Lydia Ratzlaff died June 19, 2010. She was born June 11, 1912 in Deutsch Wymyschle, Poland to Franz Ratzlaff and Anna Kliewer. She married Erich L. Ratzlaff June 1, 1935. During WWII, Erich became a prisoner of war in Czechoslovakia. Lydia and their children fled to Germany when the Russian Army advanced into Poland. The family was reunited in Germany after Erich’s release, with the help of the Red Cross and Canadian relatives. After a stay in a refugee camp, they immigrated to Canada in 1948. They lived in Alberta for a few years before moving to Arnold, B.C. in 1951 where Lydia ran a farm. A few years later, they moved to Abbotsford, B.C. and joined Clearbrook MB Church. In Winnipeg from 1967–79, Lydia helped Erich edit the Mennonitische Rundschau, and they served as deacons at Central MB Church. When Erich became an ordained minister, Lydia served faithfully beside him. In 1981, they returned to Abbotsford and renewed their membership at Clearbrook MB Church. Erich died in 1988. After her vision deteriorated, Lydia moved into Tabor Home in 2007. Surgery improved her sight, so that in her last months she could enjoy crocheting again. Predeceased by Erich, Lydia is mourned by children Richard (Elfrieda), Frank (Julie), Trudy (David) Galpin, Heinz (Edith), Leonard, Alice; 11 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren.
Karla is a writer for Mennonite World Conference who lives in Winnipeg.