Elizabeth Ratzlaff died May 17, 2009 at 102. She was born Oct. 28, 1906 in Samara, Russia to Bernhard and Mary Klassen. The family moved to Gnadenheim, Barnaul settlement, Siberia, when she was quite young. Her father, minister at Gnadenheim MB Church, died in 1919. Elizabeth experienced new birth at 16, and was baptized in the MB church in 1922. On June 28, 1927, she married John P. Ratzlaff. They began their journey to immigrate to Canada in 1929, arriving in New Brunswick in 1930. They settled first in Dunrae, Man., then in 1936 moved to Yarrow, B.C., where John worked as a finish carpenter. In 1968, they moved to Abbotsford and joined Clearbrook MB Church. John sustained serious injuries from a fall off a roof and died in 1981. Elizabeth moved to Tabor Home in 1990 where she received loving care. Predeceased by John, sons John and Peter, great-grandson Timothy, daughter-in-law Anne; Elizabeth is mourned by children Hank (Agatha), Mary (Jake) Martens, Abe (Helen), Vic (Marie), Lynne (Garry) Schmidt; daughter-in-law Selma; 21 grandchildren; 55 great-grandchildren; 7 great-great-grandchildren.
Karla is a writer for Mennonite World Conference who lives in Winnipeg.