Cover photo for Ella Rose Klepatz (Nee Merke)'s Obituary
Ella Rose Klepatz (Nee Merke) Profile Photo
1923 Ella 2023

Ella Rose Klepatz (Nee Merke)

August 26, 1923 — March 10, 2023

August 26, 1923 ~ March 10, 2023

Peacefully, at the age of 99, Ella Klepatz passed away at Action Marguerite Health Centre on Friday, March 10, 2023.

Ella was predeceased by her husband Alex of 53 years; infant daughter Delores; and son Dennis and daughter-in-law Lynda.

Ella was predeceased by her siblings and their spouses:    Alex, Wanda, Otto (Hildegarde), Albert, Richard (Kathleen), Olga, Art (Margaret), Hulda (Jack), Roy (Pauline), Hertha (Jim), and Charlie (Iris) .

Ella is survived by her daughter Brenda (Arnie); her grandchildren, Jacqueline, Darren, Laurie (Craig) and their mother Maggie Klepatz,  Beth, Ainslie (Dale), Lindsey (Keith), Brittany (Anthony), Kimberly and Imelda (Michael);  great-grandchildren, Alexander, Morgan (Joe) and Noah, Ty (Larissa) and Cayden, Kennie, Jasmin, Brianna, Grace, Ava, Wyatt, Judah and Hailey; great-great grandson, Mason and great-great granddaughter, Violet.

Mom was born in River Hills in 1923,  the second youngest of her siblings, so she was in her 100th year at the time of her passing!  She attended River Hills school, and reached the grade 8 level.

One thing that was constant in Mom’s life was a spirit of joy and caring about others.  That was reflected when company came and in her accordian playing!  As a teenager, she was allowed to accompany her brother Art when he played his accordian at the barn dances, and he got her to fill in when he took a break to have a few dances himself!  

After Mom and Dad married in 1941, they stayed with Granny and Grandpa Klepatz while their house was being finished, and helped on the farm.  She spoke of “dad on the binder, and me on the Oliver 90”!

Mom’s life revolved around holding down the fort while dad was away working for long periods at a time.  She loved planting and growing, so her garden was always big and abundant!  That is how her heart could be described as well!     She was involved in the church;  singing in the choir, making quilts and layettes for the missions, helping to cook for weddings.    She sewed and mended, cooked and baked, and also kept her hands busy with crocheting and knitting.  Many of us treasure her gifts of afghans with the  “zig zag”  pattern, mittens,  sweaters,  cushions, etc.   She enjoyed being creative and her box social entries were always a hit!    Her beautiful chiffon cakes (with 7 minute frosting) were well known and much enjoyed!  

Several of Mom’s brothers played the accordian, so family gatherings always included much wonderful  music, singing and often dancing!   And she influenced my brother Dennis and I to play the accordian as well, the sounds of which often brought feelings of joy… and sometimes reflection and comfort.

After Dad purchased a house trailer, our summer holidays were spent at Dad’s jobsite and Mom filled that trailer (and those  surrounding) with wonderful aromas!  She and I picked blueberries off the highway and what we didn’t eat fresh with cream, she made into delicious muffins, cakes and perogies!  When dad came home for the winter, they (along with Dennis) made homemade smoked sausage and sauerkraut.

Mom’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were her delight and her smiling face appeared in the window as any of us pulled up in the driveway, meeting us at the door and after warm hugs, getting food in front of us.  And when we were leaving, she was again at the window, smiling and blowing kisses.

After Dad retired, he and Dennis built Mom a little greenhouse, much to her delight!  Because her yard was always beautifully decorated with flowers and the greenhouse was visible from the road, people stopped and asked if she was selling plants.  Dennis encouraged her to do that, and the following year, with the greenhouse now enlarged, she began her little business.  Other retired couples would often come together – the husband would visit with my dad in the garage ( as he was well known for fixing things),  sometimes bringing something for dad  to fix.  The wife would get plants from Mom, never leaving without feeling uplifted and encouraged!

When Mom began showing signs of dementia, she was fortunate to enter care at Tache Centre (now Action Marguerite) in St. Boniface.  Mom did not conform to “assumed” nursing home style of life, but became a source of joy and laughter there!    When I visited, our polka dancing in her room  (with or without  music) would often spill out into the hallway, much to the delight of the staff and other residents!  ( After her passing,  several long time nursing staff remarked about their memories of that and how much they were blessed by it)!    She was always up for a laugh, even when she could no longer form her words.  Mom loved when I brought the accordian, and it was amazing how words would come again when the old favorites were played!  As the dementia progressed, there were difficult days too, and yet who she was never totally dissappeared.   Sometimes  communication took place with her sounds or mischieviously raised eyebrows,  somehow letting us know that inwardly, she was also still with us .  And  when she could no longer speak, she danced until she could no longer walk and we saw expression in those eyebrows until the very last day.

During the last few days prior to her passing,  she was surrounded by accordian music and old hymns sung by choirs  from our phones or tablet near her ear.  Even at the time of her passing, she was cuddled and prayed over – such a gift of grace to us!  

The staff will all miss her, as will all of us who were fortunate to be so fiercely loved by her !  

Mom, you are now living the incredible life in which you placed your hope, with the Lord whom you loved, and surrounded once again by those whom you have loved and who have gone before you.  There is no doubt that heaven is an even more joyous place, now that you are there!

Funeral Service will be held at St. Paul Lutheran Church, in River Hills, Saturday, March 18, 2023 at 1:00  P.M.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Paul Lutheran Church.

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