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Rose Maria Wenzel
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Wenzel, Rose Maria

March 06, 1948

 -

June 28, 2022


Date of Service: July 01, 2022

Rose Marie Wenzel of Lethbridge, beloved mother of Chris and Leah, grandmother of Ivy, Tucker, Jordan, Gus, Alexander, and Lilly, passed away peacefully in her sleep early Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

Born on March 6, 1948, in Germany as the eigth child of Herman and Marianne Zurner Schimanski. She came to Canada with her family in 1953. Already by that time she worked hard watching over her four-year older brother Herman and nine-month-old sister Marianne while the older ones where suffering from a bad case of sea sickness.

She was the first one in her family to start grade one in Canada. As she learned, she taught her older brother and sisters and parents what she had learned each day starting with the English pronunciation of the alphabet and Dick and Jane. When she came home from school her dad would call her older brothers around the table so she could teach them the alphabet and to read primary English books. She loved it. When they were at the point where they were trying to get Canadian Citizenship, she studied with them for months and went with then on the drive to Lethbridge so she could continue to quiz them. They were all so proud driving home to their farm in Picture Butte.

On the farm, she was the go-to person whenever an animal had an injury, she was a natural healer. She saved piglets, chickens, ducks, geese, dogs, cats and calves. She loved to care for sick siblings. She always had a home full of pets.

Rose was the first one in the family to graduate from High School. It was no surprise that she went to St. Michael’s School of Nursing and graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1969. She started working in Toronto in Emergency. Then to be closer to home, she got jobs in BC. She came back to Picture Butte to work nights so she could spend most of the day raising her children. Her parents babysat at night, and as they got older, they helped their grandparents. Rose took care of her parents till their passing, then moved to Lethbridge to work in the Lethbridge Hospital till she retired. She loved every minute of it which made her sad to have to retire due to her many disabling health issues.

Rose is the heart of the Schimanski family. She was always aware of what was happening in her siblings and nephews and nieces’ lives.  If there were baby blessings, marriages, or funerals she was always there, from Edmonton to Vancouver and even Cuba. She loved family reunions, sailing, skiing, sail gliding, adventures of any kind, traveling and visiting families afar. She had a great since of humor and loved to have family gatherings around her table spread over days to visit with them all from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day. Her generosity was endless, she loved everyone and forgave quickly. Her nursing family was just an extension of her birth family.

13 years ago, her specialist told her there wasn’t anything more that they could do to fight the Lupus and Scleroderma she had been battling since her 30’s. She proved him wrong repeatedly as miracles of new medical procedures came along. Even as her doctor told her a few weeks ago there was nothing more to be done that her diseases had progressed too far, she still fought to pull through but what she needed most was pain relief so she finally consented to come home to palliate care in Lethbridge.

Also left to mourn Rose are her sisters Ellen (Joe) Marianne (Jim) and Brigitte (Ron) Van Dyk and many nieces and nephews (grand and great also), her son by love, Allan Pocha. 

A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Basil’s Catholic Church – 604 13th Street North, Lethbridge, AB - on Friday July 1st, 2022, at 11:00 AM with Father Kevin Tumback Celebrating. The Mass will be livestreamed and available to view via Rose’ obituary page on the cornerstone website.

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