MEMORIAL PROJECTS

Linelda (Lin) Shapka

Linelda (Lin) Shapka was born in Newcastle, Australia to Ngaire and Keith Clouten. She and her younger sister, Kerrie, grew up together near the campus of Avondale College (now Avondale University) until the family made their big move to Canada in 1980. Lin graduated from Canadian Union College High School (now Parkview Adventist Academy) in 1981. She continued on to study nursing at Canadian Union College (now Burman University), transferring to Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska to complete her degree.

During her college years, Lin married Ron Clutter. Together they set up home in a number of places throughout the United States and Canada – Nebraska, California, New Jersey, Alberta, Utah, Michigan, and Texas. God blessed their home with three children – a daughter, Jenny, and two sons, Jeff and Josh. Lin worked as a nurse in a number of different roles through the years – maternal/newborn care, mental health, and nursing education.

Lin married David Shapka in 2012. Together they enjoyed traveling; their favorite destinations being somewhere close to the ocean. David preceded her in death in 2016. During the last 3 years of life, Lin lived in Edmonton with her daughter, Jenny and family, and more recently in Lacombe with her father, Keith. The joy of Lin’s life was her family. She loved spending time with her children, her granddaughter, Katara, and her extended family.

Throughout her life Lin was a faithful member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. In recent years, she funded the building of a trade school for orphans in western Kenya. Lin visited almost 50 countries during her life and although she enjoyed traveling, this world was not her home. Her strong faith, even through tough times, was an inspiration to many.
Memorial donations may be made to the Rapogi Primary School Projects through A Better World Canada. Click here

To see the Rapogi Primary School projects Lin has supported please click: https://www.abwcanada.ca/project/kenya-nyanza-rapogi-primary-school/

Read about Linelda (Lin) Shapka

Dr. Corrine Vanderwerff

October 15, 1939 – July 2, 2016

Dr. Corrine Vanderwerff

Corrine was a wife, mother, teacher, missionary and professional writer. She deeply loved God, her family and secondary to these, her career. She spent her working years teaching English at the Fraser Valley Adventist Academy and later doing relief and development work in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She used her rich life experiences and passion for writing to publish numerous books, stories and magazine articles. At the time of her passing she was writing a book on trust.

Corrine was especially passionate about improving the lives of women and children through empowerment and education. This motivated her to volunteer in several projects in support of women and children in Africa. She would be deeply honoured to have a memorial supporting service to those in need. The Girls in Need- Kenya program would be dear to her heart due to her own personal experiences. Corrine grew up in a poor family and lived in a remote location on the Grays River, Washington. Due to lack of schools in her area she was sent to boarding school at the age of 12. She was a tomboy and lacked the knowledge and resources in the area of personal grooming. During her time in boarding school, a fellow student took her under her wing and provided her with some basic grooming supplies. Corrine often spoke of how this small act of kindness changed the trajectory of her life in a positive way.

Corrine valued education and advocated for lifelong learning. In her retirement she completed her Masters of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in clinical pastoral counseling. She put her knowledge into practice by volunteering as a facilitator for Nedley Health Depression and Anxiety Recovery program. She recognized the burden of mental health struggles in our society and put her beliefs into action to support those who were suffering from depression and anxiety.

As Corrine grew in years and wisdom, she put into practice living God’s love. She strove to meet each person she encountered where they were in life and took the path of non-judgement, using the Jesus as her example. She put into practice gratitude and positive affirmations. One of her favourite sayings was “look forward to each day the with the joy of anticipation to see the good things God will do for you today”. She always said “no matter how difficult your life is or how bad your day is going; God has a gift for you. It just requires opening your eyes to see it”. Corrine experienced some deep personal tragedies and sorrow, but through these experiences she developed greater empathy, experienced tremendous personal growth and an un-abiding trust in God to sustain all those who lean on him.

Corrine loved her family and took special delight in her two grandsons and leaves those who knew her with many treasured memories. Corrine is survived by her siblings Wes, Marja, Cheryl and Greg Kandoll, her daughter Joann (Richard) Chabaylo, grandsons Matthew and Aaron, son Jon (Judy) Vanderwerff.

Read about Dr. Corrine Vanderwerff

Dr. Wilford Tetz

It is with sadness and a great deal of love that we announce the passing of Dr. Wilford Tetz.

