May 25, 1925 - September 30, 2021
Obituary For Elsie Heikel
Elsie (Elza) Heikel, passed away peacefully on Thursday, September 30, 2021, at the age of 96 years.
Elza Stefan was born May 25, 1925, to German parents, Gottfried and Lydia (nee Schultz) Stefan, in Podglemboki, Poland, and baptized in Chelm, Poland. Elsie, her parents and two brothers, Sigmunt and Otto, grandmother Julianna Schultz and Lydia’s cousin, Ferdinand Schmitke immigrated to Canada in 1929, departing on the S.S. Lituania from Danzig, a German Free State on July 4th, arriving in Halifax, NS, on July 21st. They then travelled by train, passing through Edmonton on July 26th, before arriving at Wembley, AB.
Elsie attended St. John’s Lutheran Church and school, near Huallen where she met her husband, John Heikel. Though they were acquaintances from a very young age, it was through a later, shared love of baseball and farm life that their friendship blossomed. Elsie and John were married on March 1, 1946, at St. John’s Lutheran Church. They raised their four children: Melvin, Lorraine, Bernice and Diane; while farming first with John’s parents, Jakob and Katherina, and in later years with their son, Melvin and his wife, Sherri. They remained active in St. John’s Lutheran throughout their lives, where Elsie taught Sunday School and was a member of the Lutheran Laymen’s League and Lutheran Women’s Missionary League.
Elsie enjoyed working beside her husband John, playing an active role in the day-to-day operations of their mixed farm. She especially enjoyed tending her vegetable and flower gardens. Elsie and John shared a love for camping, fishing, curling, picking blueberries and travelling. A highlight of their travels together included a trip to the Toronto Royal Winter Fair. After John’s passing, Elsie continued to travel. Visiting Pier 21 in Halifax to view documents of her family’s entry to Canada was another favourite travel memory, as well as a trip through many European countries with her daughter, Bernice. Elsie met with many German and Swiss cousins and visited her daughter, Diane and husband Arthur and sons, Stephen and Ryan in Vienna, during Arthur’s sabbatical in Austria. At almost 80 years of age, Elsie climbed the 100+ stairs to their fifth floor flat, several times each day.
Elsie and John’s greatest joys, however, were their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The “Thomson boys” were first to arrive on the scene. They were frequent visitors to the farm, where their youthful exuberance and antics brought much joy and laughter to their grandparents’ lives. Soon, there were four additional, lively youngsters right next door (Melvin’s); quickly followed by a ninth and tenth in Australia, then Saskatoon (Diane’s). Each grandchild and great-grandchild was loved and cherished and made to feel special for his or her unique qualities. Elsie and John attended every possible sports event, musical, and dance recital in which their grandchildren and great-grandchildren participated.
Left to mourn Elsie’s passing are: son Melvin and Sherri and their children: Julie and Martin Nord (Magdalena and Ezra), John Heikel (Johann and Elza), Matthew and Tracey Heikel (Winifred and Elzbieta), and Amanda Heikel; daughter Lorraine and Bob Thomson and their children: Dean and Carrie Thomson (Brody, Drue, Reese, Seraya Olson); Scott Thomson (Taylor, Ethan and Alyssa); Chad Thomson; daughter Bernice Heikel; daughter Diane and Arthur Davis (Stephen Davis and Karla Hillis, Ryan Davis); sister-in-law Marlene Stefan; cousin Emmy Spuhler (nee Stefan) in Switzerland; as well as numerous nephews, nieces and cousins in Canada.
Elsie was predeceased by her husband John, in 2000; her parents Gottfried and Lydia; parents-in-law Jakob and Katherina Heikel; grandmother Julianna Schultz; grandson Shane Thomson; brothers Sigmunt (Lore), Otto and an infant brother Julius; as well as sister Olga (Walter) Heikel.
Müde bin ich, geh zur Ruh,
schließe meine Augen zu.
Vater, laß die Augen dein
über meinem Bette sein.
Weary now, I go to rest,
Close my eyes in slumber blest.
Father, may Thy watchful eye
Guard the bed on which I lie.
A Funeral Service will be held on Monday, October 4, 2021, at 1:00pm, at St. John’s Lutheran Church (turn south off Hwy 43 onto Huallen Rd (Range Rd 92), 2 miles south and 1 mile east).
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, attendance is limited to family. Masks and double vaccinations are required.
Memorial Donations in memory of Elsie, may be made to the Lutheran Hour Ministries (270 Lawrence Ave., Kitchener, ON, N2M 1Y4).
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Dear Bernice, Lorraine and families- your precious Mother, Elsie Heikel , was a treasure of love and grace- and her gifts will shine on forever through you. I feel blessed to have enjoyed her sweet smile, her kindness, and her serenity. My deepest sympathy as you say farewell to her in this world, knowing she will be by your side every day , until you all gather again. Kathleen Nychka
Dearest condolences to the Heikel family. I recall her always having a beautiful smile and welcoming heart. Wish I could be there to give you all hugs.
Sorry to read of the passing of your Mom, Grand mother, aunt and sibling. A longtime neighbour of our family and consistent presence in our church family and neighborhood. I recall our family loading up in the car each Sunday in about 1962, to drive the half mile to their house to watch Bonanza, as we did not have a TV yet...great memory!
I was so sorry to hear that Elsie had passed away. Life has become so impersonal that the ones we love don't often get our hugs every day of their life. It was always such a joy to visit with Elsie and often also with Bernice. I will miss her when I go back to Mackenzie. It just won't be the same when I go for pet visits Pauline Paradis and Ava
So sorry for your loss!! Elsie was one of my favourite people in Mac Place!! I will remember her for her great smile and easy personality! She was much loved by her family and it showed!! Bless your hearts as you go through this difficult time! Marianne
So very sorry Bernice, Lorraine and families. Such a sweet lady. Blessings to you all. From Cheryl and Dayton Driedger.
So sorry to hear of the passing of your mom. The Heikel farm and all of you were a huge part of Cameron and I's childhood. I loved bumping into her at the QEII, she always always had a beautiful smile! What a great family Mr & Mrs Heikel raised. I will cherish the memories. Big hugs to all of you-especially the Thomson's, my 2nd family growing up. Love Brenda (Dunbar) Smith
Lorraine and family My thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this difficult time. Lorraine Martin
My heart felt condolences to you all. Elsie was a fire cracker! Hugs to you Bernice and prayers for you and all of your family. With love...Trena
Sincere sympathy in the loss of your mother. She worked hard throughout her life and loved her family deeply. She will be missed. Thinking of all of you. Bernie and Dianne Dunbar