Hans Erich Erwin Kindt
Feb 16, 2018 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
McDougal Funeral Home
4330 South Redwood Road, Taylorsville, Utah 84123
Feb 17, 2018 9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
Garden Park Ward
1150 Yale Avenue
Salt lake City, Utah
Feb 17, 2018 11:00 a.m.
Garden Park Ward
1150 Yale Avenue
Salt Lake City, Utah
Hans Erich Erwin Kindt
Oct 19, 1922 - Feb 06, 2018
Hans Erich Erwin Kindt, 95 years old, died quickly and painlessly of old age on February 6, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. at his last residence with the family of his son, Jeff Kindt, in Cedar Hills, Utah. He left this life, surrounded by love and care, with his remaining children and their spouses present. His death was a mixture of sadness and relief after struggling for many years with dementia.
The viewing for Hans Kindt will be held on Friday, February 16, 2018 at McDougal Funeral Home, 4330 S. Redwood Road, Taylorsville, UT 84123, from 6-8 p.m. There will also be a viewing before the funeral on Saturday, February 17, 2018 from 9:30-10:45 a.m at the Garden Park Ward, 1050 E. Yale Avenue, Salt Lake City, UT. The funeral service will then be held from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. The interment at the Salt Lake City Cemetary will follow immediately after the funeral. A luncheon will also be served at the Garden Park Ward after the interment.
Hans was born the oldest child on October 19, 1922 to Johannes E. Kindt and Frieda Fritz in Schneidemuehl, Posen, West Prussia (later called Pommern, which is now in Poland). He had 3 siblings: Walter (d. 2010), Sigrid, and Wilford (d. 1999); and later, 5 more half-siblings: Wolfgang (d. 2015), Christa (d. 1995), Burkhardt, Ava, and Ronald from his father’s 2nd marriage to Maria Bernau.
Hans married Frida “Micki” Bauer on July 26, 1946 in Celle, Germany. Their marriage was later sealed in the Salt Lake Temple on August 8, 1956. They enjoyed a happy marriage for over 65 years until Micki’s death on October 31, 2011. Hans was a loving and very devoted husband who was a good provider, often giving her thoughtful and helpful gifts anticipating her needs. They worked side by side for many years in the tailoring business that they created as well as in Micki’s large garden.
Seven children were born to Hans and Micki: Gabrielle Barbara (d. 2006), Nancy Sigrid, Michelle Rhina (d. 1971), Kevin Hans and Phillip Wilford (twins who died shortly after birth in 1959), Jeffrey Hans and Andrew Bauer. Hans is survived by Nancy, Jeffrey (Annette) and Andrew (Letona) who hold him in the greatest esteem, love and gratitude for being such a wonderful father! Hans is also survived by 12 grandchildren (Brittany Anne Nielson Jones (Marcus), Nels Peter Nielson II (Amber), Kindt Ellery Nielson (Alyssa), Maren Marie Nielson (Matthew), Michelle Kathrine Kindt, Kimberly Luise Kindt, Michael Johannes Erich Erwin Paul Kindt, Cassandra Gabriele Maria Kindt, Chiara Elizabeth Kindt, Alexa Michelle Kindt, Cambry Gabriella Kindt, and Andrew Christian Kindt) and 11 great grandchildren (AnaElizabeth Nielson, Christian Faeez Nielson, Jakob Christopher Nielson, Channing Bauer Nielson, Emalin Nielson, Ellery Alexander Nielson, Sharona Cooper, Briele Mary Cooper, Angela Raelin Cooper, Brinda Frida Cooper, Ember-Jean Cooper).
Seven months after Micki died from heart failure, Hans married Helga Meyer, a former girlfriend he knew in Germany who had married his cousin. He is survived by Helga who gave him loving care and companionship for over 5 years during the last years of his life. His children are very grateful for Helga’s entrance into his life which surely extended and enriched it.
Hans left home at 14 to become a tailor’s apprentice which lasted 3 years. Although he initially wanted to become a car mechanic, he often expressed gratitude that his father steered him toward the tailoring trade which suited his abilities and which he used to make a living for many years. It was time-consuming and low-paying work, however, and he and Micki often worked very long hours to make sure they got the work out for the shops who contracted them for suit alterations.
As a child and youth, Hans was very interested in sports, excelling in track and field events. He also was a good swimmer, earning a life saver’s medal. Although, most young people were members of the Hitler Youth organization, Hans refused to attach himself to it, although he did sometimes participate in their track and field events, often winning. It was through his many races, running in poorly fitting shoes, that he lost his toenails.
Another common pasttime for Hans was his love of going to the movies. Most of his dates with Micki were going to the “Kino”. Soon after arriving in the U.S., he bought a television set. He would often take the whole family to see movies on “buck night” at the local drive-in theatres.
Hans had a passion for sweets, especially icecream. His least favorite food was green salad, although he usually deferred to Micki’s insistence in caring for his health to eat what she prepared. He didn’t especially enjoy going out to eat and preferred the excellent cooking of his wife.
At 16 years old, Hans lost his mother (who was only 43 years old) which was one of the biggest traumas of his life. This grief stayed with him and he was often tearful when speaking about her. It is comforting to think that they are finally reunited.
At 18 years old, Hans was conscripted into Hitler’s German army and spent the next 6 years fighting in World War II. He said that, as far as he knew, he never shot anyone, always aiming above the enemy’s heads. One time, when another faction of the German army was coming over a hill behind the enemy in the opposite direction, his commander warned him about aiming so high that he might end up shooting one of their own soliders. Another time toward the end of the war, when his commander was threatening to shoot a soldier for desertion and Hans was the only soldier nearby, Hans determined in his own mind that, even if threatened with death, he would not shoot this soldier if commanded to do so. Of course, he was very relieved that the order was rescinded after making this decision! Hans hated the war and politics, but his actions demonstrated not only his obedience to the laws of the land, but also to the laws of God.
