February 11, 1931 – July 1, 2019
It is with deep sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of our mother, Elsie, at the age of 88 on July 1, 2019 at Chilliwack General Hospital. Elsie was recently widowed when her husband of 60 years, George Peters, passed in August 2018. Elsie was born on Feb.11,1931 in the town of Chortitza in the Ukraine (Russia). Her parents, Heinrich and Elsa Fast, passed away early in her life. Her father when she was 2 and her mother when she was 3. Elsie lived in her grandmother’s home until they, along with two aunts and their families, left home behind to take refuge in Poland. By June of 1946 Elsie and her family were in a MCC Refugee Camp in West Berlin.
Elsie’s beloved grandmother died in Berlin in September of 1946. Soon after, with the help of the MCC, Elsie, her 2 aunts, and their families travelled to Paraguay aboard the Vollendam with many other refugees. Elsie stayed 1 year before leaving with one aunt and a cousin. Elsie arrived in Yarrow, B.C. in September of 1947. Elsie stayed with her Canadian aunt (her late father’s sister) who sponsored her. Elsie was placed straight into grade 9 though she did not yet speak any English. Elsie enjoyed school, made many friends, and remembered fondly, her youthful ‘Yarrow Days’. Elsie left school and followed her mother’s sister Tante Jutta and cousin Gus to Vancouver where Elsie found work as a maid and nanny. She later worked in a food processing plant, eventually taking over book-keeping and payroll. Elsie made many friends while working in Vancouver. Elsie met George and they were married in August 1958 when Elsie was 27 and George was 33. They settled in Sardis B.C. where they raised their 4 children. Elsie loved her family and was especially close to her aunts, uncles and cousins.
Elsie was a kind and gentle soul and we will miss her greatly. Elsie is survived by her 4 children, 14 grandchildren, 1 great grandchild, numerous cousins, 1 brother-in-law, 1 sister-in-law, and many nieces and nephews. Many thanks to 5 North nursing staff at Chilliwack General who were very kind to Mom during her last days. Thank you also to Dr. Wolfe and Dr. Markey for their kind care over the years for both Mom and Dad.
A memorial service will be held for Elsie at Sardis Community Church (45625 South Sumas Rd. Chilliwack) on Saturday July 13, 2019 at 2:00 pm.
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