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Siegfried (Ziggy) Werner Jaschinsky, 92, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Tuesday, March 31, 2020. He was the son of Gustav, a forester, and Augusta Jaschinsky. He was born on March 23, 1928 in Bierswalde, East Prussia.

He attended a small school in Goldap, East Prussia, and later studied Business during his early teens as was the education system at the time. During WWII and the young age of 14, Siegfried was sent to the west border of East Prussia along with 800 other boys to dig trenches for soldiers and tank traps to stop the advancing Russian army. His family fled Goldap, Seeganau, and eventually Seebrock keeping ahead of the fighting. The last evacuation found 15 year old Siegfried separated from his family for 8 months traveling with groups of people he didn’t know, but always heading west.

After he arrived in West Germany and reunited with his family, he met his lifelong sweetheart, Herta Gerdes. They were married on April 8, 1948 and were about to celebrate their 72nd wedding anniversary. Economic recovery was difficult for Germany and unemployment was high. The Allied Countries had established the Displaced Persons Act; and since East Prussia no longer existed, Herta and Siegfried were given an opportunity to immigrate to the USA with their two daughters – ages 3 years and 6 weeks old.  

They arrived in Midland and worked off their passage at the Sias Farm in Midland. They were immediately greeted by a group of Germany immigrants living in the Auburn area – the Beaver Road Baptist Church. It was while attending there, that Siegfried came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. He walked closely with God and had a strong relationship with his Savior. His faith was as strong as the trees he loved to plant, and his influence will forever remain in the lives of all who knew him. It was always a pleasure to hear him pray.

The Beaver church later became the First Baptist Church of Auburn where he faithfully attended and worked on several committees. He was a trustee, grounds keeper, and an AWANA leader. He was also active with the Sanford Senior Center and was a Meals on Wheels volunteer. He was a blood donor with the Ernie Wallace Blood Bank for over thirty years. He had a servant’s heart and volunteered wherever he could. As a result of his activity in the community, his generosity, and his gentle spirit, he was loved by many. Many called him Opa. He was an avid gardener and his flowers and vegetables were legendary. He also took after his father with his love of the forest. It was said he would plant 5 new trees and 6 would grow. He loved tending his own beehives and enjoyed being a beekeeper.

Siegfried worked hard all his life and always had employment. He worked for Camps Cars, Borden Dairy, Sani-Seal Dairy, Englehardt Dairy, Bay City Public Schools, and eventually Midland Public where he culminated his career as head custodian at Midland High School.

Siegfried as a wonderful, loving, and devoted husband and always a gentle, kind, and always present father. His legacy will live on in the lives of his daughters and their families. He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Herta, his daughters Sigrid (Reinhart) Spittka, Ruth (Charles) Wentz, Lisa Sanders all of Midland. Seven grandchildren called him Opa (Paul Spittka – Supala OK, Nicole Spittka Abbott- Midland, Andrew Wentz – Beaverton, Eric Wentz – Oakwood GA, Tim Wentz – Midland, Kayla Sanders Ferguson – Connecticut, and Evan Sanders – Detroit). Eleven great grandchildren and 4 great-great grandchildren (one more on the way) called him Opapa. His several nieces and nephews are all in London or Germany. He has one surviving sister Dora Clark of England. He was predeceased by his brother Heinz and his sister Eva both of Germany.

A private, immediate family only service will be held on Friday, April 3, due to the current health issues.

A celebration of life service will be held. Date to be determined after current social gathering restrictions are lifted.

Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the Sanford Senior Center, 3243 N. West River Rd, Sanford, 48657 or Auburn First Baptist Church, 4853 S. Garfield Ro, Auburn, 48611

Thanks to the doctors and nurses who have taken care of Siegfried through several open-heart surgeries and other health conditions.

Siegfried always enjoyed life and was a fighter during his flight through Prussia, Poland, and Germany; and he never gave up fighting for each day until the Lord called him home.

Smith-Miner Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Jaschinsky family; to share a special memory please visit www.smithminer.com.

Condolence Messages

  1. Kathy Beard

    04 April 2020 7 months ago

    To the family of Siegfried Jaschinsky, I didn’t know the fascinating life “Ziggy” led. I did know he was a very nice man who had a wonderful relationship with his daughter. They picked blueberries at our u-pick blueberry farm for many years and I alway enjoyed seeing and talking with them. I am glad I had the opportunity to meet “Ziggy” and to the family I am truly sorry for your loss.

  2. Tammy Johnson (Braun

    03 April 2020 7 months ago

    To Lisa, Herta, Sigi and Ruth,
    First – I wanted to share my warm and heartfelt sympathy to all of you and your families.
    While it has been so long since I lived in Auburn, Michigan – I feel a special connection to your family and the bonds created as part the church family at Auburn Baptist. Every Sunday, I vividly remember Mr. and Mrs. Jaschinsky sitting towards the front of the church on the left side. While I didn’t know Ziggy well, I somehow knew the love he had for his family, his thankfulness for living in the United States and his love for God and the church family. Your family was generous with your time and gifts – always a welcome house with warm, welcoming smiles. I really treasure my memories and I am thinking and praying as you go through this sad time. The best gift is knowing that you will all see him again, in a wonderful, heavenly place . . . Sending love, Tammy Johnson (Braun)

  3. Kathi Chase

    02 April 2020 7 months ago

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  4. Cathy Ohlfs

    02 April 2020 7 months ago

    My thought and prayers are with you all.

  5. Bud Lawry

    02 April 2020 7 months ago

    Deepest sympathies to Herta and Ziggie’s family. He was a prince. I had the pleasure of working with him at Midland High School in the 1980’s. As the administrator responsible for discipline, he and I had many opportunities to work together. Mostly it was me asking him to see if he could remove obscenities from various locations in and on the school. He was always good natured about everything and responded with his wry grin, especially when the graffiti included my name. His work ethic, sense of responsibility, and geniality, earned Ziggie the respect of everyone who worked with him at MHS. Thank you, Ziggie, for touching me with your humility.

  6. Clark & Sandy Wentz

    02 April 2020 7 months ago

    So sorry for your loss. Sounds like he lived a good life. We will be praying for the family as they go through this hard time to loss a family member. Rest in Peace, Ziggy

  7. Michelle Schaefer

    02 April 2020 7 months ago

    My thoughts and prayers go out to you Herta and your family. So sorry for your loss. May you find comfort in all the memories of your life together. God be with you all.

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