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Date of Passing: Nov 01, 2020

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1937 - 2020

Elfriede Goermann passed away peacefully on the morning of November 1, 2020.
Elfriede was a fiercely strong, passionate woman who touched the lives of many through her life and work.
Beloved wife and mother of two, Elfriede co-founded the Winnipeg Gymnastics Centre in 1977 and spent many decades coaching and judging internationally in artistic gymnastics.
She loved to bake and dogs loved her. Elfriede's spirit lives on in her husband Wolfgang Goermann; her children Jens and Monica Goermann; and her granddaughter Maia Thomlinson. She will be dearly missed but never forgotten by those who knew her.
In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Riverview Health Centre is appreciated.
There will be a Celebration of Life at a later date.

Publish Date: Nov 12, 2020

1937 - 2020

Elfriede Goermann was a fiercely strong, passionate woman who touched the lives of many through her life and work.
Beloved wife and mother of two, Elfriede co-founded the Winnipeg Gymnastics Centre in 1977 and spent many decades coaching and judging internationally in artistic gymnastics. She loved to bake and dogs loved her.
Elfriede's spirit lives on in her husband, Wolfgang Goermann; her children, Jens and Monica Goermann; and her granddaughter Maia Thomlinson. She will be dearly missed but never forgotten by those who knew her.
There will be a Celebration of Life at a later date.

Publish Date: Nov 7, 2020

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Nov 07, 2020, Nov 12, 2020, Nov 14, 2020

Condolences & Memories (33 entries)

  • So very sad to hear the news - extremely fond memories of a competitive gymnastic coach - we enjoyed our rivalries in hundreds of competitions as well as on the judging circuit! Elfriede was highly respected and brought Winnipeg into the World Championships and Olympic arena. We were completely opposite in our respective gyms in the training of our athletes, which gave us a great deal to talk about as we travelled across Canada! I remember her breaking down in fits of laughter as we were waiting to board a plane when I told her I collected pigs. The next day .. a gift of a beautiful pig was delivered to me .. I still have that pig! Hundreds of athletes have turned into very successful young business women- many guided by the disciplines she brought to her coaching regime. When I last visited Winnipeg, too many years ago now.. she recognized me from across the arena and immediately rushed over to share a wonderful “hug” - and that was a rare display of emotion from Elfriede! So my friend - thank you for the memories and my heartfelt condolences to your family. Carolan Clague (Panthers Coach) - Posted by: Carolan Clague (Friend and Coach) on: Nov 24, 2020

  • Mr. Goermann, Monica and Jens, I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your wife and mother. Mrs. Goermann was an incredible woman. Her contribution to gymnastics in Manitoba cannot be underestimated. I was a Winnette for only about 4 years (aged 9-13), and although I didn't train with the Elite group at WGC, I was fortunate to be coached quite often by Mrs. Goermann before I left and joined another club. Many, many years later (decades) I was a spectator at a high-level gymnastics meet in BC, where I now live. I saw Mrs. Goermann and thought I would go up and introduce myself and explain that I once took gymnastics at WGC. To my absolute shock, she knew who I was, called me by name and said that of course she knew me. I was flabbergasted. As a gymnast, I was always a little scared of her, but that was because her opinion meant so much. I am sad that she didn't get more time here on earth. My sincere condolences. - Posted by: Jennifer Harris (Former gymnastics student) on: Nov 23, 2020

  • Monica, I am saddened to hear of your Moms passing. She was such a big part of Canadian Gymnastics in our time. I appreciate this very difficult time for you and your family. She leaves a wonderful legacy within your heart and the hearts of many gymnasts after us. Sending you my love and deepest condolences. Shannon Fleming - Posted by: Shannon Fleming-Colbert (Former Canadian Gymnast 1977-1981) on: Nov 21, 2020

  • To my dear Mrs. Goermann, the best coach ever, I am sorry to hear you have left us on earth. Your spirit is embedded within me. I will never forget you. I truly appreciated you. You will forever inspire me. I have very much enjoyed knowing you and having you in my life. My deepest condolences to Mr. Goermann, Monica, and Jens, as well as for Maia, Michael, Kim, and all of your other close family and friends. Mrs. and Mr. Goermann were long time friends of my parents. They all knew each other since their 20’s. Once my Mom put me in gymnastics around 7 years old at the Winnipeg Gymnastics Centre she knew she would lose me (as her daughter) for the number of years I would be dedicated to gymnastics with Elfriede and Wolfgang Goermann. I remember spending so much time training in the gym (about 25 to 30 and sometimes more hours per week). The Goermann’s were very successful in making me, as well as many other young gymnasts, FIG Canadian National gymnast, Western Canadian Gymnastic champion, and International gymnastic competitor. I used to love listening to Mrs. Goermann interact with her family in German and imagine and create in my mind the conversations that they were having. She had such a beautiful and gentle voice even when she was being strict. I adored observing how Mrs. Goermann trained and coached all of her athletes on all different levels and I appreciated her talent in knowing how far to push each athlete to grow to a higher level. Elfriede was a master of coaching and judging at every level of gymnastics. I enjoyed training with the whole Goermann family (yes they all did gymnastics). I have so many fun memories of Birthday, Halloween and Christmas parties, and even painful and strict, yet fun, summer camps, and hanging upside-down on the stretch machine at the WGC. It was such a big family feeling at the “Winnettes”, as the Winnipeg Gymnastic Centre used to be called “way back when”, well, at least when I started! We had unisex, but group separated gym, and then eventually “girl’s side” and “boy’s side” (with David and Jens). When I think of everyone, I have so many positive memories that remain very close to my heart. One of my favorite WGC memories is Mr, Goermann running up and down on the spring floor every day doing a front flip or two and the “shake of the head” that Mrs. Goermann would give towards him while he couldn’t see her doing it, especially if he didn’t “stick it”, which was very rare by the way. Another one of my favorite memories was an occasion when I spent some time in a hotel room with Mrs. Goermann. It was the night before my competition and Elfriede was trying to motivate me. At one point she offered me some of her chocolate cake. I was never to mention that, but it was my first eye-opener to her love of chocolate cake! We also shared a difficult personal memory for me as we ran a marathon together in Seattle, Washington over a bridge and back and I was sure I couldn’t do it since I was not a runner and really disliked distance running. But she managed to coach me through it, as she ran beside me throughout the whole course. It may not seem like much, but for a 13 year old (non-runner), it was a lot. I cannot remember how many km we ran, but it seemed like forever. As if Mrs. Goermann would not let me finish! She was really good at pushing people beyond their limits, and that is an excellent coaching quality. I would like to say thanks so much to her for giving me the confidence in knowing that anything in this world is within our reach. To this day, and thanks to Mrs. Goermann, I know that if I want something enough, I can do it. Her coaching words can carry you and she let you know that with enough hard work, we can accomplish any goals we have in our lives. My dearest Goermann family, please know that even though I live far away I think of you often and great memories of all of you are held in my heart and mind forever. Viele Küsse - Posted by: Julie Ravy (Hall) (Ex gymnast and family friend) on: Nov 19, 2020

  • So sad to hear of the passing of Elfriede. Her impact on the gymnastics scene in our province was huge and she will be missed. She was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 1987. Deepest sympathies to Wolfgang, Monica (inducted in 1991 just four years after her mother) and the entire family as well as the gymnastics community. - Posted by: Rick Brownlee (Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame) on: Nov 16, 2020

  • Sincerest condolences to Wolfgang and the family. It was an honor to be part of a team who cared for her. She was very kind and patient to teach German words to the staff when she first came. We will not forget her expressive big blue eyes. We got to know her and family intimately. We appreciate their kindness and understanding to the staff. We will miss caring for Elfriede and Wolfgang's visits and chats in the unit. Elfriede had made an impact on all of us and you will be greatly missed by many. - Posted by: Kristina (Nurse) on: Nov 14, 2020

  • The staff of Riverview extend our sincere condolences. Elfriede touched all of us with her warmth, her smile and her beautiful eyes. We were honoured to care for her in her these last months. - Posted by: Diana Goods (nurse) on: Nov 14, 2020

  • Mrs. G touched my life more than any other influence from my childhood. She taught me discipline, a strong work-ethic, and kindness. A lot of my favorite memories are from WGC. My condolences go out to all of her family, and especially to Mr. G. - Posted by: Nikki Fortier (Gymnastics student ) on: Nov 12, 2020

