Koppel Family

Celebrating Herman and Marie Kalev's 40th wedding anniversary in 1980. L to R: Myrna, Lori and Walter Kalev, Marie and Herman Koppel and Brian and Tiiu (Koppel) Kalev. Maria Kuuse was born September 8, 1894. Herman Koppel was born November 13, 1918. Maria and Herman were married in March of 1941. After attending naval school, Herman joined the Estonian army when the Second World War broke out. Herman fought valiantly during the war and even escaped from a Prisoner of War camp.

The Koppel family along with their daughter Tiiu (1942), fled to Sweden where they lived in Goteborg from 1945 to 1949. Having saved up enough money, the Koppel's immigrated to Dome Creek, British Columbia. Onboard the ship that was to take them to Canada, the Koppel's met another Estonian family who were moving to Eckville, Alberta. Employment was soon made available for the Koppel's and they left British Columbia and headed to the parkland of central Alberta. Herman and Maria worked on numerous farms in the area before they purchased their own piece of land. In 1973, they sold the farm and relocated to the town of Eckville where they could be closer to healthcare facilities. Herman passed away September 22, 1983 while Maria passed away November 23, 1994.

Tiiu graduated from Eckville High School in 1961. Tiiu's classmates had voted her to be the Queen of Hearts at their graduation ceremony. She graduated from the Registered Nursing Aide School (Calgary) in 1963. The following year she married local farmer Walter Kalev.

Alberta's Estonian Heritage