Kathrina (Kay) Heller was born on August 15th, 1925 in Claremont, Alberta, to Nikolai and Gertrude Siebert. She attended school and Bible School in La Glace, Alberta.
Kay helped on the family farm, stooking grain, milking cows and pitching in where needed. In 1945 the family moved to a dairy farm in Greendale, BC. There she continued her education and took a practical nursing course.
Later she worked with Mennonite Central Committee in Algeria as a support worker to MCC personnel for several years. In March 1965 she went to Akron, Pennsylvania where she continued working as a hostess with MCC at the guest house there. She met Clyde Heller at an MCC function. He became the love of her life and on September 19th, 1970 Clyde and Kay were married at the MCC Chapel in Akron.
Kay became a stepmother to Clyde’s 6 sons, and an instant grandmother. Kay enjoyed this role very much and took much pleasure in hosting family gatherings. She loved to spend time outdoors with Clyde. He taught her to hunt and they enjoyed camping trips and travelling.
They were involved in the Mellinger Mennonite Church where Kay played piano, was involved in Bible Studies, choir and was instrumental in starting a music program. They made trips back to BC to visit family members and enjoyed returning the favour, hosting guests in their home in Pennsylvania.
Clyde passed away on March 13th, 1994. Kay moved into a townhouse and put her energy into volunteer work, helping family and church activities. She felt a longing to be closer to her siblings and began plans to move back to Canada. The lengthy process was finally completed and she arrived in 2005. Kay was a tremendous help to her sisters Gertrude and Anna and enjoyed reconnecting with her other siblings and extended family. She joined the Greendale MB church shortly after she arrived in Canada and served at funeral luncheons there. At her condo she was elected to the Strata Council. She continued her volunteer work with MCC, making blankets and doing sewing, even up to the week before she went into the hospital.
Kay’s health declined in December. She was admitted to the hospital in the middle of January. After a brief struggle with cancer, she peacefully passed into the presence of the Lord in the early hours of Friday, January 22nd, 2010. Kay was predeceased by her parents, Nickolai and Gertrude Siebert, husband Clyde, and brothers Nick and Abe Siebert. She is survived by stepchildren Clyde Jr. and Sara, Jim and Kitty, John, Bob and Joanne, Harvey and Barb, Joe and Marilyn, and step grandchildren David, Michael, Lisa, Wendy, Timothy, David, Jonathan and Jason and their families, and her siblings Henry (Mary) Siebert, Gertrude Warkentin, Jack (Irma) Siebert, Anna Nichol, Helen(Peter) Goosen, and sisters-in-law Mary and Sara Siebert. Kay was a beloved aunt and great aunt to her nephews and nieces, and had many dear friends. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
A memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday January 28th, 2010 at Greendale MB Church, Sardis, B.C. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Kay to Mennonite Central Committee.