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Dorothy Ratzlaff

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RATZLAFF, Dorothy - Obit Photo-topaz-enhance-faceai-sharpen.jpg



May 6, 1931 - January 9, 2024

On January 9, 2024, Dorothy died at her home at Shaftesbury Residences in Winnipeg, where she had moved in 2021 to be near her son Steve and his family. Dorothy was born at Hanna, Alberta, on May 6, 1931, seven years after her parents Maria (Peters) and David Klassen had arrived in Canada, fleeing the chaos that was engulfing Russia at that time. She grew up on a small farm near Linden, Alberta, in a lively household of eleven children.


In 1952, she married her high school sweetheart, Ray Ratzlaff. From 1951-55, Dorothy taught in small rural schools: Gumbo, Antler and Linden Rural. She enjoyed teaching and returned to it periodically, but most of these early years were devoted to raising a family of three children: Jennifer, born in 1954, Steven in 1956, and Brad in 1959. Dorothy had a deep love of music, something she passed on to her children.


Wherever she went, Dorothy created a gracious, welcoming home. From 1969 to 1972, the family lived in Edmonton, a move prompted by Ray’s political career. In 1974, along with Brad, Dorothy and Ray moved to Kandern, Germany where they both taught at Black Forest Academy.  Ray and Dorothy spent the years 1978 to 1986, in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Ray was principal of Eden Christian College and Dorothy made it a practice to invite graduating students to lunch, 400 of them over the years.


After eight years spent in this idyllic setting, Ray took early retirement. He and Dorothy wanted to be close to ailing parents, so they moved back to their beloved acreage near Linden. Dorothy enjoyed gardening and started to develop an interest in landscape painting.


In 2000, Ray and Dorothy bought a home in Three Hills - large enough to continue to host family and friends, and for Dorothy to have a studio where she continued to work at her painting. She was part of a group of artists who worked together to develop their skills. Dorothy and Ray enjoyed the congregational life of St. Barnabas Anglican Church.


Most of Dorothy’s final years were spent in their beloved condo at Linden Lodge. There, Dorothy and Ray enjoyed the company of old and new friends and continued to love each other till Ray died in 2019.


Dorothy was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and aunt. She was a good friend to many.  She lived her life with the assurance that she was a child of God. She will be missed.


Dorothy was predeceased by her husband, Ray; siblings Margaret, David, Helen, Rudy, Ed, Bernie, Eric; and her infant son Michael. She is survived by her children, Jennifer, Steve (Catheryn), and Brad (Carol); grandchildren, Maxime, Dorian, Ben (Rachelle), Sarah (Arshile), Sam, John (Allison), Greg (Joy), and Derrick; greatgrandchildren, Rielle, Renée, Owen, and Liam; siblings, Erwin (Elvira), Rae Rempel, and Trudi Neufeld; as well as many treasured nieces and nephews.


A memorial service will be held at Linden Mennonite Brethren Church on February 3rd at 2pm.

Click here to live stream the service. 

Dorothy's family kindly requests that all of her friends and relatives take a few minutes to honour her memory by sharing photos, memories, and stories, using the comment section on this page.


Cremation & Life Celebrations

530 St. Mary Avenue - Winnipeg

204-421-5501 -

Memories, Stories and Condolences


Please share a story, photo, memory or condolence for the family by completing the form below and clicking "comment".

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