Broadcaster, bon vivant, self-taught music expert, and wine connoisseur Jurgen Gothe passed away last night.
The Berlin-born Gothe was 71 years old.
According to his wife Kate Williams, Gothe died during happy hour in Haro Park Centre in Vancouver's West End, where he had been living since last year.
He moved into the complex after his cancer progressed to a point where he couldn't remain at home.
He's also survived by his daughter Colette.
Gothe was the Georgia Straight's wine writer from 1997 to 2014. He continued writing columns while battling cancer, only stopping when he had to move into a care home because of his health problems.
His popular Uncorked column made wine accessible to hundreds of thousands of Vancouverites. In this role and as a wine writer for various other publications, Gothe contributed enormously to B.C.'s vibrant wine culture.
Gothe was no wine snob and made a point of writing about products that average British Columbians could afford.
Across Canada, Gothe is best known as the former host of the national DiscDrive show, which aired on CBC Radio 2 from 1985 to 2008. It featured an eclectic mix of classical, jazz, and other forms of music, mixed in with Gothe's trenchant observations and comments about his cat.
Before that, he hosted a CBC program called Front Row and worked at CHQM in Vancouver.
According to a 2008 profile in Vancouver magazine, Gothe's first media experience came selling magazine subscriptions door to door as a teenager on the Prairies before finding a job at a gas station in Carberry, Manitoba. He lived in the local hotel at the age of 15.
“I’m completely autodidactic," Gothe told writer John Burns. "I dropped out of school because I was bored and thought I could teach myself anything I needed to know. So far, so good. To me, learning is self-motivated. That’s how I’ve learned everything.”
He was later employed in advertising and worked for a while for Mission Hill Family Estate's Anthony Von Mandl. For many years, Gothe shuttled back and forth between Vancouver and his home on the Gulf Islands.
On September 27, he hosted a 70th-birthday celebration at the Haro Park Lodge, which was attended by dozens of friends.
After Gothe stopped writing his column in the Straight, he posted a simple message on his Facebook page: "Today Jurgen stows away the typewriter. Thank you to the Georgia Straight for a great run. Cheers!"
Indeed, it was a great run. He will be missed.