Gerda Schoorlemmer, long-time resident of Rycroft, passed away peacefully on Monday April 11, 2022 at the age of 95 years.
Gerda was born in Heeten, Holland on April 2, 1927, the third oldest out of eleven.
Gerda attended grade school until the end of Grade 7, followed by two years of sewing school. This was a day school, she was home every night. After that, she went to boarding school run by the Sisters. This was an Agriculture based diploma program where she learned how to run a farm household including cooking, sewing and milking cows by hand. She then worked at home and at various times for her uncle, helping out on his farm.
Gerda and Henry were married in a double ceremony with Herman and Bertha on April 23, 1957 in Holland. Shortly afterwards, they all travelled together to begin their married lives in Canada.
The first three children; Wilf, George and Tony were born in Edmonton while Henry worked on various dairy farms in the region. In August 1963, they moved to the Rycroft area with Herman and Bertha. For a time, they had to live in a granary. Then for two years both families lived in the same house together.
During this time Bernie arrived. In 1965 Gerda and Henry bought their own farm followed shortly by the arrival of Everdien, completing the family.
Life on the farm was busy. Gerda’s days were filled with raising children, working alongside Henry in the dairy, growing a large garden, canning and sewing the majority of the kids clothing. Throughout all of this time she was an active member of the Rycroft CWL.
In 1989, Henry and Gerda retired and moved into Rycroft. She embraced everything retirement had to offer and took up new hobbies and activities. You could find her riding her bike around town, volunteering, and playing cards at the Merry Pioneers. Swimming lessons and golfing were brand new to her! In her spare time, she would be playing cards, games and puzzles with the grandchildren. Little did we know that she had a competitive streak, there was no letting them win.
All of her family were regular recipients of her buns still warm out of the oven. Her ever popular mitts, and neck warmers were always sold out early at the CWL Bazaar, and every family member got a new set yearly. She was a regular participant in Crib and Whist Tournaments throughout the Peace County and an active card player until very recently.
Gerda and Henry had the opportunity to travel, taking in the sights of Mexico and Reno on bus tours. They made their last trip to Holland together in 1989.
For many years, Gerda dedicated her time to the St. Peter and Paul Parish.
Gerda is survived by and lovingly remembered by her husband of almost 65 years Henry and her family. Wilf and Jamie and their children Garett, Ryan and Kim, Aqueena and Alex (Henri and Ethan), Landon, Trenton and Carly (Madilynn and Mallory), Teneea, Levi and Brielle. George and Christine and their children Colton, Brenden, Ashton, Ella and Grace. Tony. Bernard and Susan and their children Brenton and Aaron. Everdien and Brad and their children Spencer, Noah and Tessa. She also leaves behind Bertha and her family here in Canada, as well as numerous family members in Holland.
She was predeceased by her Granddaughter Chelsea.
A special thank you to Dr. Kitagawa and the wonderful staff at the Central Peace Hospital. Gerda was blessed to receive exceptional care and kindness at the Lakeview Lodge in Clairmont, Pleasant View Lodge in Spirit River and from the Home Care team.
Prayer Service will be held on Monday, April 18, 2022, at 7:30pm. Funeral Mass on Tuesday, April 19, 2022, at 11:00am. Both to be held at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Rycroft.
If desired, memorial donations may be made to the Central Peace Health Complex Palliative Care Unit, Box 339, Spirit River AB T0H 3G0.
Care entrusted to Bear Creek Funeral Home: