Posted: November 25th, 2019

She slipped away quietly and unexpectedly when our heads were turned, not unlike our first day of school where she led us by the hand before receding out of sight. So it is today we face another phase of our lives without the presence of our beloved mother, Elsie Anne Sickel (nee Mizga), who passed away on November 15, 2019, at the age of 83 years. Predeceased by her husband Anthony “Tony” Sickel, and her parents Rose (nee Kutinsky) and Michael Mizga, she leaves to cherish her memory her daughter Cheryl, her son Gerald, and grandsons Braden and Brendan.

Born on May 6, 1936, in Medicine Hat, she attended Alexandra High School and the Garbutt Business College. Before marrying she worked as an assistant manager at the Betty Shop where her refined sense of taste served to bring out the beauty and confidence in all of the women she dressed. On May 16, 1959, she married her husband Tony, and moved to Tilley where they farmed, ranched, operated an abattoir and raised their two children before retiring to Medicine Hat.

An uncommonly hard-working and resourceful woman of many talents, our mother was especially gifted in the domestic arts. Cooking and baking were her passion where she spent a lifetime nourishing the bodies and souls of family and friends. As the chatelaine of a beautiful dining room, her table was always set with fine china for all of the major holidays where family and friends regularly congregated. Even in her final years when she was confined to a wheelchair, she spent many hours watching TV cooking shows and reading cookbooks. When she passed on, she was found with an open cookbook at her side.

Possessing an insatiable curiosity, our mother had an interest in history and current events and loved to spend time in the library among books and newspapers. Not one for fictional movies, she preferred to watch documentaries and the news. Later in life when she received an iPad as a gift, she spent many hours surfing the net and feeding her curious mind.

Most notably, our mother was a woman of grace, faith, and forgiveness who embraced life’s challenges without bitterness or resentment. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s, she endured this scourge for 20 years, yet rarely complained.

She was an extraordinary woman whose love and commitment to family knew no bounds. At the end of her life when she could no longer live on her own, she was repaid for her years of selfless dedication by moving to Calgary to live with her daughter who cared for her for almost eight memorable years. She will be forever missed.

Our mother’s life will be honoured by a private funeral for immediate family. Condolences may be forwarded to Leyden’s located at 304–18 Ave SW Calgary, T2S 0C3; For those who so wish, memorial tributes may be made to your local chapter of the Parkinson’s Society.

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