On Thursday, June 18th, God called home our mom and Oma at the Red River Valley Lodge in Morris, where she had resided for the past 5 years. She was 96.
Mom was predeceased by her husband, Peter, in 2008. She never quite recovered from the loss. She will be greatly missed by children, Robert (Carolynne), Richard (Susan), Monica (Doug) and Marilyn; grandchildren Michael (Wendy), Allan (Michelle), Jonathan (Kim), Brent, Laura, Paul (Ana), Ashley (Michael), and Victoria; and, great-grandchildren Aaron, Madelyn, Jack, Sam, Stella, Olivia. Elly is also survived by sister, Maggie Martens, brother Hugo (Carol),and sister-in-law, Frieda (George) Wall. She was predeceased by brothers Walter and Hank, sister-in-law, Helen and brother-in-law, Peter Martens.
Mom was born in Muntau, South Russia, January 28th, 1924 and emigrated to Canada with parents Reverend Nicolaus and Helene Unruh that year, on the same boat that brought Peter. She grew up on the Willow Creek farm near St. Elizabeth, adjacent to the Lichtenau Mennonite Church where, in addition to farming, her father served as Pastor. That church now sits in the Steinbach Heritage Museum and Willow Creek Farm is home to Michael, Wendy, and their children.
Highlights of Mom’s life included growing up on the farm, choir practice Friday nights, baptism, working in Winnipeg on Montrose prior to her marriage to Peter in 1946, her garden, her cats Sheba and Smokey (whom she adored for many years), trips to Hawaii, B.C. celebrating her 50th anniversary at the Steinbach Heritage Museum with friends and family, and most of all, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
After their marriage, Peter and Elly settled on a farm, one mile north of Arnaud, and farmed there until 1988. They retired to Willow Creek Farm where they spent 17 very happy years listening to the sounds of the marsh, where geese, duck and mourning doves made their homes, until moving to Morris 17 years later.
The family would like to express their heartfelt thanks to the nurses and staff at the Lodge for their care and kindness.
Mom will be interred at the Lichtenau Cemetery following a private family service. Due to current restrictions, attendance will be by invitation only. Video of the service will be posted at morrisfuneralhome.ca. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Mennonite Heritage Village or the Red River Valley Lodge.