Elizabeth Willems

Obituary of Elizabeth Willems

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July 16, 1939 - September 2, 2022

Elizabeth, fondly known as Beth, was born in Bassano, Alberta on July 16, 1939 to Peter and Agnes (Giesbrecht) Fast, the third of four children. Sadly, Agnes passed away when Beth was almost two years old. Soon after, Beth was blessed with a step-mother, Anna (Unger), who loved Beth and her siblings as her own children. They moved to a family farm in Vauxhall, AB and Peter and Anna had six more children, bringing the total to ten.

A highlight for Beth was going to Daily Vacation Bible School which prompted Beth to accept Jesus as her Saviour at age 7. Beth loved school and worked hard to earn good grades. It was with a great sense of accomplishment that Beth completed her high school diploma and that summer she felt led to get baptized in the Old Man River.

Beth chose to attend Bethany Bible Institute in Hepburn, SK – the first Albertan student! She felt like a whole new life opened up for her and it was here that she caught the attention of a senior student named Dave Schroeder. After a second year at BBI, Dave and Beth were married on September 30, 1961, in Vauxhall MB Church.

The newly married couple took over Dave’s parent's house and farm near Drake, SK. They were blessed with three children – Darrell, Lawrence, and Beverly. Beth had a kind, servant's heart and was a devoted wife and mother. She always kept a very tidy house. She liked to read and sew. She grew a large garden and was a wonderful cook. At Philadelphia MB Church, she was very involved with teaching Sunday School, DVBS, and Pioneer Girls. She enjoyed attending Ladies Aid and singing in the choir. Ordering and distributing the church curriculum was a position she held for 25 years. In 1979, the family moved into a new house just up the road. Beth added volunteer work at the MCC thrift store and the hockey rink. Farming life always had its ups and down, but her strong faith in the Lord gave her joy and strength. Beth treasured her family as well as her relationships in the church and community.

Nothing was more difficult for Beth than the day Dave had a farming accident. The Lord chose to take him home on September 4, 1989. Beth and her adult children shared deep grief over their loss. After 28 years of marriage, Beth had to adjust to living alone on the farm. She drew even closer to Jesus during this time and received support from many relatives and friends.

In time, she worked as a nanny for a niece. Later, she felt called to volunteer as a cook at Bethany Bible Institute. A former BBI classmate and widower named Walt reconnected with Beth. Walt Willems and Beth decided to join their hearts and lives together and were married on April 10, 1993. Beth sold the Drake farm and moved to Walt’s farm near Waldheim, SK. They both lovingly embraced each other’s families and travelled countless miles to visit all their children and grandchildren over the years. They devotedly prayed for each one.

In October 2011, Walt and Beth moved off the farm into a lovely condo in Waldheim. It was becoming apparent that Beth was beginning to have some memory loss. The journey with Alzheimer’s is a difficult one, but Walt supported her through all the challenges. When Beth could no longer do any of her regular activities, she stayed fulfilled by tying hundreds of MCC blankets. In February 2019 Beth moved to the Mennonite Nursing Home in Rosthern, SK where Walt faithfully visited her until her passing on September 2, 2022, at the age of 83. 

A favourite verse of Beth’s was Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord, your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His Love, He will rejoice over you with singing. 

Beth will be lovingly remembered by her husband Walter, of 29 years; her three children Darrell (Donna), Lawrence (Joanne), Beverly (Ron); her four step-children: Colette (Dwayne), Debbie (Mzi), Collin (Lynda), Kenton (Belen); 16 grandchildren; and 8 siblings.

She was predeceased by her first husband David Schroeder, her parents, brother John Fast, and sister-in-law Helen Fast.

 

Evening Viewing for friends and family

Thursday, September 8, 2022, @ 7:00 P.M.

Funk's Funeral Home Chapel, Rosthern, SK

 

A private family interment will take place

prior to the memorial service.

 

CELEBRATION OF BETH'S LIFE

Friday, September 9, 2022

2:00 P.M.

Waldheim Mennonite Brethren Church

5003 2nd Avenue East, Waldheim, SK

 

If you wish, donations in her honour can be made to

Mennonite Central Committee

600 45 St W, Saskatoon, SK S7L 5W9

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Thursday
8
September

Evening Viewing for family and friends

7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Thursday, September 8, 2022
Funk's Funeral Home
1010 7th Street
Rosthern, Saskatchewan, Canada
Friday
9
September

CELEBRATION OF BETH'S LIFE

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Friday, September 9, 2022
Waldheim Mennonite Brethren Church
5003 2nd Avenue East
Waldheim, Saskatchewan, Canada
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