Marilyn Schalla

Marilyn Schalla

1935 - 2021

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Obituary of Marilyn Schalla


It is with great love and sadness that we say goodbye to Marilyn (Marlene) Lenora Schalla (nee Betzold), age 85 of Steinbach passed away peacefully on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at the Bethesda Regional Health Centre after recently being diagnosed with cancer.


Marilyn is survived by her loving husband, Wilbert, daughter, Sandra (Colin) Kihn, their family Dana (Stephane) Saindon; Chloe Kihn and Brett Kihn; daughter, Candice (Mark) Kihn their family Chelsey (Jayme) Gunderson and Silas; Bailey (Doug) McLachlan, Kenzie and Sydney and daughter Barbara (Pierre) Gosselin and their family Pierre-Alexandre (Brittany) Gosselin, Mackenzie (Kiah) Gosselin, brothers Ken (Grace) Betzold, Raymond (Lorraine) Betzold, sister Sharon (Abe) Doerksen, and numerous nieces and nephews.


Marilyn was predeceased by her parents, Henry and Alvina Betzold, sister and brother-in-law Noreen and Dick Wiebe, mother and father-in-law Pauline & Rudolph Freund, sister-in-law Elma Schalla and sister and brother-in-law Romelda and Bill Fuchs.


Mom was a fighter! She overcame cancer in the late 70’s and then again in the 90’s. A couple of years ago mom had a mild stroke and then on November 6th she was admitted to the hospital and received a double dose of bad news - a diagnosis of cancer and the Covid virus. She beat Covid however it was cancer that took her home.


Marilyn (Marlene), wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister. Marlene and Wilbert met, fell in love and were married on June 2, 1956. They had been married for 64 years.


Marilyn was baptized, confirmed and married in the St.Paul’s Lutheran Church.  She was also a Sunday School teacher for many years. Her faith remained strong and true throughout her life. 


Marilyn lived a very full and satisfying life. Family was everything to her and life revolved around us. She has always been proud of each and every one of us.


She grew up in the Friedensfeld Area and has always been a part of the Friedensfeld Community Centre being a lifelong member. She always enjoyed working with and beside her Friedensfeld Ladies.


Before she was married, she worked and lived in Winnipeg with her sister Noreen. For many years mom had a small childcare business out of the home. Each child in her care was special to her and were considered a part of our very own family. She also worked at Derksen Printers working once a week, the day the Carillon News went to press.


Mom was a proud homemaker, baker, caregiver. Mom took pride in her garden. Her canning was endless! Her Dill Pickles were legendary, her canned tomatoes were like none other and her raspberry jam, the best!


Mom and Dad had a small piece of property outside of town. This was her “little piece of heaven”. She loved walking through the bush and just being with nature. She loved picking raspberries, blueberries and mushrooms. She had a knack for finding and cultivating strange plants, drying them and making her healing green teas, as the grandkids called it “Grandma’s Hooch”. In fall she loved to pick hazelnuts and harvest them for treats in winter.


Marilyn loved to travel. She and Wilbert were able to travel to many great places, such as England, France, Barbados, the West Indies, Jamaica and Mexico. Dad worked for Case Company and Mom enjoyed and looked forward to the Conventions they would travel to with the Case family.


Our family vacations were a highlight, great family memories were made with a trip to Hawaii and a road trip to California. Just the other day while reminiscing with Mom in the hospital, Dad recalled that it was a very looong road trip to California, Mom nodded in agreement. Mom always loved and had fond memories of many weekend trips to Fargo and Grand Forks with the Reimer’s and Thiessen families. Every summer the family would go to Caddy Lake for weeks at a time. Mom loved the lake, the beach, fishing, waterskiing, finding those special blueberries before the bears did and evening bonfires. To prove to herself she still had it, she water-skied in her 60’s. “One last time”. Mom also curled for many years, both Ladies and Mixed league with Dad.


Throughout the years Mom and Dad were fondly nicknamed Millie & Willie, when they retired Millie and Willie bought a Motor home or as the grandkids called it “the Homer Motor”. They hit the road, and travelled many miles, many trips, and many memories.


Mom was a seamstress and would hide away for hours in her sewing room. When the girls were small, Mom sewed many matching outfits for us. Countless hours were spent quilting with her mother Alvina and Aunties Rosie and Paulina. The quilting frame would sit in the basement for weeks at a time while these lovely quilts were created. When Sandy, Candice and Barb got married they all received a hand quilted wool blanket made by these ladies. Mom even bought the wool from a farmer and carded the wool herself. These quilts were very dear and special to us.


About 20 years ago she learned how to Knit. She took pride in knitting a special blanket for each of her grandchildren. Mom’s eyes and hands were giving her issues before she could finish Brett’s, the youngest grandchild. Recently Auntie Lorraine happily finished that project for Mom. Grandma was going to present this blanket to Brett herself at Christmas – however she was not able to do this.


The family would like to express special thanks to the Doctors, Nurses and Health Care Workers on the Covid and Medicine Units at the Bethesda Regional Health Centre. A special thank you to Irene Maendel our family’s Cancer Care Counselor who was there to hold Marilyn’s hand when we couldn’t during the Covid lockdown at the hospital and for providing us with the support we needed. Thank you also to Pastor Terry Gudmundson and Reverend Melissa for being an extra family support during this difficult time.


In lieu of flowers donations can be made to CancerCare Manitoba Foundation or the St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, designate-Memorial Fund.


The private family live streamed memorial will be held on Tuesday, February 2, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. at Birchwood Funeral Chapel, Steinbach, MB.

Please click the following link to join the family via livestream shortly before the service. 

The link will be available for 90 days following the service.