Ingrid Hambruch was a staple of the community. A Rotarian, she was involved and resolved to put others before herself.
Originally born in Germany, Ingrid came to Canada with her husband Paul and settled in Brisco, a short drive from Golden. It didn’t take long for Ingrid’s selflessness to be on full display to the community, as she aided a neighbour’s daughter’s recovery after a car accident, using her training in physiotherapy.
It was that sort of kind, caring approach that her son, Chris, feels embodies who she was. It’s how he hopes she will be remembered.
“Her love of helping people is what brought her to physiotherapy, helping people get better,” said Chris. “The Rotary motto is service above self. It was more than a motto to mom; it was the way she lived her life.”
“Everyone will have their own way and reason of remembering her because of all the things that she did,” said her daughter, Sabine. “I can’t even begin to list everything that she did.”
The impact that Ingrid had on her neighbour’s daughter gained her employment as a physiotherapist. After working in Invermere for several years, she also came to Golden to continue her work at the hospital here. With her two physiotherapy jobs and the family flower business that she opened in Golden, her life was busy, but she never looked back. Golden quickly became home.
“She didn’t have a desire to go anywhere else,” said Chris. “Yes, she and dad travelled a bit, but only a few days at a time, and that was long enough. They always wanted to come home. Not just home, but to Golden, because they loved it here.”
Ingrid did her best to give back to the town she loved. She was just the second female Rotarian in Golden, joining up soon after her son and husband did. She volunteered right until her final few days, selling tickets at the RecPlex for the Paul Hambruch Memorial 50/50 draw, which has since been renamed the Paul and Ingrid Hambruch Memorial 50/50 draw for the future.
Those who knew her saw her as dedicated, committed, kind and caring. She was everywhere, doing her best to help people wherever she could.
“She was so busy with all she did in town that you almost needed an appointment to see her,” said Sabine. “The community should remember her as the community sees fit; everyone will have their own way of remembering her.”
“She committed to do everything she could do,” said Chris. “She was an eternal optimist, Mom with her never give up attitude, she always kept trying.”
It was clear the impact she had on those around her by the sheer number of people who showed up to her service. Around 120 to 125 people packed the room to share their final farewells to Ingrid.
“It didn’t surprise me for the amount of things that Mom did and has done in the community. I really appreciated it and the outpouring from the community,” said Chris. “She impacted the lives of many people. She loved to share her knowledge.”
Her loss has been tough on Chris. Living with Multiple Sclerosis, Ingrid supported him until her final days, helping him with exercises using her experience as a physiotherapist, or even just come around for a conversation and a cup of tea.
Although it’s been hard, Chris knows that it’s better she be out of her pain.
“Today’s the first day that we’re back to our regular routine without her, and it’s tough,” said Chris. “But life goes on, she’s no longer in pain, no longer suffering and I’m glad for that for her.”
Arrangements need to be made to memorialize Ingrid. Her name will be added to a bench which overlooks Reflection Lake, a bench that’s already been dedicated to her husband Paul. Chris would like them both to be together.
An avid member of Rotary until the very end, Chris says that a donation to the Rotary Foundation to the Polio fund (https://www.rotary.org/en/donate) in her honour would be an appropriate way to remember her.
Ingrid grew up in a time when Polio was rampant, and as a physiotherapist, did her best to combat its terrible and lasting affects on its victims.
“You don’t have to be a Rotarian to honour her memory,” said Chris. “It’s hard to pick out one thing for her to be remembered by, but I keep going back to the Rotary motto of service above self. She always put service to others above herself.”
Ingrid leaves her two children, six grandchildren and eight great grandchildren behind to remember her. Although her family is significantly larger – it includes over 40 Rotarians, and the community of Golden, too.