Zehnder, Fritz (Friedrich) 

August  31, 1926 – June 24, 2021

Fritz passed away in Invermere B.C at the age of 94 on June 24, 2021 surrounded by family.

Fritz was born and raised on his family’s farm in Eriswil, Switzerland. He was one of eight children. After completing his diploma in agriculture, he traveled and worked in several countries across Scandinavia. In 1950, he boarded a ship in England bound for Halifax and began working his way across Canada. His plan was to reach Vancouver and then sail to New Zealand, where he hoped to farm. However, after working in the Columbia Valley he fell in love with the place and its residents and decided to make it his home. In 1959 he married Vreni Schurch, also from Switzerland. They were married in Invermere and raised four boys.

Fritz had an entrepreneurial spirit and a strong work ethic. He owned and operated several logging and milling operations and was one of the original three founders of Panorama Ski Hill. He always dreamed of having his own farm, so in 1971, Fritz and Vreni bought land and built what is now the Zehnder Ranch. Nothing made Fritz happier than working and living with his family on the farm. Fritz achieved his dream.

Besides being an entrepreneur and a hard worker, Fritz was an inventor and an armchair philosopher. He spoke five languages, had a positive attitude, and had a good sense of humour. He loved visiting, storytelling and good food. He was very grateful for the life he had.

Fritz was predeceased by his wife Vreni and is survived by his sons Chris (Hillary), Mark (Ruth), David (Carol) and John, and his sister Elizabeth who lives in Switzerland. He will be lovingly remembered by his grandchildren Fritz, Isobel, Emily, Sarah, Annie, Luke, Jake, Naomi, and Hannah. The family would like to thank the Homecare staff, Columbia House staff, and Doctors Ed Schaffer and Theresa Ross for their kind and loving care in his final days.

A celebration of life will be held at the CPR Lodge in Invermere starting at 3:45 pm on Sunday, August 22, 2021.

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