Dr. Wilford Cyril Tetz passed away August 19, 2021 in Lacombe, Alberta one month before his 98th birthday. Wilf was born to Albert and Blanche (Palmer) Tetz on September 28, 1923, in Bowness, Alberta. He was the oldest of five children and spent his growing up years in Alberta, Michigan, British Columbia, and Alabama. Wilf married Anne Krause in December 1946 and the young couple moved to Loma Linda, California where Wilf entered Loma Linda University School of Medicine. Much of his medical school training took place at LA County hospital giving him a great deal of experience with things like knife and gunshot wounds and over 200 baby deliveries. After graduation from medical school, Wilf and Anne moved to Edmonton, where Wilf was privileged to intern at the University of Alberta Hospital with some of the giants in Alberta medicine, like Walter C. McKenzie. He maintained a close relationship with these doctors over the course of his medical practice. Wilf was a life-long learner and was proud to receive his Master of Public Health from Loma Linda University in 1978.

During the 45 years of medical practice in the Lacombe and Alex area Dr. Tetz served as Chief of Staff at the Lacombe Hospital and provided care for several generations of many families through house calls and office visits.

Dr. Tetz was a member of many Committees and Boards in the Lacombe and College Heights area. He was a long-time member of the College Heights Seventh-Day Adventist Church. He enjoyed flying his small plane and was a member of the Lacombe Flying Club for many years. Other hobbies included working on his “farm”, road trips throughout the United States and Canada, reading and spending time with family. He will be remembered for his love of people, his dry humor and the gift of saying the right thing with impeccable timing during committee meetings.

Dr. Tetz is survived by Anne, his wife of 75 years; daughters Beverly How (Fred) of Redlands, CA, and Carol Rick (Glen) of Aldergrove, BC; sons Jim (Shirley) of Lacombe, AB, Gerry (Karen) of Portland, OR, and Jack (Cindy) of Stony Plain, AB. He was predeceased by his son Doug (Deborah) of Red Deer. Of his 13 grandchildren, four have followed him into medical professions. He also has 15 great-grandchildren. In his final days he was lovingly cared for by the staff at the Lacombe Hospital where he had spent so many years of his life caring for others. He leaves a large hole in many lives and his entire community. He will be missed.

Read about Dr. Wilford Tetz

Mrs. Alma Reimche

Alma was born February 5, 1917 in Dauphin, Manitoba and died on September 5, 2021 in Lacombe, Alberta at the age of 104 years and 7 months. She was predeceased by her parents Luke and Martha Blabey and by her four brothers and six sisters.

Alma grew up on a Manitoba farm. On September 10, 1942 she married Alex McCreery, a logger whose occupation took them to British Columbia. Together they had seven children: Carl (Leona), Ike (Valerie), Marty Kandt (Randy), Danny (Linda), David (Bonnie), Loma Boyd (Bruce), and Bennie who passed away at the young age of 5 years. After Alex’s death, Alma married Oscar Reimche (1968) and became stepmother to Roger (Lindsey), Wayne (Beckie), and Linda Hagen (Calvin). Alma was blessed with numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and a great-great-grandchild.

Alma was an avid reader and knitter. She loved to play the piano at her local church and taught lessons for many years. She was active in Women’s Christian Temperance Union and eventually served on the executive committee. She worked in various offices to supplement the family income.

Alma was predeceased by Oscar (2009), Danny (2016), Linda (2018), and Carl (2021). She is lovingly remembered by all her remaining children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and a great-great-grandchild; as well as extended family, numerous nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.

Read about Mrs. Alma Reimche

Hazel Hill

Hazel May (Sanders) Hill, 92 years of age, passed to rest on Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Salmon Arm, BC.
Born May 22, 1929, in Watford, Hertfordshire, UK, she completed her education at Stanborough Park School. In 1951 she married her school sweetheart, Kenneth, who was to become her companion and best friend for 66 years. Hazel began her calling as homemaker/mother extraordinaire in Coventry, Bleanau Ffestiniog, and Wolverhampton in the UK. She then emigrated to Canada with Ken and their young family in 1967 and continued to support their professional and academic endeavors from home bases in Dartmouth, Wellington, and Scotch Village, NS. Following Ken’s retirement in 1989 they volunteered for 10 years with Adventist Development and Relief Agency Canada and A Better World Canada to develop rehabilitation services for children with polio in rural Kenya. During this period Hazel became a “mother” to many Kenyan children. To be closer to their biological children, Hazel and Ken lived during their retirement years in the communities of Blind Bay, Desert Cove, and Salmon Arm, BC. She is fondly remembered for her cheerfulness, personal interest in others, warm hospitality, sense of adventure, and unwavering devotion to her faith and family.
Remaining family include her sister, Carol Magee of Banbridge, UK, daughter Karen (Henry) Leung of Lacombe, AB, son Kelvin (Marcia) Hill of Lacombe, AB, son Colin (Sheila) Hill of Lacombe, AB, daughter Susan (Kroy) Christison of Salmon Arm, BC, and 7 grandchildren.
Read about Hazel Hill