  • My sincere condolences Wolfgang, Monica, Jens, and family. Elfreide’s energy was contagious. When my mother left her teaching position at the St. Vital YMCA to develop Panthers she was confident in recommending Elfriede to take over the job, which she did. Not long after Elfriede also started her own gymnastics club and the two clubs were competing - which developed a strong gymnastics presence in the City of Winnipeg and the province taking Winnipeg gymnasts to elite levels. The gratitude owed to Eldriede and Wolfgang for their contribution to excellence in the development of gymnastics in Winnipeg goes without saying. Her cheery personality and sparkling eyes will be remembered. - Posted by: Michelle Pichette (Mother was a long time friend) on: Nov 12, 2020

  • My sincere condolences to the Goermann family. I have such great memories of Mrs. G and my time at Winnipeg Gymnastics Center both as a gymnast and as a coach. She pushed me to be a better gymnast and helped shape who I am today. Thinking of the entire family at this time. Rest in peace Mrs. G. - Posted by: Stephanie Poon (former gymnast) on: Nov 11, 2020

  • My deepest condolences to Monica and family. Mrs G. was a beautiful person and dedicated her life in training Winnipeg best in gymnastics. I’m sure she will live on in all of her gymnasts young and old. - Posted by: Marsha Graham (Mom of my daughter who was trained by Mrs G) on: Nov 11, 2020

  • My most sincere condolences to the Goermann family. I was very saddened to hear of Elfriede’s passing as I had known her for many years and shared her love of gymnastics. While coaching was Elfriede’s area of expertise, she was also a respected Brevet Judge and assisted in the development of judges in Manitoba. I am grateful to have been able to judge, over many years, the many fine gymnasts who trained under Elfriede’s tutelage. Heartfelt sympathy! - Posted by: Lynn Smith (Gymnastics Colleague) on: Nov 11, 2020

  • I remember Mrs G. as a playful person with a strong will. She taught me many lessons through the sport of gymnastics and eventually helped me grow and become a coach. I feel lucky to have had her mentorship. She will be missed by many, I’m sure. My condolences to the family, Wolfgang, Monica, Jens and Maia. - Posted by: Brittney Fehr (Former student) on: Nov 11, 2020

  • I knew Elfriede most of my life. She judged me as a gymnast and made me work my hardest to be a good coach! My fondest and probably most embarrassing memories of her happened every time I would march out onto the competition floor. She would always say ....”chest out, head up look proud! “I think of that every time I walk out onto the competition floor was a gift I use to this day! Mostly she became a friend ❤️🙏🏻 She was a friend.. - Posted by: Lorie (Friend) on: Nov 10, 2020

  • Elfriede was definitely one the the really GOOD people in the Canadian Gymnastics scene. I knew her (and rest of the family) over many years as coaches/athletes on the floor at various gymnastics competitions and later as a participant in the top level of Canadian coach education (Level 4). For many years I concluded each Level 4 graduation with an invitation to the coaches to attend, free of charge, any sessions at any subsequent Level 4. I am pretty certain Elfriede was the ONLY coach to ever do so. She wanted to keep current in her knowledge and was a great example to younger coaches (and to older coaches as well, I might add). I am certain that her legacy will live on for many years in the hearts and minds, and attitudes of her many protégés. - Posted by: Keith Russell (gymnastics coach and coach educator) on: Nov 10, 2020

  • As a 1960’s competitor in gymnastics my memories of Elfreide go back to her and Wolfgang staying at our house (Chuck Sebestyen). The same weekend we competed against each other but the friendship was more important. The Saskatoon gymnastics world always stayed connected to her and her club. As I continued on as a coach and judge it was always with a smile on my face getting to see her. I sincerely offer my thoughts and prayers to Wolfgang and family. - Posted by: Patti Sebestyen (Gymnastic friend) on: Nov 10, 2020

