Gisela Elisabeth Sann

June 8, 1925 to March 10, 2019


Passed away peacefully at Kenny’s Pond Retirement Residence at age 93, Gisela Elisabeth Sann;  predeceased by her husband Gunter in 2015.

Mom came to St. John’s in 1952 with 2 small children to join her husband who had arrived the previous year to be involved in industrial development initiatives in Newfoundland after Confederation.

Life in St. John’s in the early ‘50’s was appreciably very different from what she had known in Germany, but she soon felt at home here. The wonderful neighbours on Appledore Place welcomed her, gave her advice and information on everything she needed to know about life in the city, and became life-long friends.

She loved the Newfoundland outdoors, the ocean, the woods, the many inlets and bays and she eventually found a beautiful spot on the Southern Shore where she designed and built her little log cabin overlooking the ocean. For decades, she and the family spent wonderful weekends there, hiking the trails, picking blueberries, kayaking on the nearby pond, and just relaxing.

One of the passions of her youth had been mountain climbing in the Austrian Alps (she scaled the Matterhorn!) and skiing. Skiing remained a favourite activity of hers, with regular trips to the Swiss and Austrian Alps and also to Marble Mountain until well into her 70’s. Mom loved to travel. She took extended trips to Europe to visit family and friends and vacationed in Bermuda, Hawaii, Jamaica and Florida. In later years, they travelled throughout Eastern Europe, parts of Russia, Hong Kong and Singapore. She was always very happy to return to what was now “home” by choice – St. John’s.

Mom was also an accomplished cook and consummate hostess, as many who were entertained at 22 Poplar Avenue would confirm. Over the years, she and Dad, an Honourary German Consul for 40 years, welcomed guests ranging from local friends and business associates to NATO fleet commanders and German dignitaries and officials to Canada, and all were most appreciative of her wonderful dinners and the atmosphere she created.

World War ll had interrupted her education, so Mom went “back to school” in the late 60’s and obtained a BA(Ed) from MUN, then a Masters degree, and finally a Doctorate from McGill. She taught French and German at Holy Heart, until the arrival of grandchildren gave her life a different focus. She adored her four granddaughters and they adored their “Oma”. She gave them unstintingly of her time and attention, taking them on outings, teaching them to ski, treating them to ski holidays in the Laurentians, travelling with them throughout Europe and introducing them to their German heritage and relatives. Christmas Eve at Oma and Opa’s house was a beloved tradition for many years, complete with candles on the tree, German Christmas songs, gift giving, and a delicious meal.  Sleepovers at Oma’s always ended with a hearty breakfast of cream of wheat, topped with exactly 5 FrootLoops of dubious vintage, much to the girls’ great amusement. She leaves her daughters and granddaughters with a wealth of warm memories, her shared and much-appreciated wisdom, truths and common sense.

Left with loving memories of their mother, grandmother and great-grandmother are her daughters Brigitte Godden (Steve Peterson) and Ingrid Stokes (Paul); her granddaughters Kyra Tuff (David), Andrea Stokes (Phil Kellett), Erika Stokes (James Fisher) and Jessica Stokes (Simon Wilbee); and great-grandchildren Roman and Ryann Tuff, Madeleine Kellett, Jack and Isabelle Fisher, and Axel Wilbee.

Cremation has taken place. Visitation at Carnell’s Funeral Home on Sunday, March 17, 2019 from 2-4 pm.   No flowers by request.



2-4 p.m. on March 17, 2019

Carnell’s Funeral Home
329 Freshwater Road
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Deepest condolences to Gisela family.Very kind lady was my customer at avalon ford when she wanted her vehicle serviced.And always would wait for her vehicle to be done patiently.You will be missed.

Girls: I’ve lost the best customer I ever had. She would challenge me, but she was certainly fun to work with. I am glad I didnt leave the world without having known her.
Rex LeDrew


I am so sorry for your loss. Your mother was a lovely lady and I always enjoyed spending time with her and your father at your home when we were growing up. Please enjoy your wonderful, happy memories.
Linda Feaver

Ingrid and family. Our sincere condolence on the passing of your mother.

Dear Brigitte, Ingrid and families. We were sad to hear of Gila’s passing. We remember the elegant dinner parties and the the many times the Husky Boys were entertained at our group meetings. Your mother, was as you said, an accomplished cook and the consummate hostess.

Please accept our sincere condolences.

We are so sorry to hear of Gisela’s passing. We very much enjoyed sharing the Poplar Avenue neighbourhood with her. It was always a delight to stop and chat. Our condolences to all her family.

Dear Brigitte, Ingrid and families. We were saddened to read of your mother’s passing today. We always enjoyed interactions with her, often accompanied by some words of wisdom. Our condolences to you all.

Carolyn Emerson and Gloria Montano, former neighbours from from Place Bonaventure.

Gila was such a lovely lady. We always enjoyed our times with Gila and Gunter at Rotary Club (Husky Boys) affairs. We feel so fortunate to have gotten to know both them. What a wonderful tribute you’ve written in her obituary. We will be out of province for the visitation but our thoughts are with you.

Please accept our condolences.

Guido & Frances

Dear family,

On behalf of the Arambarri Family I send our condolences. Our parents were great friends, and spend many happy times together. I remember your mother and father well. They were also so kind, and very interesting people to engage in great conversations.


Brigette, Ingrid and families,
We are very sorry to here your mom has passed away. She and Gunter were wonderful neighbours to us.
Please accept out sincere condolences.
Tim & Dianne

Ingrid,Paul amd family,so sorry for your loss
Take care
Tim & Judy Chalker

Dear family,
we will miss Gisela. She was always a superb host to us and the stories of her life we’re amazing.She has given us a lot of advises how to live in Newfoundland.
„Kurz und gut“ was always here summery.
Love from Elfie und Jürgen Schau Berlin/Witless Bay

Thinking of the family at this difficult time.

Both John and I were saddened to hear that our dear neighbor at Place Bonaventure had passed away. It was always a treat to meet Mts. Sann in the hallway, or in the garage ,while she waited for a family member to take her on an outing and what interesting stories she would share! Mrs. Sann was such a wonderful and well educated lady, who was obviously so very proud of her family.
May happy memories bring each and every one of you comfort at this sad time.

My thoughts and prayers to the family of Frau Sann, my grade 9 German teacher. She was such a lovely lady..

Ruhe in Frieden Frau Sann.