ELKE, HildegardPosted: April 3rd, 2020
Hildegard “Hilde” Elke
1927 – 2020
On Wednesday, April 1, 2020 Hildegard Elke passed away peacefully at the Sunny South Lodge in Coaldale, Alberta at the age of 92. She was the loving wife of the late Alberta Elke and the mother of three children. Hilde was born July 14, 1927 in Zelonia, Poland. She was the second of four children born to Frederich and Lydia Lueck. At the young age of ten years, Hilde and her childhood friend were chosen to be of service to their country at the beginning of WW II. Because they excelled at spelling, they were removed from school to record the names of soldiers and to organize food stamps at City Hall. Despite the fact that Hilde pleaded with her father to remain in school, it was not to be. Because of this, self education was always a top priority in Hilde’s life. Hilde passed the importance of education on to her children and her grandchildren. Hilde’s English language skills were the result of her rigorous self-taught efforts. The war brought considerable hardship to Hilde and her family. It was during this time that Hilde lost her beloved brother John. Despite the many challenging obstacles that the family faced, with determination and perseverance, they were able to forge onward to rebuild their lives. As WW II began to come to an end, Hilde and her family fled from Poland to Germany. They were able to secure work on a farm to keep the family fed. As a young teenage girl, Hilde was assigned the task of hand milking a dozen cows twice a day. This wasn’t an easy task! When she wasn’t milking cows, she was working in the fields with her father, alongside many others who had also fled to Germany. In October of 1948 Hilde and her family immigrated to Canada, along with a wave of postwar German immigrants. Winnipeg, Manitoba became the new home for the Lueck family. Here, Hilde was able to use her sewing skills to hire out as a seamstress in a blue jean factory. Her gift of song was also shared with her fellow members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. The same church would become the meeting place between her and her future husband, Albert Elke. Albert’s irresistible charm and dashing good looks captured Hilde’s heart and the couple joined in marriage on May 25, 1949. They remained together for 56 years. Albert and Hilde were a perfect match for each other, as they both knew the value of hard work. Albert and Hilde set out to create a home and raise a family in the small farming community of Warner, Alberta. Despite their humble beginnings in a run down shack, they built a good life together. In the early years of their marriage, the Elke’s joined family members in Winnipeg during the cold winter months. The couple was blessed with three children. Ralph was their first born, followed by Harold and eventually their daughter, Julie-Anne. Albert and Hilde instilled in their children the value of hard work. Hard work had been critical to their survival and success thus far in life. Hilde showed her love to her family by keeping a spotless home and cooking and baking for them. She often worked by oil lamp and had no running water for ten years while raising her family. In 1960, Hilde and Alberta were gifted a new, modern home from the couple that they were renting land from, prominent attorney Saul and Mary Moscovich. Albert and Hilde were able to gradually purchase land of their own, as well as continue to lease land. During these years, Hilde contributed much to her neighbours in the community of Warner on a personal level. She was a member of the Evangelical United Brethren Church. With her commitment and devotion to God, she was the first to lead a women’s Bible study in the East Warner area and she was a member of the Ladies Aide Society in church. She held every position at least once during her involvement there. Hilde was well known for her baking, especially her cinnamon buns. Hilde and Albert were a very social couple and they loved to entertain friends in the family home. This gave Hilde a chance to shine with her hostess skills, while Albert entertained guests with his gregarious personality. Dancing brought much joy to Hilde and Albert and they were regulars at the German/Canadian club. Once again, Hilde was able to show off her sewing skills, creating matching outfits for her and her square dancing partner, Albert. Once Hilde and Albert’s children were grown, the couple moved to Lethbridge. They were finally able to enjoy the fruits of their labour and build their dream home there in 1984. They sold the family farm in 1985. They enjoyed time with friends for many years, spending 15 winters in Mesa, Arizona. Albert and Hilde received great joy from each and every one of their grandchildren, and were extremely proud of them all. After Albert’s death in 2006, Hilde resided in her condo at the Sierra’s and the Martha’s House, both in Lethbridge. She spent the final years of her life at Sunny South Lodge in Coaldale. During her years alone, she made many wonderful friends that she cherished. She was an avid reader and she particularity enjoyed reading her Bible. She continued to be a classy, impeccably dressed woman into her later years of life. Hilde was especially proud of the fact that she never once colored her hair. The family would like to give special thanks to Dr. Steed and the nurses and staff of Sunny South Lodge for their tremendous care and compassion during our mothers stay. Hilde was preceded in passing by her husband Albert; son Ralph (Ruth); father and mother Frederich and Lydia Lueck; in-laws Gustave and Amanda Elke; brothers John and Edmund (Vera); brother in law Paul Pallas (Kathe) and 10 sets of in laws from Albert’s side of the family. She is survived by her sister in law Eva Elke, Ruth Elke (daughter in law); son Dr. Harold Elke (Bridget Larson); daughter Julie-Anne Dyck (Dr. Jason Dyck); grandchildren Dr. Kate Tobin, Heather Egan (Jeff), Robert Elke (Marlies), Arielle Elke (Werner Hippler), Biance Elke (Michael Mezei), Jared Dyck, Leighton Dyck and Grady Dyck; great grandchildren Emily Tobin, Sarah Tobin, Jessica Tobin, Rebecca Tobin, Ryder Egan, Rachel Egan and Beau Mezei as well as a special friend and caregiver Bronia El Meadawy. A Private Family Celebration of Hilde’s Life be held on Monday, April 6, 2020 at MARTIN BROTHERS RIVERVIEW CHAPEL, with Hilde’s previous pastor in Warner and family friend, Pastor Brian Magee officiating. The family would like to extend our thanks to Martin Brothers Funeral Chapels and especially manager Daryl Lockyer for their exceptional service to both our parents over the many years. The family asks in lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Hilde’s name to either The Gideons International of Canada, 501 Imperial Road North, Guelph, Ontario N1H 6T9 or to the Alzheimer’s Society of Alberta, 10430 – 61 Avenue NW #306, Edmonton, Alberta T6H 2J3
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