1929 – 2022
Boerries Herbert Terfloth, born on February 20, 1929 in Riga, Latvia, died peacefully at home in Hudson, Quebec on May 22, 2022, surrounded by loved ones and his favourite spring flowers from the garden. Boerries was predeceased by his wife, Ursula Constance (Connie) von Roth Terfloth, and survived by his children, Corry Terfloth Walker (David Shapiro) and Marc Terfloth (Bettina Bretz), his grandchildren, Brian Walker (José Woldring), Stephanie Wagner (Charlie Wagner), Celine Terfloth (Devin Connell), and Alexa Terfloth. He was blessed to witness the arrival of his two great-grandsons, Gray Walker and Oliver Wagner. He is also lovingly remembered by David H. Walker from Aiken, South Carolina.
During the war years, as an only child, Boerries lived with relatives in various German cities. He met his future wife, Connie, at the age of 16 in Garmisch Parten-Kirchen, Germany.
As a young man, he worked as a forester and a trader before emigrating to Edmonton, where his fiancée was waiting for him. They married on January 15, 1953, and moved to Montreal two years later where they started their family. All his life, no matter where he was traveling, he always finished his day by calling his beloved Mimi to say good night.
After arriving in Montreal, he was first employed at Grace Kennedy, Canada where he was introduced to Jamaica and the West Indies as a food trader. His long association with Grace, Jamaica and the Caribbean laid the groundwork for one of his enduring legacies, establishing his own export business that has been active in over 60 countries around the world. He connected his North American experience with the trading heritage created by his ancestors in Münster, Germany in 1774. He coined the term “New World Merchant” and attended international food conventions to expand sourcing and customer networks long before the term globalization became mainstream.
As he became more engrossed with food and its benefits, he channeled his philanthropic efforts into establishing a foundation in Germany (Terfloth.org), focusing on the promotion of well-being, primarily of school children. He used his legendary insightful mind to leave us the inspiration and opportunity to carry on what he had started. With deep appreciation and gratitude our family thanks all who helped him achieve his numerous successes across so many domains on his passionate journey of building, creating, connecting all around the world.
Boerries’ grandchildren’s memories include walking through the forests he planted, teaching them to ride the tractor or watching Mamma Mia on repeat. They knew he was a serious businessman who kept everyone on their toes, but the kids drew out the playful side in him: even the grownups learned to call him Granddaddy.
At family celebrations, he stuck bows on his head, spoons on his nose, and stacked forks on a coke can until they fell and can spilled. Heaps of German chocolates were required for Christmas, and he never missed colouring Easter eggs, even this year. The kids would compete to sit on either side of him at the dinner table, knowing he was sure to engage in some hilarious antics. Most of the time he did, but other times he would talk about how people eat too many eggs, or why accounting and contract law are the most important courses to take in university.
He had advice for everyone, especially about healthy eating: nonetheless he could not resist a (big☺) scoop of rum raisin ice cream. Boerries was a consummate builder, always renovating and improving his homes with great relish. He was a landscape visionary, planting thousands of trees and creating colourful gardens in the most unexpected places. He was a collector of many things, whether antiques or tiny painted boxes, shells or rocks or little jam jars, and different species of palm trees.
He also cherished the eclectic friendships he found everywhere he traveled. Friends understood his under appreciated sharp wit and dry sense of humour, engaging in clever reparté. He had a zest for life and was determined to make the world a better place. No one ever forgot Boerries Terfloth. We are indebted to Dr. Len Welik for his continued guidance and kind advice, not just with Boerries, but with the whole family. We are forever grateful to Judy Tellier and her dedicated staff at NOVA Hudson (Wanda, Betty, Brenda and Anna Maria) for their invaluable consistent care of Boerries and Connie over many years.
We extend special thanks to Boerries’ loving and steadfast at-home caregivers (Steph, Carol, Nancy, Tess), who enabled him to stay at home through his final days, truly a blessing. We also thank Ricky for his loyalty and readiness to help in any way.
A private family celebration of life will take place this summer. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Boerries’ memory to NOVA, Hudson (465 Main Rd, Suite 202, Hudson, QC J0P1H0), The Nature Conservancy, Canada (www.natureconservancy.ca/en/), or plant a tree in his honour.
Hudson, Quebec J0P 1H0 CANADA