Patric Earl Ronald Gouchie
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Patrick Gouchie. Pat was a husband, a father, grandfather, and great grandfather.
Pat was born on May 9, 1941, in Amherst, Nova Scotia and passed away peacefully on September 30, 2023, at the age of 82 at the Grande Prairie Care Centre after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease with his loving family at his side.
Pat grew up and went to school in Amherst, Nova Scotia. He joined the Royal Canadian Navy at the age of 17, where he spent the next 4 years. After he left the Navy, he came to Grande Prairie where he spent the last 60 years.
Pat worked as a salesman at Brown Brother’s for 5 years and was the Men’s Wear Manager at Woolworth’s for the next 5 years, but Pat was probably best known as being a Realtor for over 40 years. He started off with Granco Real Estate and worked for a few other Real Estate companies before starting his own company – Pat Gouchie Real Estate.
Pat’s passion was playing hockey, which he did until well in his 60’s, first with the Grande Prairie Athletics and many years with the Grande Prairie Old Stars Senior Hockey team. He enjoyed many hockey trips playing in tournaments in Florida, Arizona, Mexico, Victoria, Edmonton, and Calgary to name a few. In the summers he played fastball and lots of golf.
Pat, Faye, and the boys spent many summers in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia visiting family and just touring the Atlantic provinces, spending lots of days at the beach.
Pat was a member of the Grande Prairie Legion Branch #54 for many years and involved with lots of Legion projects.
Pat is survived by his loving wife Faye, his 2 sons Michael (Sandi) and Darren (Christa), 6 granddaughters Danielle, Erica (Travis), Alyssa, Noelle, Megan (Jesse), and Haley (Chris), and 10 great grandchildren – Jared, Ruby, Brody, Bailee, Martha-Mae, Avery, Kole, Kaius, Rowan and Sophia. He is also survived by his brother Danny (Jenny), sister Earlene (Leon), brothers-in-law Frank (Flo), Doug (Bonnie), Tony (Valerie), and Aubrey, and by his sisters-in-law Charlotte and Laurice (Alain), and many nieces, nephews and friends.
Pat was predeceased by his parents Earl and Kathleen Gouchie, brothers Darrell and Jackie, and sisters Karen and Carolyn.
The family would like to thank Dr. Aylward, Home Care Case Manager Shauna Boutcher, the LPN’s, and the many care givers, recreation aides, and all the staff at the Grande Prairie Care Centre for their kindness, compassion and great care given to Pat over the past 3 years.
Elmer Ervin Littman
Elmer Littman passed away on September 24, 2023 in Lacombe, Alberta. He will be lovingly remembered by his children Raelene Taliaferro, Sharna (David) Keith, Brent (Kathy Thomas) Littman, and daughter-in-law Wendy Littman; his twelve grandchildren and his two great-grandchildren. Elmer was predeceased by his son Darren Littman (2013) and his wife Marlene (Graham) Littman (2017).
Donovan Marven Patzer
Donovan was born July 7, 1931 in Hanna, Alberta to parents Arthur and Annie Patzer. He is lovingly remembered by his son Dean Patzer of Lacombe; son Barry Patzer (Desiree) of Walla Walla, Washington and their daughter Jazz Patzer of Clarkson, Washington; his brother and sister-in-law Lloyd and Joane Patzer of Lacombe; and his nieces Lana Lewicki and Holly Patzer. He was predeceased by his wife Marion and his parents Arthur and Annie Patzer.
A Funeral Service will be held on Monday, August 28 at 1:00 p.m. at the Ponoka Funeral Home followed by a Graveside Service at the Fairview Cemetery in Lacombe,
Zelma (Carlson) Kay
Zelma was born on July 8, 1924, in Medicine Hat, Alberta and passed away on May 28, 2023, in Lacombe, Alberta.
She was predeceased by her husband: Tom and her son: Cliff, her brother: Dean Carlson and her two sisters: Norma Spangler and June Spangler.
Left to cherish her memory are: Her daughter: Lenna (Garth) Cordett of Lake Country, BC
Her sons: Warren (Cheryl) Kay of Lacombe, AB and Nic Kay (Till Regular) of Lloydminster, AB
Thirteen Grandchildren and Nineteen Great Grandchildren and many nieces and nephews
Zelma grew up in Skiff, AB, where she along with her family became Adventists. She attended CJC and worked as a colporteur in the summer to pay for tuition. While at school she met Tom Kay and they were married on December 11, 1945. Tom and Zelma made their home on the farm near Stettler. They were blessed with four children: Lenna, Cliff, Warren, and Nic.
