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We are saddened, yet grateful, to announce that Marjorie Redenbach of Melville passed away peacefully on March 13, 2019, into the arms of her Lord. Mom will be happily reunited with our dad, Lloyd. We are thankful that Mom’s journey through dementia was calm and graceful, just as she herself was. It was remarkable to many that, even through her dementia, she could make these funny wisecracks to whomever at the exact time that it would be warranted.
Marj was predeceased by her loving husband of 62 years, Lloyd; great-grandson Jordan Weger; son-in-law Mel Siever; her mom and dad; brothers Jim and George; sisters Ruth and Louise; and 17 Redenbach in-laws. She leaves to mourn her passing: her two daughters, Francie (Glen) Weger and Joy Siever, and two sons, Lloyd Jr.(Selena) and Terry; grandchildren Cory (Annette) Weger, Robin Weger (Trish), Kerry (TJ) Babyak, Ryan (Pam) Siever; Bryce (Kelsy) Redenbach and Tyler (Linda) Redenbach; 13 great-grandchildren, Aleshia Weger, Chelsea Hallett-Weger (Christopher) and Braden Hallet-Weger, Jillian Lemke, Sophie Weger; Daylen and Tyann Babyak, Hunter, Rowyn and Preston Siever; Berlynn and Foster Redenbach, Aada Redenbach; sisters-in-law Marguerite Koch and Darlene and Marilyn Redenbach; brothers-in-law Roger Wooff, Bob Berryere and Don Koch; many nieces and nephews, and numerous friends.
The following are family memories that were shared when family and friends gathered to celebrate Marj’s life:
And such a beauty she was, her beautiful shining silver hair, always coiffed so perfectly, her glowing radiant skin, her elegant smile, the sparkle in her eyes. The way she looked at Lloyd…she was so beautiful and gave so much love to Lloyd and her family.
She was always dressed to perfection. Her home was so elegantly decorated, her artistic talents displayed throughout. The coffee table always had a beautiful book displayed, often from a country they had visited, or a local artist. A souvenir or a picture perfectly framed from every holiday, country they visited, precisely placed throughout the home.
Christmas dinners, another memory to share...and oh yes, the table always had freshly ironed linens, and, of course, all matching yellow tea rose china, gold-rimmed wine glasses and freshly polished silverware; of course the matching yellow rose tea pot, coffee pot, dessert plates, and coffee cups to serve the delicious dessert… and her pie crusts …like no other… the handwritten recipe is a treasure for sure.
Mom was born to Fred and Katherine Poljer in their home in Melville. She completed her Grade 12 and a business course in Melville. Her first employment was with Swifts Can. Co. Ltd. as a cashier in 1945, then Town of Melville as clerk/cashier (1946-48). She married Lloyd on July 5, 1948, in her mother’s home; together they raised four children. Mom began working at the Melville Advance (1960-64), then as part-time secretary to Gordon Juckes of the CAHA Clerk 1 and 11 at P.F.R.A. (1965-68). After her fourth child was born in 1969, she returned to work once more as secretary for the United Church (1976-77). Her last employment was at St. Paul Lutheran Home as administrative secretary (1980-88). She volunteered at the Melville Heritage Museum as the acting curator (1988-2008) and also played piano for sing-songs at St. Paul Lutheran Home for 10 years.
Mom became a member of First United Church in 1944. She was a junior choir leader for 12 years, organist for 10 years and a choir member (junior and senior) for 60 years (ages 12-72). Her church involvement included couples club, Ministry and Personnel Committee, UCW (catering) and superintendent of CGIT. Not only did the choir perform cantatas and compete at music festivals (winning many awards), there were many great Christmas parties with horse-drawn sleigh rides and summer wind-ups with trips to Echo and Pasqua lakes with campfire meals. They had so much fun, kids wanted to join choir just for the parties. Mom soon weeded those out if they didn’t want to sing. For two years, there were trips to Camp McKay. Of course, Mom was one of the leaders who the kids quickly nicknamed “Birdie”. She led many happy campfire sing-a-longs.