  • My condolences to the family for your loss. I had the great experience to coach alongside Elfriede at many competitions. She was firm in her coaching style, but gracious and friendly at the same time. I witnessed how she cared deeply for her athletes and guided them to achieve great things, while taking the time to talk to me and teach me how to be a better coach. She insisted that I move, carry, place and pull many beat boards for her, and I grumbled about it, but secretly I knew she was really the one helping me. She knew when it was time to work, and also knew how to laugh and enjoy the lighter side of things. I have had the pleasure to know Monica, and the most wonderful opportunity to coach her granddaughter, Maia. I feel the loss for your family, and recognize the life lessons I have been taught by Elfriede. Also, I'm still wondering what that green drink was. :) Thinking of you. - Posted by: Rachelle Valel (Fellow coach) on: Nov 10, 2020

  • So sad to hear of Mrs. G’s passing. I have an evolution of memories with her. As a former gymnast (not her athlete) but one who travelled with her for years I had a sense of awe and fear. Her gymnasts were the best of “our” time and were trained in a manner I wasn’t used too. I wanted so badly to impress her. She inspired many gymnast to push themselves. Later as I became a coach as well, I got to know her on a more personal and softer level. As I was ending my coaching “career” I got to spend a fair amount of time with her at her club and really was able to see how her and Wolfgang poured so much love and time into their space. It was their home and it was well respected and treated with love. Mrs G, you left a lasting impression on me and on the sport of gymnastics in our province for sure. May you Rest In Peace. Condolences to your family in these very trying times. Sincerely, Leah Benoit - Posted by: Leah Benoit (Fellow coach) on: Nov 10, 2020

  • Elfriede was my coach in the early years at St. Vital Y. The Energettes wore navy and orange because we got to vote or team colours ourselves. I wanted hot pink. Monica was younger and always there to push me harder. Jens was adorable and rolled around the mats. Elfriede introduced conditioning for the first time to our team and while I thought I suffered mightily I developed a very strong flexible body and it led to a lifetime of fitness. I will never forget those pale sparkly eyes when I took the provincial championship. She helped me by driving me to practice all the way to the U of M from St. Vital without Bishop Grandin to shorten the trip. We travelled to Minnesota, North Dakota and Saskatchewan. We watched the incredible first black and white video to improve training. I left the team before the WGC started, but those formative years led to her continued success as a coach and mentor. She was formidable but a role model for pursuing excellence. I'm so sorry for your loss, Monica, Wolfgang and Jens. Sincerely Sheila Jerrett. - Posted by: Sheila Jerrett (Former team member Energettes) on: Nov 10, 2020

  • To the strong passionate coach who continually pushed her gymnasts to give their very best, thank you Mrs. G. You made me a tougher gymnast and I appreciate all you gave to not only your gymnasts, but also the club and sport. You will be missed and may you rest in peace. Sending deepest condolences to the family. - Posted by: Deanna Lewicki (Former gymnast ) on: Nov 10, 2020

  • Deepest sympathies to the family. She was such a huge part of Manitoba gymnastics. Among the memories I have, many are so very beautiful. Rest in peace Mrs. G. - Posted by: Erica Roffey (nee Marks) (former student) on: Nov 09, 2020

  • Sorry for your loss Jens. My condolences to you and your family. May your Mom rest in peace. Brad - Posted by: Bradley Pisiak (worked at Sperry/Unisys, played ball and went skiing with Jens ("Snej"), 3 decades ago) on: Nov 09, 2020

  • Wolfgang and family, please accept my sincere condolences on the passing of Elfriede. During our short time in Winnipeg, my daughter, Lynne, enjoyed many hours in your Gym Centre. Both you and Elfriede not only were great gymnastic coaches but you instilled such good life long qualities in these young girls. May Elfriede RIP. Audrey Morrison, Calgary - Posted by: Audrey Morrison (Mother of previous gymnast) on: Nov 09, 2020

  • Your mother and wife always had such a beautiful smile and an infectious laugh. I remember many days going to the gym and gymnastics competitions seeing her dedication, love and enthusiasm for the sport but most importantly mentoring and shaping many young lives along the way. I feel so glad to have known her. So sorry for you loss. Hugs and love to all of you. Michael and Tracy Hall - Posted by: Michael Hall (Family Friend) on: Nov 08, 2020