She was active in the church as Dorcas Leader, leading out in Children’s Sabbath School and Vacation Bible School. At times they took other children into their home when needed and eventually cared for foster children. In 1978 she laid to rest her son Cliff after a valiant battle with cancer.
For many years they spent the winters in California and eventually Oregon, were Tom and his brother Ernie purchased a ranch. The raised a variety of animals that included: wallabies, goats, and miniature donkeys. The children enjoyed visiting with the grandchildren who would go exploring the land with its beautiful trees and even caught some fish in the pond.
By now they had left the farm near Stettler and had moved to Lacombe. In 2010 they sold their home and moved into Royal Oak where she lived until a year after had Tom passed away. She then moved into the Lodge and was happy residing there for the next 7 years. She enjoyed traveling to spend a month with Lenna in the fall on many occasions. Drives into the country around Gull Lake or out to Stettler were always enjoyed as she would notice the progress of the grain growing in the fields.
She appreciated the loving care she received at the lodge, especially the good meals and the beautiful displays that decorated the entrance. She looked forward to daily phone calls from her daughter Lenna and frequent visits from Warren and Cheryl. Friday evenings Lenna would play the piano in her home in Lake Country BC and Mom would listen on the phone as they welcomed the Sabbath together. Her favorite programs were The Gathering Place and The Heritage Singers on LLBN. She was glad when Nic would call and always enjoyed the baked goods, Till made for her at Christmas time.
Zelma will be remembered as a very gentle, kind person with a winning smile and caring heart. She was a loving devoted wife, an understanding mother and grandmother, an avid letter writer and journal keeper and faithful child of her Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Carrol Ann (Schaufert) Schnoor of Lethbridge, Alberta, passed away peacefully on Thursday, February 9th, 2023 at the Foothills Hospital in Calgary with family by her side. She is loved and missed by her 5 sons: Kim (Lori), Warren (Sara-Jane), Wade (Debbie), Todd (Amy), & Jason (Alethia). She leaves behind 20 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. She is survived by her 9 siblings: Gordon (Faye) Schaufert, Duane (Inger) Schaufert, Patricia (Pete) Gwinnner, Beverly (Horst) Young, Terry (Doreen) Schaufert, Dale (Debbie) Schaufert, Rick (Rachel) Schaufert, Marvin Schaufert and Kelly (Deb) Schaufert. Carrol is predeceased by her parents John & Fern Ella (Spackman) Schaufert.
Mom was born in the Raymond hospital on January 26th,1943 and grew up on a farm south of Stirling. As the second oldest of 10 children, she became a loving nurturer to her younger siblings. She learned the importance of hard work as their large family worked together on the farm raising crops, gardens, livestock and canning food for the family.
Mom started her own family in 1960. She moved to Lethbridge in 1970 where she raised her 5 boys and lived there until her passing. She had an amazing green thumb and a love of gardening and delighted in creating beautiful flower beds throughout the years. She loved to dance, play board games and gather her family history. She was incredibly organized and a meticulous record keeper, never forgetting a special event in our lives. She loved spending time with family and her greatest blessings were “her boys” and their growing families. She loved being a grandma and a great grandma and was so proud of each and every grandchild.
Throughout her life, Mom was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in numerous callings. She was the food storage specialist for many years. Her testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ is a wonderful example to those that knew her. She was a powerful example of the importance of hard work, love of family and service to others. While she will be greatly missed, Mom will never be forgotten and will always be cherished.
We will forever be thankful for the loving and caring service of Dr. Sean McFadden and the countless nurses and staff at the Foothills Hospital who provided her exceptional and compassionate care during her lengthy time there.
It is with great sadness that the family of Mrs. Lenora Parr of Lethbridge, announce her passing on Saturday, January 1, 2022 at Chinook Regional Hospital.
Lenora was born in Medicine Hat, AB, the youngest of four children and received her education there. She then moved to Toronto, Ontario where she entered the work force. She was married and gave birth to her son Lyle. The family then moved back to Alberta, residing here until her death, eventually living in Milk River where her daughter Sara-Jane was born.
