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Erica Deichmann Gregg


Erica Deichmann Gregg
Erica Deichmann Gregg, formerly of Fredericton, NB , died peacefully at the Dr. V.A. Snow Centre in Hampton on Monday, May 21, 2007. She was the daughter of Matthias Matthiesen ( a Lutheran pastor) and Maria (Arendt) Matthiesan. Born in Wisconsin, USA, in 1913, she travelled with her parents to Denmark when she was seven. She grew up in Denmark in the early 1920’s but by 1928 the family had moved back to North America, settling in Edmonton, Alberta, the city where Erica met her first husband, Kjeld Deichmann.

Kjeld and Erica made their home in 1932 in Summerville, on the Kennebecasis River. Until 1957 when they moved their home and studio to Sussex, New Brunswick. They both played an important role in fostering the increasing awareness of the value of beautiful objects in daily life. Kjeld, also Danish, was a skilled artist-craftsman, and they worked together in their pottery until his death in 1963. In 1964 Erica married a renowned New Brunswicker, Milton Fowler Gregg, a winner of the Victoria Cross during the First World War. At the time of their marriage, Milton was serving in Guyana as Canada’s first High Commissioner there. They returned to Canada in 1967 and continued to pursue mutual interests. They spent the winter months in Fredericton and the summers on Grand Manan, but they also travelled widely and were very supportive of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. After Milton’s death in 1978, Erica divided her time between the island and the capital.
In her late 70’s Erica was awarded both the Order of Canada and an honorary degree from the University of New Brunswick. She was active in the Kindness Club, took a strong interest in the Royal Canadian Regiment, was involved in methods of assisting foreign students, encouraged young potters, and also managed to maintain contact with a wide circle of friends.

Erica was predeceased by her parents, her four sisters, her two husbands, Anneke’s husband, Simon and two infant grandchildren. She is survived by her three children, Henrik Deichmann, Elisabeth Harvor and Anneke Gichuru, Henrik’s wife Joanne (Buckle), Elisabeth’s former husband Stig, and nine grandchildren – Mark Deichmann of Larvik, Norway, Jocelyn Bhuyan (Gouri) of Vancouver, Kirsten Deichmann (Bob Oechsler) of Maryland, USA, Finn Harvor (Suki) of Seoul, South Korea, Richard Harvor (Teena Marie) of Montreal, Peter Mokua Gichuru of Vancouver, Wandia Lootsma (Auke) of Khartoum, Sudan, Matthew Wamae Gichuru (Wendy) of St. Catharines, Christopher Wachira Gichuru of Nairobi, Kenya, nine great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

Following Erica’s wishes there will be no visitation and following cremation there will be a memorial service at a date to be announced.

For those who wish, donations to a scholarship fund to be established in Kjeld and Erica Deichmann’s name with the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, the Conservation Council of New Brunswick or the charity of their choice would be appreciated.

The family is most grateful to the staff of the Dr. V.A. Snow Centre in Hampton and especially to her special care givers for their loving care and support during Erica’s residency there.
Arrangements under the direction of Brenan’s Select Community Funeral Home, 111 Paradise Row, Saint John (634-7424).
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