BOWMANVILLE, Ont. — Hospitality veteran Peter Hackenberger passed away on November 17 at the age of 90 in Bowmanville, Ont.
Following the death of his father in 1945 during World War II in Berlin, Hackenberger assumed the role of breadwinner for his family at only 13. He and his younger brother, Hanjo, would scrounge through the ruins of a bombed-out Berlin in search of food. In spite of these difficulties, Peter and Hanjo were able to collect enough supplies to feed their mother, Pollux; younger brother, Rainer; and sister, Gabriella.
Then, Hackenberger found a job with the U.S. Air Force. His crew held the record for unloading an AC 54 Skymaster, removing in excess of 10 tons of supplies in minutes. During this time, Hackenberger applied to a program to come to Canada as an agricultural labourer. He spent a winter working on a small farm in rural Ontario, but he was not happy. In 1952, he arrived in Toronto where he met and eventually married his wife Anita in 1955. Their marriage lasted 67 years.
Beginning with bartending and serving, Hackenberger climbed the management ladder, first at the Walker House Hotel, then CP Hotels and finally at the National Club, where he worked for 16 years. Over the course of his career, Hackenberger became a connoisseur of wines, which brought him to France each year for wine auctions and to visit vineyards.
Hackenberger was loved and cherished by many people, including his brothers, Hanjo and Rainer; his sister, Gabriella; his mother, Pollux; his wife, Anita; his son, Michael; his friends, Bill, Lori, Horst and Jose; and many more.