(March 9th, 2023)
Birthe Achtner died peacefully in her beloved community of Nelson on March 9, 2023 at the age of 85.
Birthe frequently shared that coming to Nelson in 1991 was the best decision of her life. Born in Frederiksborg, Denmark, she immigrated to Canada in 1958, landing in Vancouver. There she worked in the medical field before becoming a textile artist in the 1980s. A juried artist, her work appeared at the renowned Circle Craft fair. She was also a sought-after costume designer for the city’s burgeoning film industry. Birthe moved to Nelson with her husband in 1991 and as soon as she arrived quickly became involved in local municipal and provincial affairs. She contributed to many causes including the preservation of the Nelson hospital as well as the local movie theatre. A member of Mensa, she became the founder of Learning in Retirement, which has since blossomed to more than 300 members who, like her, deeply cherish the value of life-long learning. Passionate about culture and the arts, she was a regular attendee at concerts and performances of all kinds. Most of all, she was a lover of dogs and became well acquainted with the local SPCA as she fostered elder dogs in the last few years of her life, as well her beloved cat Billy. Loved by many, she is predeceased by her husband Gerhard Achtner and survived by her daughters Karin Wilson (Dana) and Mia Toth (Jeff), her granddaughter Elly Waters, and her remaining family in Denmark: her brother Steen Hartmann’s wife Eva, and their two children Helene and Christian. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the BC Cancer Foundation or the Kootenay Lake Hospital Foundation.
A Celebration of Life will be held Sunday, May 21st at the Rotary Shelter at Lakeside Park in Nelson from 1-3pm.