Professor Ken Hill

When A Better World was launched in 1990, the organization was blessed with the dedication and commitment of Ken Hill.  Recently retired as an Associate Professor of Physiotherapy, Ken volunteered to provide rehabilitation training and assess the needs of children with disabilities in Kendu Bay, Kenya. Through this initiation he established the ABW Surgery and Rehab program that has brought mobility to more than 10,000 children in Kenya.  Ken and his wife Hazel visited the project site for over 10 years and spent a year in Kendu Bay to ensure the program’s success.  During this time he established a vibrant Community Based Rehabilitation program in partnership with local communities and government agencies.  For his tireless volunteer work Dalhousie University awarded him an honorary doctoral degree (LLD) in 2002.  His dedication and passion helped expand the work of A Better World and, on this 30th Anniversary of A Better World (2020), the family and friends of Ken and Hazel Hill have chosen to remember him with a new facility for rehabilitation “The Professor Hill Rehabilitation Centre” at Kendu Adventist Hospital. Ken passed away on December 17, 2017.
Read about Professor Ken Hill

Madison Ryann Switzer

Maddy was born in Red Deer, Alberta, to parents Amy and Jon Switzer. She was a very happy, carefree baby. She had a smile on her face everyday and made everyone else around her smile too! Her smile was very contagious! Unfortunately she passed away on January 19th, 2015 at the age of 15 months. She passed away from SUDC (Sudden Unexplained Death in Children). Her very short life touched many and she is missed by all. Her family is very happy that her legacy will live on in other children’s lives.

Read about Madison Ryann Switzer

Arthur and Frances How

Norm How was always fond of sweets. So when he saw a young woman selling candy to raise money for the YWCA, he struck up a conversation with her. That initial meeting with Fran would lead to a marriage that lasted nearly 75 years. Their partnership was one enriched with service, and it still continues to this day.

Norm and Fran were well-known for their involvement and service in the SDA church and the several communities where they resided over their lives together. Settling in Lacombe, AB in 1993, they became involved with College Heights church, with Norm eventually becoming a board member. This sowed the seeds for a great connection with Eric Rajah, the co-founder of A Better world. Eric knew Norm as a man who was well-respected as a minister, secretary of the Canadian Union Conference, and even the editor of the Canadian Adventist Messenger.

Norm’s role as a board member, however, is what really allowed the two to connect. When ABW first started, the CHSDA church board oversaw the organization. Today, Eric remembers his friendship with Norm and Fran with gratefulness and admiration. “They lived their faith through serving others,” Rajah said. “He was very passionate about service,” Eric remembers firsthand. “They regularly contributed to projects when they were alive—they gave their money to building schools and water wells.”

This introduction to ABW began a long-lasting legacy of support, which also inspired their family members to get involved. The couple had two sons, four grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Robyn, one of their granddaughters, volunteered on physiotherapy trips to Kenya with the ABW Rehab Team.

Norm and Fran lived a life full of love and service that took them, too, outside of Canada. After their retirement, they volunteered with a charity called Seniors Over Seas, spending nearly two years in a suburb of Cairo, Egypt. Norm passed away in June 2011 at the age of 95 while Fran died two days short of her 106th birthday in May 2018.

This long legacy of service inspired their son David and his family to leave a financial gift in honour of Norm and Fran in support of the construction of the Professor Hill Rehabilitation Centre at the Kendu Adventist Hospital in Kenya. Pastor Ron Sydenham, ABW Board Chair, and Eric express their gratitude to the Hows for making a lasting difference in the lives of many young people in Kendu Bay.

Written by Laura Tester / Edited by Jacqui McCarty

Read about Norm How

Paul Johan Melitz

PAUL JOHAN MELITZ, beloved husband of Gerdy Melitz, of Lethbridge, passed away in Lethbridge, on Friday, October 23, 2020 at the age of 76 years.  Until the very end, he continued to believe that tomorrow would be better.

