Irmgard von Hansen passed away on July 27th 2014 in Vernon BC, at 86 years of age. A pastor’s daughter, she was born in Riga, Latvia in 1927. During WW II, she took refuge in Poland and then Germany, where she studied dance and gymnastics. Next, she worked at hospitals in Switzerland as a massage therapist before immigrating to Canada in 1955, where she married fellow Latvian Jobst von Hansen. While raising their three children, she became a founding member of The Vernon Dance Group, and taught Creative Dance Improvisation for nearly two decades.
Three words that capture Irmi’s life are: creativity, spirituality and love. While dance was her chief passion she also enjoyed playing the piano, sketching, swimming and reading. She had a deeply contemplative nature and studied the Mahikari philosophy and the teachings of the Dalai Lama. Most of all, she loved to throw open her heart and home to those in need of affection, acceptance or just a home-cooked meal. Joyous, free-spirited and always unconventional, she danced through life’s challenges with graciousness and dignity.
Irmi was predeceased by her husband Jobst, and is survived by her partner Hagen Tanner, her three children Tom von Hansen, Maja Keast and Danielle McElroy, and grandson Collin von Hansen. A private celebration of life will be held at her home, attended by family and close friends.