become a well-rounded and respected general contractor on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. When he wasn’t working, Horst enjoyed reading as well as piloting his 4 seat Cessna 182, which enabled him to fly across Canada and down to Mexico (the stories of these flights alone could fill a book!).
Horst continued his construction activities in B.C., which included the supervising of the Sidney Centre, Slegg Lumber yards, the original pools at both Panorama Recreation Centre and Camosun College, the Star Pond at Butchart Gardens as well as numerous residential projects in the area.
He employed and worked with many young adults with whom he was always willing to share his knowledge, experience and advice. Horst had a special affection for those who were just starting out or had suffered a setback. He was always willing to help and rarely asked for anything in return. Among his many words of wisdom, Horst understood the value of “paying it forward”:
Good deeds and helping others will accumulate like a savings account, you may or may not ever have to draw on it but it gives you satisfaction and balance knowing it’s there.
In addition to those he helped professionally, Horst was incredibly dedicated to his family. He helped build many family homes where he enjoyed spending time with his loved ones. Horst was saddened by the loss of his parents and younger brothers as well as the passing of his eldest son, Wilf.
He was blessed by the birth of his grandchildren (Claire, Victoria, Mark, Jared, Cassidy and Sydney) and his legacy lives on in those who knew and loved him.
Honoring Horst’s wishes, there will be no formal service. In lieu of flowers, please take a moment to remember him and “pay it forward” to someone in need.
Horst was my friend; my teacher, mentor, and business partner but most importantly, he was my father and I shall miss him.Obituary