Lenora enjoyed her time in Milk River with her many long-time friends, was active in C.W.L as well as a parishioner at St. Peters Church. She became very involved in her children’s schooling and activities over the years, supporting them as they achieved their many goals. Lenora and Sara-Jane eventually moved to Lethbridge, and again entered the work force until her retirement. Lenora also became involved with S.A.C.L.A, having mentally challenged roommates, and Lethbridge Family Services (part time as a caregiver). Mom had a great passion for the less fortunate. Upon retirement, she was able to travel, and especially loved “cruising”.
Granny adored being with her grandchildren, spending time going to movies, baking bushels of cookies, babysitting, and especially loved watching them in their activities and achieving their many goals. She thoroughly enjoyed her extended stays with her granddaughter Sydney, where they had very special times together. All this was done with great love.
Lenora will be lovingly remembered by her son Lyle (Cynthia) Parr and daughter Sara-Jane (Warren) Schnoor. She will be cherished and remembered by her grandchildren Tyson (Jessie) Parr, Erica (Ryan) Larsen, Evan (Michelle) Parr, and Sydney Schnoor; step grandchildren Jordan (Melissa) Schnoor, Stevi and Keanen Schnoor; great grandchildren Koen and Reece Parr, Jordynn and Brooks Larsen, Jeremy Parr, Sophie and Grace Schnoor and her sister Isabel Hok of Maple Creek, Saskatchewan. Aunt Lenora will be remembered by her special nephew Harvey (Marlene) Janke; as well as many nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews, and special friends.
Lenora was pre-deceased by her parents Emil and Elma Bossert; sister Evelyn Janke and brother Marvin Bossert, special niece Darlene Keyowski, and great granddaughters Henlee, Quinn, and Calla Larsen.
Due to Covid 19 restrictions, a private Funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 am on Saturday, January 8, 2022 at OUR LADY OF THE ASSUMPTION CATHOLIC PARISH, 2405 – 12 Avenue South, Lethbridge, Alberta with Father Derek Remus, celebrant.
Anne Alethea Connelly–Bissell was born in Croydon, near London England to Cyril and Vera Connelly on September 29, 1938. During World War II, which broke out in Europe the next year, Anne was evacuated twice to northern England with her mother and younger brother. At one point, the home in which she was living received serious damage from a bomb, and it was necessary for her mother and younger children to move to another location.
In 1948, some three years after the war ended, Anne’s father left for Canada to find work and a home in Ottawa. The following year Anne immigrated to Canada with her mother and younger brother Cyril. She attended schools in Ottawa until her last year of high school, then finished the last year at what is now Kingsway College in Oshawa. In the fall of 1957 she enrolled as an education major at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. While there, she met and later married her husband Ron in June, 1960.
Over the next few years, Anne gave birth to four children. After the youngest started school, she worked for several years as a secretary-receptionist for the Better Living Center in Germantown, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. She spent several summers teaching swimming and serving as head lifeguard at church summer camps. In 1979 the family moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba where Anne worked for about four years as a Secretary-Receptionist for Park Manor Personal Care Home. Returning to Andrews University with Ron while he pursued further studies, she worked for about two years as a secretary to the head of the Physical Education Department.
A year after coming back to Canada in 1985 when Ron was invited to teach at what is now Burman University, Anne became the secretary-receptionist for Parkview Adventist Academy and served in that position for ten years. She then left Canada again in 1996, this time to work in the Philippines for eight years as the thesis and dissertation editor at the graduate school Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies located near Manila. When Anne officially retired in 2004, she again returned to Canada to live in Lacombe, but continued to work on as a volunteer. Between 2004 and 2019 when the first wave of Covid arrived, she made eleven trips to Thailand, spending two or three winter months each time as a volunteer in various capacities including assisting the food service manager and tutoring students who were in the process of learning English while Ron taught classes there.
Anne was predeceased by her parents Cyril and Vera Connelly; her sister Joan (McVarish); and her three brothers David, Michael, and Cyril. She is survived by her husband Ron; her cousin and adopted sister Valerie (Tander); her brother Cyril’s wife, Lynn; her children Kay Graca (Pedro), Ronald Mark (Michele), Kirsten Palipane (Erroll), and Geoffrey (Rebecca); nine grandsons; two granddaughters; one great-grandson; several unofficially “adopted” children and grandchildren who call her “Mom” or ”Grandma”; and many friends.