Besides his loving wife, Johan is survived by his son, Menno (Kerry) Melitz of Edmonton and daughter Siea (Jason) Newton of Calgary.  Johan is also survived by two grandchildren, Reid and Julia Newton. Johan is also survived by his brother Henk (Betsie deceased) Melitz and his sister Betsie (Willem deceased) Hengeveld, both living in the Netherlands and his brother-in-law Anthon (Adriana) Slangen and sister-in-law Edith (Amadeo) Riduavets.

Johan was born in 1943 in the Netherlands into a farming family.  Johan went on to study at the Agricultural University of Wageningen, where he met lifelong friends and also during this time met the love of his life Gerdy.  In the early years of his career, Johan lived with Gerdy in Suriname and worked as a tropical soil scientist, which was just the beginning of his desire to fully experience cultures around the world and immerse in different ways of life. After starting a family, they lived off and on in Indonesia, where Johan would venture deep into the jungle for weeks with local teams to complete his research. At the age of 49, believing there wasn’t an adventure too big to pursue, Johan and his family moved to Canada to farm in the Lethbridge area.  Johan’s zest for life combined with his keen judgment and unlimited determination meant it was no surprise he managed to expand from one farm to four farms.  After winding down the farms, retirement was not his cup of tea and he built up a North American long haul trucking company and owned a Lethbridge based taxi business. His determination to find a fair solution for anything he encountered was his guiding force. As his career wound down, he and Gerdy set up the Bernhard Melitz charitable foundation aimed primarily at supporting efforts to provide basic education in developing countries.  Johan was a lifelong learner and his curiosity and strength of character truly defined him.

A private service was held in Lethbridge. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to A Better World, one of Johan and Gerdy’s favored charities.

Read about Paul Johan Melitz

Mr. Irwin Schafer

Irwin’s generosity over his lifetime reached 13 communities in Kenya and Afghanistan through the ABW projects he supported. He was one of the first donors to stand up for women’s education in Afghanistan, and he faithfully supported life-changing projects in Kenya. Since he wanted to do his philanthropy quietly, almost none of the projects bear his name. We commemorate his long legacy of generosity with gratefulness.
Read about Mr. Irwin Schafer

Mrs. Edna Yellowlees

Edna Patricia Yellowlees passed away gently and peacefully at the age of 96 in Westlock, Alberta, on May 17, 2019. Edna was born on March 17, 1923 on a farm near Crossfield and spent her childhood years in the Crossfield area with parents Thomas and Nellie Tredaway and older sister Winnie. Following high school graduation, Edna attended normal school in Calgary, which led to several teaching posts in rural Alberta—Glenevis, Canyon and East Majorville. She then earned her degree as a dietitian at UBC, an accomplishment that gave her great satisfaction.
Read about Mrs. Edna Yellowlees

Mrs. Henrica Bontje

Henrica passed away peacefully on December 12 at her Thorndale home in her 95th year. Predeceased by her husband William Bontje (1999). Hours before her passing, Riek met her newest great- granddaughter. Loving mother of John (Susan), Gord (Kathy) both of Red Deer, Mike (Connie) of Thorndale, Marylou of Thorndale, Rose of Stratford, and Angela of Toronto. She will be missed by her loving grandchildren Erica (Denis), Micaela (Kent), Katelyn (Scott), Leah (Tim), Lauren, Chris (Kim), Joe (Rachel), Jon, Steven, Emily (Ross), and Adam. Riek was the proud great-grandmother of Audrey, Casey, Summer, Hailey, Brianna, Braeden, Alyssa, Maizie, Charlotte Lou, Harper, Violet, Theo, and Oliver, with 1 more to come.
Read about Mrs. Henrica Bontje

Mrs. Elizabeth Chabaylo, RN

Born in Freshwater, NL on June 15, 1949, Elizabeth (Betty) received a Bachelor of Nursing degree at St. Clare’s Hospital in 1970.  Betty continued her nursing career in Alberta, where, with her husband Glen, they settled in Red Deer. Betty was never happier than living in Prince Edward Island for a number of years and raising Pomeranian companions. Betty loved spending time with her family and grandchildren and would always cook the best family dinners.  Her lifelong friends will always remember Betty’s loyalty, kindness and pragmatic approach to life. Her husband, who has travelled with ABW, donated in her honour funds specifically to fund training for a female healthcare worker at Kendu Adventist Hospital.
Read about Mrs. Elizabeth Chabaylo