Besides getting frostbite on his toes, Hans was (fortuitously) wounded in the chest and arm at the Russian front which gave him leave to go home for a time avoiding the worst of the fighting in winter. This put him in a cast which made him unable to salute an officer with his right hand; so instead, against protocol, he saluted him with his left hand in an defiant act of rebellion for which he was reprimanded.
At the end of the war, he made his way west to the allied lines hoping to be a prisoner of war of either the American or English forces where he knew he would have a better chance of survival. He was blessed to become an English POW and worked as a tailor for their army. He was also helped by being allowed to take home kitchen scraps to eat at a time while famine raged in Germany after the war, which was the most difficult period for the German people. Hans struggled with PTSD for over 10 years after his military service, often waking up in a sweat, crying out.
It was at the war’s end and during his captivity as a POW that he courted and married Micki. They soon began to build a house of their own with funds from the Marshall Plan and worked on this for 2 years. While living in this house both Barbara and Nancy were born. Shortly after Nancy was born, Hans and Micki decided to go to America following Hans’ brother’s emigration there. Hans felt he wanted more “elbow room” and opportunities that the U.S. offered. So, they packed a few suitcases and, knowing hardly any English, with two small daughters, traveled by ship for 2 weeks in 1953 until they reached NYC. They then took the bus to Milwaukee where Walter waited for them.
Many Mormon Germans from before and after the war were members of the Milwaukee Ward where the Kindt family attended. Hans began his service there by teaching SundaySchool gospel doctrine class in German, the language which many members could best understand. After various other callings, Hans became a counselor in the Bishopric and then the Bishop for 3 years. Later he became a counselor in the Stake Presidency before being called to the office of Patriarch for most of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Hans served diligently in this calling for almost 40 years becoming, at one point in time, the longest serving Patriarch in North America, following his father’s example of being the longest serving Patriarch in Europe at one time.
While most Germans eventually moved to Salt Lake City, Hans and Micki decided to stay in Milwaukee where they felt needed and where they had more employment security. But, almost every summer, he took his family on a trip to SLC to attend the temple and visit with relatives. On the way out west, Hans tried to visit all the National Parks and famous sites he could, providing many exciting and happy times for his entire family.
Hans bought a black 1954 Buick shortly after moving to the U.S. He loved to drive and travel and explore. Many vacations were also spent taking the family swimming to lakes in Wisconsin. A favorite picnic and swimming spot was at Lake Michigan’s Terre Andre Park. Hans loved the green trees and foliage of the Wisconsin countryside which reminded him of Germany. Another favorite outing was driving up North to Port Washington to buy smoked herring and fresh perch sandwiches. Spontaneously taking long rides wherever he felt led was an enjoyment for him and the whole family.
Although sometimes a strict and stern German, Hans also often showed his love to his children through his expressions of care and concern for their welfare and success in life. Hans encouraged his children to do well in school and go to college. He never pressured them to study something in which they weren’t interested, however, and encouraged them to be free to make their own decisions, to try new things and explore the world as he had done. It’s remarkable that he also encouraged his daughters to do the same at a time when such freedoms for women weren’t as supported or accepted.
Throughout his life, he continued to look for ways to be of help to his children as they grew up and had families of their own. He spent his vacations visiting them and helping out where he could, cleaning and organizing their garages, helping them move and paying for improvements to their homes. He consistently demonstrated his love through his financial support and service.
Hans was a sensitive, contemplative and humble person, with a confident sense of his own abilities. He was capable, multi-talented and musical, and could figure out how to create and fix things by himself. He inspired a sense of trust and safety in others around him.
He enjoyed having harmonious relationships with others and was careful not to offend anyone, although his direct and honest approach sometimes did. He showed compassion throughout his service to other people by taking the time to listen to them and their problems with interest and concern. He often shared the wisdom derived from his many life experiences in the hope that it would help those who came to him for counsel in his various callings in church.
His sense of humor was dry and ironic. He very much enjoyed a good laugh and often cracked jokes, finding amusement in many aspects of life. He also used humor to lighten the mood of those around him, bringing them cheer.
Hans had a tendency to look on the bright side of life, to appreciate his many blessings and see the possibilities where others saw problems. He used this trait to his advantage throughout his life in his many ventures and challenges. Often, he was spontaneous and adventurous in his decisions and didn’t let fear stand in his way in accomplishing many of his goals.
He enjoyed very much working independently and, although, having his own business involved much more work than his many previous years working as a tailor for the department store chain, Gimbels-Schusters, he preferred the autonomy of being his own boss. He often credited the success of his business to Micki, without whom it could not have survived.
Hans was an impecable dresser; being a tailor, he always perfectly altered and pressed his suits. He enjoyed cleanliness and beauty in his surroundings as well as in his appearance. He always carried a handkerchief, even after they became obsolete. Mints were a mainstay on his dresser. He was a scrupulously groomed and attractive man throughout his life. Everywhere he lived, he managed to create an warm, attractive home through his fine design aesthetic.
With a tendency toward nervousness and being an introvert, Hans often preferred spending periods of time alone to recharge, reading and studying. His home office was always clean and organized…a place where he spent many hours preparing for sermons and thousands of Patriarchal blessings he gave. Later in life, he was often invited as a guest speaker at various wards and stakes. A frequent companion to these speaking engagements was his best friend and brother, Walter. He often lamented missing him after Walter passed away.
Although working very hard until his late retirement at 77 years old, due to arthritis in his hands, Hans still managed to lead a very rich and full life. Throughout his many activities, however, his main focus was always on God, family and service. He will be greatly missed by so many who loved and respected him.
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