nee Unger

It is with saddened hearts that we announce the passing of Lydia Bartel, a unique and amazing woman of God, faithful wife, loving sister, caring mother, elegant auntie, loyal friend.

She is survived by her husband Len, her children Ivor (Maryanne Lockwood), and Heather (Rick) Friesen, grandchildren Kyle and Cody Bartel, Joshua, Matthew, Michael and Bethany Friesen, as well as her extended family which included her seven brothers and sisters, and many nieces and nephews.

Our mom was born in Ebenfield Steinbach, Manitoba on September 12th, 1931, in the era of the Great Depression, to a household that was empty of possessions and full of love and laughter. She was never lonely as a child. She enjoyed helping others and her family; aspiring to be creative like her mother. She enjoyed her schooling both at Bible College and University, graduating with a teacher’s degree. Her love of children was evident in her personal touch in the classroom. She cared for each one individually with a sense of responsibility, also extending that to her siblings at home.

A new chapter in her life began in 1964 when she left for the west coast to marry Leonhard Bartel. The births of her children Ivor and Heather followed soon after.

Another move led the family to purchase a little blueberry farm in Greendale in 1978. She worked on the farm as well as taught. On the farm, she always had time for her customers and was known in the community as the “Blueberry Lady.” As her own children grew up, grandchildren were born and became ever so important in her life.

Between her love for God, her care for family and willingness to help many people, her days were kept busy. The last eight years of her life were continuous struggle with cancer. She was a fighter, yet continued to touch the lives of many for the better at cancer centers in the lower mainland.

Thank you so much to the nurses, doctors, and staff at the Abbotsford Cancer Center and Surrey Memorial Hospital who helped so much to ease mom’s pain.

Jesus finally took her home to be with him on Friday, August 13th 2010 with family surrounding her.

A Celebration of Her Life will be held on Friday, August 20th 2010 at 10:00 a.m. at the First Mennonite Church, Greendale, 42369 South Sumas Road, Chilliwack.

If friends so desire, donations may be made to MCC Canada or the BC Cancer Society.

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