Elsie passed away on Wednesday, November 14, 2018, in Winnipeg at the age of 84 after a life filled with family, love, and helping others.
She is predeceased by her husband Walter; baby daughter Brenda; and sister Hadie.
Left to cherish her memory are her children Brent, Joanne (Iain), and Deborah (Steve); grandchildren Taylor, Mormei, Michaela, and Stephanie; sister Alma, and several nieces and nephews.
She was born in Winnipeg in 1934 to immigrant parents who worked hard to provide a stable home and family life in a new country. Among the community at Cross Lutheran Church, the family had a network of support, strong relationships, and a rich social life. It was through the church that Elsie met Walter Zanke, whom she married in 1956.
Before the arrival of her children, Elsie worked for the federal government in the veteran affairs department as an administrative assistant. She was a stay-at-home mom until later in life when she returned to administrative work in both the public and private sectors. Throughout the years she cherished the relationships she had with various coworkers.
Elise showed an aptitude for music at a young age and studied piano eventually earning her ARTC in performance. She put her talent to good use by teaching many students over the years. She also provided accompaniment for her daughters when they sang in music festivals and recitals.
Family meant everything to Elsie. She was an exceptionally caring mother, supportive spouse, and extended family networker. She was very close to her older sisters Alma and Hadie and kept the family apprised of the lives of cousins, aunts and uncles. Through her, everyone stayed connected.
Despite coping with a variety of health challenges, Elsie always maintained a sense of humour. With her characteristic eye wink, she often kidded with family members and tried not to take herself too seriously. Thanks to her, the expression “Lord love a duck” will live on for at least the next two generations. Elsie also had an enduring sense of style and to the end would never be caught without lipstick and her signature hairdo.
Above all, Elsie cared deeply about the welfare of others. She leaves a legacy of kindness, generosity, and a loving spirit.
Thank you to the staff at Riverwood Retirement Community for their exceptional care and kindness during the last few months. Thanks also to Dr. Helga Sickert for her support during some challenging times.
A celebration of Elsie’s life was held at 2pm, Monday, November 26, 2018 at 603 Wellington Crescent at Academy Road (Unitarian Church).
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to The Canadian Mental Health Association Manitoba and Winnipeg.
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