  • Mrs. G demonstrated commitment and excellence in everything she did. Mrs. and Mr. G were committed to building gymnastics excellence in Manitoba. Winnipeg Gymnastics Centre produced so many great gymnasts, coaches, judges, and parent volunteers. They gave me my first chance at coaching, providing me resources, and gave me permission to fail so I could succeed. I have many many great memories from those days in the gym. Thank you for providing me the opportunity. My condolences to Wolfgang, Monica, and Jens. - Posted by: David Reid (Fellow Coach) on: Nov 08, 2020

  • I would like to offer my condolences to Wolfgang, Monica, Jens and her granddaughter Maia Thomlinson on the passing of their wife, mother and granddaughter Elfriede Goermann . I knew Elfriede through gymnasts when I was working for the Winnipeg Free Press as a sportswriter. She was a wonderful woman, who excelled as a coach, international gymnastics judge, wife and especially as a loving, caring mother. Over the years I grew to know Elfriede quite well, and I always loved it when we would cross paths in the shopping centre and reminisce over when I was covering gymnastics, especially at the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton in 1979. - Posted by: Allan Besson (friend) on: Nov 07, 2020

  • So sad. Our deepest sympathy to The Goerman family. We have a lot of fond memories with Winnipeg gymnastic Center. Lloyd and Lorna Yee - Posted by: Lloyd and Lorna Yee (Friend) on: Nov 07, 2020

  • Our condolences to the Goermann family. Elfriede was a wonderful lady. Our thoughts are with you through this difficult time. Best Regards, Shawn, Lloyd, Tierra & Ariana Kuczek / Ron & Sharon Ketter - Posted by: Kuczek & Ketter Family (Friends) on: Nov 07, 2020

  • My sincerest condolences to the family. It is truly a great loss; an end to an era. I was one of the original students of the Winnipeg gymnastic centre, after following the Goermanns from the St. Vital YMCA. That seems like a lifetime ago, but I have many wonderful memories of that time. My three children grew up listening to those memories. Mrs. Goermann played a role in shaping the person I became, and although I hadn’t seen her in many years, she always held a special place in my heart. - Posted by: Rhonda Fortier ( nee Frater ) (Former student) on: Nov 07, 2020

  • Elfreide Goermann was a major influence in my life. As my coach, she brought out the best in me. Her positive guidance will never be forgotten. I was inspired by her example to become a gymnastics coach, which became my lifelong career. Elfreide was an outstanding contributor to the development of the sport of gymnastics in Manitoba. We were all made better by her tireless efforts to promote gymnastics amongst the youth of our province. I offer my most sincere condolences to the Goermann family at this sad time. - Posted by: Valerie (Stiles) Nuytten (Former Student and Colleague) on: Nov 07, 2020

  • Deepest condolences to Mr. Goermann , Monica and family on the loss of your wife and mother. Mrs. Goermann trained our daughter Mallory for many years at Winnipeg Gymnastics - she left a lasting impression on us, best coach. Thinking and praying for you at this difficult time. - Posted by: Mandy Moss (Mom of past gymnast ) on: Nov 07, 2020

  • I am saddened to hear the passing of Mrs. Goermann, to us she was “Mrs. G”. She helped shape me growing up, she pushed me in my skill and believed in me. She was a phenomenal coach, hard and passionate but also had a beautiful soft side! I remember when she gave us our trophies at the end of a season. Some of them had written on them “best back walk over” or “Amazing at vault” ... Mine however said “bubble” It was hilarious, she said I was her little bubble as I just kind of bounced around and also needed reminders to stay on track (lol) The whole family impacted our family in the best way and we are thankful we got to know them. Monica and Mr. G on behalf of the Moss family (Mandy, Chris, Monica, Corey & Mallory) we are so very sorry for your loss, she was an amazing woman. You are in our thoughts and prayers - Posted by: Mallory Moss (Former gymnastics student ) on: Nov 07, 2020

  • My sincerest condolences to Wolfgang, Monica, Jens and family. Among the many many fond memories of Elfriede would be as a child having her and Wolfgang take myself, and my brother, out to various activities such as skating at Sargent Park Arena in their imported blue VW beetle. And of course there was baking with Elfriede, Marmorkuchen, and introducing me to my now favourite board game Mühle. Ruhe sanft in Frieden Elfriede. - Posted by: Monica Mork Butcher (family friend) on: Nov 07, 2020

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