KLASSEN: Elma Elizabeth
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Passed away at Kyle Care Centre on December 11, 2019. Elma was born on June 11, 1926 on the family farm in Kyle, the middle of 3 children born to parents, Louis and Elizabeth Gaensly.
She began her schooling at Leyton until 1937 when she lost her mother to cancer. Louis, unable to care for the children, sent them to Germany to be with their maternal grandmother and to continue on with their education. With the outbreak of war in the near future, it was advised to return to Canada. Once back, she took the remaining schooling at Outlook Luther College. Upon graduation, entered nursing school but wasn’t’ able to continue due to harsh disinfectants on her skin. The next step was to find a job, which she did, packing groceries in Safeway in Saskatoon. It was there that she met the love of her life and future husband, Ted. They were married in the spring of 1950 and started their married life in Nokomis, living in an apartment above the grocery store that they managed. In a few years they decided to embark on an adventure and went to Frobischer Bay where they managed a store there for 2 years. On their return they built their first home in Watrous.
In Ted’s various business ventures Elm worked tirelessly by his side never forgetting their motto “the customer is always right”. She hosted many family and friend meals as well as entertaining many organizations that Ted belonged to. They were fortunate to have travelled to many countries in between heavy work commitments.
She lost Ted in 1995, then moved to a condo in Watrous. Elm always said she never had time for hobbies – “too busy working”! She loved to garden and for a time had 3 going at the same time. She never kept any of the produce for herself – gave it all away along with her delicious buns. She eventually became known as the “bun lady”. She received citizen of the year for her endless giving to those who needed it.
She suffered a stroke in 2013 making her unable to live independently. Her choice was to move back to Kyle to be near her siblings. Further failing health saw her move to Kyle Care Centre, where she was a resident for 4 years. During that time she sustained a broken knee and was confined to a wheelchair. In spite of all this she kept her never ending smile and remained the “social butterfly”.
She was predeceased by parents Louis and Elizabeth, husband Ted, sister Anna, son in infancy, several brothers and sisters in law.
She is survived by brother Albert, sisters in law Ruth and Margaret, and numerous nieces and nephews.