Obituary of Renate Kayser
It is with great sadness that our family is announcing the peaceful passing of our mother, Renate Kayser on May 21, 2023, at her residence at Bridgepark Manor in Steinbach, MB.
She was predeceased by her parents, sister, husband, and grandson.
She has left behind six children: Susanne Funk (Peter), Ute Simpson (Derek), Christine Lepard (Alan), Markus Kayser (Claudette), Stefanie Didychuk (Don) and Gerhard Kayser (Joanne) along with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her brother who lives in Germany and her dear friends here in Canada.
Mom was born on October 14, 1939, at the St. Joseph Hospital in Wiesbaden, Germany, just a month and a half after the Second World War broke out. Her mother, our Oma, had to work extremely hard because when Renate was still a toddler, her dad was injured at a train station and needed his right leg amputated from the knee down. Mom was the youngest of three children who all had to help at a young age to make ends meet.
Mom met and married the love of her life, our dad Gerhard, in 1960. Their first house was a rented house barn. Mom continued the tradition of hard work as she helped her husband make a living on the farm. Within ten years of marriage, Mom and Dad welcomed six children into their home. Our whole family immigrated to Canada in 1976.
Mom was a very devoted wife for 58 years. Her house was cleaned well, she had a big garden, she helped in the barn, as well as on the field and always cooked wonderful homecooked meals. Mom worked hard tending to a strawberry farm and providing treats for their market garden. Mom was an excellent cook and baked the most delicious cakes and treats. Her Black Forest Cakes were simply the best.
All siblings have inherited Mom and Dad’s love for good chocolate. Lindt chocolate was Mom’s favourite. With so many chocolate lovers in the family, Dad and Mom had to lock up the chocolate treats. None of us remembers seeing a safe where our parents locked in money, but we had a drawer in the China cabinet that had to be locked because the much-coveted chocolate would otherwise disappear too fast.
Here at Bridgepark Manor, some of you named her the Chocolate Angel, or Chocolate Queen. Many of you have received the chocolate treats she so generously loved to give.
To make sure the stash was not deprived, we needed to make many trips to buy chocolate at the store with the best deals. If there was no chocolate left on sale when we got there, we had to get a rain check for it.
Please do not be surprised if you see us gaze at a Lindt chocolate display in tears of remembrance because the Lindt, she loved to give away is on sale.
When mom did have some spare time, she loved to go swimming. This love for the water stems from the fact that in Germany she did not own a pool, but there was a pond close by that she swam in. Later Dad made sure there was a pool for us all to swim in. Mom's favourite place to live was the lake. She also loved to knit and crochet and has blessed many family members and friends with her beautiful creation up to the last month of her life. Mom also loved to test her intelligence with word puzzles. Her favourite was solving Sudoku puzzles. For years it was a great challenge to make sure she solved the most difficult versions of those puzzles. This love to keep her brain active has kept her busy during the last months of her life, welcoming the daily Sudoku puzzle gifts left at her front door.
Mom’s faith in God, her strong work ethic and her determination helped her overcome breast cancer, support her husband in growing a small farm into a big operation in Watzelhain, Germany, move to Canada to start a new life and adjust to many changes that the move required, all the while raising all six of us.
During the last two years of Dad’s illness, Mom was his prime caregiver, which required a lot of strength and heart. This resilient faith, determination and hard work were especially needed as Mom fought for her own life seven months ago with yet another cancer diagnosis. It amazed us how strong she was, and how Mom was determined not to give up. God knew that and He was her ultimate creator and strength. She had a quiet faith. She would tell us in German: “Wenn ich bin in mein Kaemmerlein, dann bin ich mit meim Gott allein.” “Translated: When I am in my small room, there I am with my God alone.” Mom attended the Steinbach Mennonite Church. When mobility was compromised, she enjoyed the Sunday Services at Bridge Park, or she would listen to a German Service on TV.
Mom, we love you. You were our heroine of strength. We miss you so much already, but we are grateful for your legacy of love, loyalty, faith, hard work, and steely determination.
Thank you to Audrey and Val who blessed Mom so much with their love.
We also would like to thank Heavenly Care Agency for providing us with the most loving staff to help take care of Mom.
We want to thank the Palliative Care Team at Southern Health for their devoted care to help make Mom’s illness bearable.
Finally, thank you to Mom’s Bridgepark Manor staff, who treated Mom like family. We will miss you.
To fulfill our mom’s wishes, we are planning an immediate family and close friends for Renate’s Celebration of Life Event at Bridgepark Manor on Saturday, June 17, 2023. The venue can host only 80 people. Therefore, Mom’s family will have private time from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm and after that, from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm, her close friends are invited to share their condolences with the family.
If anyone would like to donate to help fund research to early detect and cure pancreatic cancer in our mom’s name, donations may be made to Pancreatic Cancer Canada, 316-4211 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M2P 2A9. You may also donate online by clicking HERE.