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Charlotte Nafthal

Charlotte  Nafthal

Lieu de naissance : Klaipeda, Lituanie

Lieu de décès : Kentville, Nouvelle Ecosse, Canada
Date de décès : 22 mai 2012

Charlotte Dora (Pucknat) Nafthal - 102, of Kentville, Nova Scotia, passed away on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at Evergreen Home for Special Care, Kentville. Born in Klaipeda (originally called Memel), Lithuania, “Lottie” was the only child of a mother who passed away before Lottie was 5, and a father who died in World War I. Consequently, she was raised by her maternal grandparents her grandparents’ dearly loved housekeeper, “Toni.” A lively, irrepressible child with many naughty exploits, Charlotte emerged as a decidedly modern woman. By the time she met her husband-to-be, Lithuanian Felix Nafthal, she was well-known for tooling around Memel on her English Triumph motorcycle (with Felix in the sidecar). But as World War II approached, she became worried: many of her best friends were Jewish, as was Felix, and even in Lithuania, Jews were being threatened. Her survival instincts kicked in: she convinced Felix that she should leave for Denmark, from where she could enter the emigration lottery. Of the countries to which Charlotte had applied, only Canada welcomed the young couple – partly because Felix had studied agriculture and had barely enough money to buy a small farm. They arrived in Canada six weeks before World War II broke out. Astonishingly, despite Felix and Lottie’s fluent German and virtually non-existent English, the bucolic community of the Annapolis Valley’s Round Hill welcomed them even though many of Round Hill’s sons were fighting the Germans! Their new neighbours taught them Canadian culture, while they in return shared Lithuanian culture through their parties on the farm. The farm prospered, and their daughter Nadja arrived in 1946, after which they moved to Bridgetown, where they converted another farm into a tourist business. Their son, Axel, was born in 1950. Life in Bridgetown was wonderful (most of the time), but once the children were grown, Felix and Lottie retired to Kentville, where they bought a home on Park Street. After Felix passed away in 1982, Lottie continued her active social life among many Kentville friends. Lottie loved Kentville: after selling her home, she enjoyed a wonderful life at Kings Riverside Court, before moving to Evergreen just before her 102nd birthday. Charlotte’s son in law, Paul Corkum, summed up Charlotte’s character well: “She was given one of the worst places and times in history to be born and then she soon lost both parents -- a blow so severe, many children never recover. A rebel always, she defied deep and endemic local prejudice in this formerly German city to befriend a Jew. It is remarkable because it made her situation seemingly much, much worse and she must have known it. I think there is no modern equivalent. It took great foresight and strength-of-will on both her and her husband’s part to leave everything behind for an uncertain future in a frontier country like Canada. Yet in spite of all of this, her strength and determination allowed her to navigate life remarkably well -- ultimately adjusting to a new culture and language. Viewed this way, she was a remarkable woman.” Charlotte’s son, Axel, and daughter, Nadja Corkum, wish to thank three extraordinary caregivers—Sally Kelly, Shirley Brown and Pauline Dill for their unprecedented devotion to Charlotte in her final years, and the marvellous staff of both Kings Riverside Court and Evergreen, who provided a safe and secure “home” for her that allowed her to continue the life she needed to lead. She is survived by a daughter, Nadja (Paul) Corkum; a son, Axel Nafthal (Maureen MacNeil); four grandchildren, Alana Nafthal, Erinn Nafthal, Brenda (David) Woods and Brent Corkum; two great grandchildren, John and David Woods. Cremation has taken place and in keeping with Charlotte’s wishes there will be no visitation or formal funeral service. A memorial gathering, reception and sharing of memories will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, May 28, 2012 in the White Family Funeral Home, Kentville. A private family interment will take place at a later date in the Nafthal family plot in Nictaux, Annapolis County. Family flowers only, by request. Donations in memory may be made to the Salvation Army - Kentville Citadel or the David Suzuki Foundation. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the White Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Kentville. On-line inquiries may be directed to


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