Joerg often marvelled at how an immigrant boy from Germany who sat at the back of the class with his German/English dictionary could turn out so well. Not only did he "turn out well," he lived life to the fullest.
He and his family arrived in Canada in 1957, when Joerg was 13. His English rapidly improved during his high school days at Central Technical School in Toronto.
Joerg spent his university summers working on the railway in Northern Ontario and driving a taxi through the streets of Toronto. After completing a degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Toronto, he was hired at Corning Glass Works in Muskoka, Ont.
Joerg made time for his outdoor passions and his spiritual growth. He was full of antics -- he once hung a freshly caught deer in a friend's yard for him to discover the next morning.
What looked like a predictable life at a steady job soon turned into another adventure. With his young bride of nine months, Joerg purchased Waters' Marine near Minett, Ont. Over the next 35 years, Joerg progressed from being taught how to drive a boat by his employee -- and falling in the lake one too many times - to establishing his renamed Joseph River Marina as an integral part of the lives of many Muskoka cottagers.
His family can attest to the fact that living with a perfectionist can be trying, but Joerg upheld a standard of workmanship that gave his customers utmost confidence. He also made himself available in emergencies. Once he was called to repair a wooden boat during a wedding ceremony so the newlyweds could be transported to their reception.
Even though the marine season was busy, Joerg patiently taught all four of his daughters to water-ski, and Sunday afternoon picnics on the boat were a regular occurrence. He truly enjoyed the simple pleasures.
Joerg had too many dreams and ideas to realize them all in his lifetime. He designed and oversaw the construction of his unique home, a project he almost saw to completion. Joerg and his wife, Marilyn, discovered Newfoundland in their later years, a place that had the same down-to-earth flavour and rugged beauty of the Muskoka he first knew.
Joerg never let circumstances dictate how he lived his life. He remained thankful and at peace through more than his share of health problems, embracing the challenges with perseverance and a sense of humour. He lived by what he often told others: "Don't take life too 'serially.' "
Jennifer Rosenthal is Joerg's daughter.