Those wishing to make donations in Anne’s memory may send them to The Red Deer Hospice Society, 99 Arnot Avenue, Red Deer T4R 3S6, or to A Better World in Lacombe, Alberta.
The Funeral Service will be livestream broadcast at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 14, 2022. The video link button is located below
Annie Alethea (Connelly) Bissell
Larry Katchuik Passed Away in Kamloops, BC on June 24, 2012 He struggled for only 6 weeks with a cancerous brain tumour before being taken to the Lord. After 10 years his memories remain in our hearts!
Today he is survived by his son Rick and daughter Lenni. Also his 2 granddaughters Rilyn and Ashlan as well 5 grandsons Kelsey,Colton-james,Riley, Michael and Dawson.
Ten years ago these were my final words to my father before his burial. On May 23, 1967 I was born into this world as Daddy’s Little Girl! I was afraid of the dark so Dad always kept the hallway light on as it still is today!
I can remember being very young and running to my Dad saying “UPPY” “UPPY” DADDY” He would pick me up and Id cuddle into his shoulder and everything would be ok! Another memory was waking up with nightmares! I would cry out “DADDY” DADDY” In only a few minutes he would be by my bed holding a glass of water and giving me a hug to chase all the bad things away! As I got older you taught me patience, perseverance, and always have faith in others even when things didn’t seem to be going well! You gave me strength and believed in me when others didn’t! Because of you Dad I made it through some bad times and have been able to hopefully do some good in this crazy world!
I WAS, I AM, AND ALWAYS WILL BE DADDY’S LITTLE GIRL
She is lovingly remembered by her husband, Darrel, and children Joe (Lila), Patty (Chris), John, Len (Songsil), Lorine (Travis); her grandchildren Oneen, Carter, Halen, Cassidy, Cyler, Gracie, Emersyn, Carsyn, and Cooper. She is also remembered by her siblings, Mary and Victor; numerous nieces and nephews; and many more family members and friends. Lynda is predeceased by her brother Peter, and sister Anne. A Special thanks to Dr. Kenneth Smit and Dr. Sameer Chhibber for Lynda’s care.
There was a celebration of Lynda’s life on March 25, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. at the College Heights Seventh-Day Adventist Church, in Lacombe, Alberta.
Verne Allen Gustavsen passed away in Lacombe, Alberta on 13 December 2021 after a short struggle with pancreatic cancer. He was 89 years old.
Verne was born in Brancepeth, Saskatchewan on June 17, 1932. He and his younger sisters Eunice, Eleanor, Kathy, and Betty grew up in Brancepeth, Oshawa, Ontario and Sydney, Vernon, McBride and various other places in BC. He graduated high school at Canadian Union College (now Burman University) and attended college there as well. It was at CUC that he met and courted Rebecca Mae van der Ende “Becky” and they married on July 1, 1954. Verne and Becky raised four children: Jon, Rick, Carole, and Eric. Jon succumbed to cancer in January 2019. They have six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
As a Master Printer, Verne worked at CUC’s Parkland Colorpress from his high school years through retirement. During his time there, he mentored many students and young people in the craft of printing. More importantly, he was a gentle example of a grown-up as he shared bits of work and life wisdom with the students.
One of Verne’s hobbies was running the sound system at the College Heights Seventh-day Adventist Church. He did this for more than 35 years. His other hobbies included telling jokes and stories, photography and growing vegetables in large gardens; he was out picking corn in August, even as the cancer was taking over his life.
Verne was a family man and adored his grandchildren. Conversations and phone calls always included the latest updates on his pride and joy. He loved to share with others the joy he found in his family.
Jacqueline Brenda (Pearson) Sharman, “Jacquie” passed away on November 29, 2021 in Red Deer, Alberta at the age of 60 years. Jacquie was born on August 7, 1961 in Bentley, Alberta to Glen and Dorothy Pearson. Jacquie married Stan Sharman on August 4, 1985 and they shared many wonderful years together.
Left to cherish her memory is her loving husband of 36 years, Stan Sharman; as well as her mother Dorothy Pearson; her sisters Lynette (Gerald) Cherepuschak and Tammy Pearson; her aunts and uncles, cousins, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, and her mother-in-law; as well as several nieces, nephews and dear friends. Jacquie was predeceased by her father Glen Pearson and her father-in-law Osborne Sharman.
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.
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/
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.
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.
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.
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
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.