July 29, 1939 – February 25, 2021
On February 25, 2021, Hans “Poops” Kuechler, devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend, slipped into eternal life following a long battle with Parkinson's and a short battle with COVID.
Hans was born in Germany in 1939 to Friedrich and Gertrude Kuechler. He emigrated to Canada in 1952 with his family. They eventually settled into a comfortable home on Lake Wilcox near Aurora, a place where he and his own family would enjoy visiting for many years in every season.
On October 16, 1965, Hans married Susan Nash and together they moved to Acton and raised two sons, first living in town when the boys were little and later moving to their country home near Speyside. There, they had the perfect setting to tinker with cars, trucks, tractors, log splitters, chainsaws, snowmobiles, and assorted other toys. It served the boys well, as both grew up to pursue successful careers in the automotive industry. Just like their dad did.
Hans began his automotive career with Autosport around 1960. As a mechanic specializing in European cars, he was known for bringing home a different car every week. In his spare time, he provided pit support for prominent racing drivers in the 1960’s at Mosport International Raceway and at “The Glen” (Watkins Glen International). Next came a storied career spanning several decades at Mercedes Benz Canada. Hans set the stage for what customer care should look like, and was known by his customers and his staff for his dedication to them and always ensuring they were well taken care of.
An avid motorsports fan, Hans rarely missed the broadcast of a Formula One race and even attended them with his sons during the few recent years they were held in North America. His annual trips to NASCAR races in Michigan became a tradition for him, his sons, and his grandchildren. Sometimes, they baked under the scorching summer sun and sometimes they drowned in monsoon-like rains, but always they made memories eating ice cream and hunting for treasures at the race flea markets.
Hans was affectionately known to his friends and family as “Poops”, a long-standing nickname affectionately given to him by his wife. But, his neighbor and partner-in-hijinx, Bill Yundt, made that nickname stick and soon enough everyone was using it. Bill and Poops enjoyed building, demolishing, tinkering, puttering, and sharing good times and great laughs. If we can be sure of one thing, it is that Bill has met Hans at the pearly gates with a great joke and they are enjoying a sweet reunion.
When it came to grandparenting, Hans set the gold standard. Giving the kids tractor rides, joining them on snowmobiling trips, and happily attending countless dance recitals, band concerts, theatre productions, baseball games, and hockey games were just a few of his superpowers. He will forever be remembered for teaching them to blow the paper wrapper from drinking straws in crowded restaurants … and smiling sweetly when it landed on someone else’s plate. Never, ever was he without a twinkle in his eye, a smile on his face, and joy in his heart.
In and around Acton, Hans shared his quiet charm, easygoing attitude, and endless practical skills as a volunteer. He never said no and could be counted on to overcome the biggest hurdles to make sure that every show would go on. He was a long-standing member of the Acton Agricultural Society and an Acton Fall Fair volunteer for decades, including serving as Fair President and operating the Fair’s beer tent fundraiser. He also served the Salvation Army Church in Acton in multiple capacities, and was known as the master of sound and lights for their holiday events and weekly services. Whatever needed to be done, he was always at the ready.
Ever pragmatic, Hans had one of everything and a gadget on hand to fix virtually any problem.
What we learned from him over and over was to go with the flow, improvise, and share without hesitation. Perhaps most importantly, we learned to never leave home without candy in your pocket.
Hans is survived by his wife, Susan, as well as his sons Peter (Maria) of Michigan and Brian (Keri) of Acton, his grandchildren Emma, Matthew, Nathan, and Jacob, his brother Michael of Pfefferlaw, Ontario, his sister Gabriela (Rick Dell) of Tiny, Ontario, and many nieces and nephews.
Hans is preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Angelika, his niece, Kate, his great-niece, Lucy, and his dear friends, Bill and Topher Yundt.
Hans’ family is sincerely grateful for the tireless and attentive care provided by the nurses, doctors, and staff of Georgetown Hospital. For your compassion and expertise, they are forever grateful.
Due to current COVID conditions, a celebration of life will be held at a future date. For those so inclined, donations to the Salvation Army are very much appreciated.
To plant a memorial tree in honor of Hans Kuechler, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.