Mom was secretary and treasurer of the art club, as well as a charter member. She did a great job of learning the art of painting. Some of her work is displayed in the church office and in our homes. She helped organize the Redenbach family reunion, a very fun weekend for everyone. Mom was the committee chairperson of the history book - a labour of love, she called it. This consisted of 25 members. A $10,000 profit was returned to charities. She was also secretary, president and acting curator of the Melville Heritage Museum.
On the home front, in the early days of our childhood, Mom would have us dress up every Sunday for church - gloves, hats and hankies and shiny shoes (polished by Dad every Saturday night). Sorry, Lloydie, I don’t have a clue what you wore, and Terry, you just hadn’t arrived yet. Mom went to a lot of trouble to make sure we were dressed properly - we picked out patterns, chose material and took it to a seamstress, of which we had a few over the years.
Mom was a great cook; her specialty was desserts. She made the best flaky pie crusts ever. If you didn’t like the filling, the crust alone was worth it. We had homemade desserts every night after supper. She taught us how to cook; every weekend one of us would have a turn at making a meal. And as is no surprise, Lloydie always chose the most challenging and time-consuming recipes. To this day, I guess it paid off, as he is a pretty good cook; this talent was inherited by Bryce, as he excels even better at it. As for the two girls, well we still can’t cook like that. Because Mom always held down part-time jobs, she enlisted us to peel potatoes, turn the oven on, do the breakfast and lunch dishes and set the table.
During one of her early years in marriage, Mom wanted to make a double layer chocolate cake. So the first one she burned; the second one fell; the third one didn’t rise; but the fourth one turned out just perfect. The failed ones successfully ended up in the garbage - all in one day.
As she was employed part-time for a lot of years while we were growing up, she employed housekeepers on a part-time basis to come do the ironing and cleaning. Some of them were quite entertaining to say the least.
Mom’s sister Louise told a funny story at Mom and Dad’s 50th anniversary of Mom when she was just a child. Louise had asked their mom how come she had never gotten a bottom plate for her dentures. Their mom said: “Oh no, she had a full set of teeth, but the bottom ones bothered her some of the time, and she would leave them out in a glass of water on the dresser. One day she got dressed to go downtown and realized her teeth were not in the glass. She searched high and low and finally asked Marj if she had seen them. It seems that Marj had been playing dress-up in her mom’s room and had come across her mom’s teeth. She, as her mom always did, picked up the teeth and proceeded to put them in her mouth, but they didn’t fit, so she broke them in half so she could have both tops and bottoms.” Which leads me to ponder, how did they make dentures back then?
She loved the ballet and attended the Bolshoi Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, along with several operas. She was Citizen of the Year - she and Dad rode in a convertible at our annual parade.
Our introduction to the lake holidays began when we were all quite young. We’d rented cabins at Melville Beach to start and then rented friends’ cottages along the way. We had to climb a hill at least once every summer. They then purchased their Little Brown Hut at Indian Point on Crooked Lake, where many good times were had almost on a weekly basis over a 30-year span.
If you were around on Sundays in the summer, family time was so enjoyed; you were always welcome for dinner. Many, many weekends most family members gathered and memories were made.
Lloyd and Marj often spent the month of June at the cottage, as it was such a quiet month. You would often see her in the hammock relaxing with a good book or simply enjoying the quiet and the sounds of the birds.
Some of her favourite memories were the purchase of their first home in 1957 and the ownership of a secondhand red Studebaker. I still wish we had that car - it would be so cool now.
The family would like to express a huge thank you to Dr. Eshawesh for always giving Mom such wonderful care and attention and to St. Paul Lutheran Home staff, who took such great care of her and us, her family. A special thanks to her church family and Rev. Brian Mee for his kindness and guidance and to Carmen’s for the lovely flower arrangements. Last, but certainly not least, to Matthews Funeral Home for their gracious and professional assistance to the family.
Francie, Joy, Lloydie, Terry and families.