Elsa Maria Theresia Schmidt (née Zieher) passed away peacefully in Ottawa, Ontario, in the loving care of her daughter Angela and family, on Thursday, November 20, 2020, at the age of 92.
Elsa is predeceased by her beloved husband of 49 years, Albert (2010), her sisters and in-laws Hilde and (Franz) Haid; Emma and (Sep) Straub of Germany; and Franz Glück of South Africa. She is survived by her daughter Angela (Kenn) Rodzinyak, sons Karl (Jenny), Roland (Elaine), and Lothar, her 6 granddaughters Kristyn, Daphne, Celina, Jordyn, Mackenzie, and Hannah, as well as 5 nieces, 2 nephews, several great-nieces and nephews in Germany and sister-in-law Herta Glück (née Schmidt) in South Africa.
Born in Ochsenhausen, Germany on August 5, 1928 to Karl Konrad and Franziska (Rapp) Zieher. Elsa grew up with her parents and younger sisters in the nearby village of Äpfingen. Her aspirations to become a teacher were discouraged so she trained as a shopkeeper. Subsequently, she worked at the KaVo dental factory in nearby Biberach, where she met the love of her life, Albert. Albert immigrated to Milk River, Alberta in 1958 to join his extended the family the Stickle clan. Enticed by many love letters and a desire for adventure she joined him in 1960. They married on August 3 of that year. They relocated to Lethbridge, Alberta in 1963 with their young daughter.
Elsa worked briefly at a local drycleaner in Lethbridge but decided to dedicate herself full-time to raising the children and managing the household. She loved God and rarely missed attending mass first at St. Basil’s and then Assumption Parish. She enjoyed learning new things and could often be found taking notes and looking up new words or topics in the dictionary or encyclopaedia, all while running a tight ship at home. The house was typically spotless, and all clothes, linens, and towels meticulously pressed. In the summer months, when not tending to the yard and garden, she enjoyed walking or riding her bike around Henderson Lake. Her carefully manicured flowerbeds (especially the rose bushes) and the vegetable garden were the talk of the neighbourhood. She will also be fondly remembered for her excellence in the kitchen, where she made hearty German specialties like Rouladen and Spätzle from scratch, and baked mouth-watering German treats, including a variety of cookies, pastries, tortes, and “Kuchen”. Her Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, which she prepared with great care for special occasions, was especially popular with friends and family.
Above all else, Elsa loved her family and always supported them and encouraged them to do their best and do good by others. She was a devoted wife, loving mother, and caring Oma, whose kind and gentle demeanor, wonderful smile, and subtle sense of humour could brighten anyone’s day. Everyone who met her liked her, and she will be dearly missed.
The family especially extends their gratitude to Crestie Tamayo and Leister Jane Defensor for their gentle care that allowed them to keep Elsa at home. Special thanks to the Personal Support Workers, the staff at Eastern Ottawa Resource Center Adult Day Program, staff at Carefor’s Perley Rideau Day Program and Guest House and all those who generously gave their time and love to Elsa.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada.
Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, a Private Funeral Service will be held on Saturday December 5, 2020 at 10:00am at OUR LADY OF THE ASSUMPTION CATHOLIC CHURCH, 2405 12 Ave South, Lethbridge. The Service will be livestreamed at the bottom of this obituary.