Bertha Clara Knelsen died peacefully at the Foyer d’ Youville, Gravelbourg, SK on September 27, 2017, at the age of 95 years. She was the second child of Bernard and Helen (Sapinsky) Tacholsky. She was born on August 11, 1922 on the family homestead, NE 28-14-6 W3rd. Bertha took her schooling at Bolingbroke and helped with the chores on the farm. She milked cows, fed the chickens, and enjoyed going to the field with her father. She adored her mother and kept a watchful eye on her learning, to knit, embroider, sew and quilt.
She married the love of her life and soulmate Dietrich “Dick” Knelsen on October 24, 1940 at the Elim Mennonite Brethren Church, Kelstern, SK. Together they farmed and raised their two sons. Larry was born in 1945, and Aldon in 1948. She was a wonderful cook, baker, housekeeper, and gardener. She also had a great love for plants and her home was filled with them. She stated that warm water, cool air, encouraging words and turning them daily to the sun, allowed her plants to flourish.
Bertha loved company and the coffee was always on. Visitors were always treated to homemade bread and baking. She treasured time spent with her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She loved crafting and baking with them.
Bertha moved to the Foyer d’ Youville in January, 2012. This was not an easy transition for her, however, she remained true to her heart and lived by her motto; NO MATTER WHERE YOUR LOT MAY BE, BUILD ON IT. This is what Bertha did. She adapted to her new surroundings, embracing the staff and residence as her new friends. She was always willing to lend a helping hand and often could be found folding laundry. Bertha had an infectious laugh, heart of gold and enjoyed the blessings of each day. She will be dearly missed.
Bertha is survived by her family, son Larry Knelsen, granddaughter Susan Chase, great- grandchildren Christina, Nathan, granddaughter Tammy (Robert) Andrews, great-grandchildren Erica, Mackenzie, Natalie, granddaughter Melissa (Flavio) Ishii, great-grandchildren Kai, Dylan, grandson Matt (Kirsten) Knelsen, great- grandchildren Payson, Vaughn, Bentley, daughter-in-law Donna Knelsen; son Aldon Knelsen; her siblings Laura Sabasch, Sophie (Jake) Voth, John Tacholsky, Tillie (Jake) Klippenstein. She is predeceased by her husband Dietrich “Dick” Knelsen; daughter-in-law Marcia Knelsen; brother Rudolph (Helen) Tacholsky; brother-in-law John Sabasch and sister-in- law Evelyn Tacholsky.
A Funeral Service was held on Monday, October 2, 2017, at 2:00 p.m., at the Shamrock Community Hall, Shamrock, SK, with Wendell Bailey officiating.
The Eulogy was given by Val Bidaux. The Grandchildren’s Fondest Memories were shared by Betty Hawkins. The Pallbearers were Art Boehm, Cody Boehm, Danny Rempel, Danny Waechter, Matt Knelsen, Robert Andrews. Interment Elim Mennonite Brethren Cemetery. Memorial Tributes in Bertha’s memory to the Foyer d’ Youville Foundation, Box 810 Gravelbourg, SK, S0H 1X0 were greatly appreciated. Bertha’s family wishes to express their sincerest appreciation to the staff at the Foyer d’ Youville for the wonderful care that was extended to Bertha.