Margaret Thiessen Ratzlaff died Nov. 8, 2010 at 92. She was born Mar. 21, 1918 in Kleefeld, Man. to Harry G. Thiessen and Elizabeth (Issac) Toews. At 18 months, Margaret moved with her family to a mixed farm in Alberta. After her father died in 1935, Margaret, her mother, and sisters managed the farm alone. Margaret did much of the grain stooking. Margaret became a Christian in her early teens. After completing Grade 8 at Linden School and Grade 9 at Buckeye School, Margaret assisted 2 midwives for 6 years. She took a 12-month correspondence course through Chicago School of Nursing. She earned her practical nursing diploma June 1944, with a 99 percent average. The school commended her initiative, perseverance, and natural aptitude. From 1944−1948, Margaret completed Prairie Bible Institute’s Disciplined Soldiers for Christ course. Margaret felt a calling to Africa, and in December 1948, began 24 years of service with Sudan Interior Mission (SIM). She arrived in Lagos, Nigeria, to supervise service for resting missionaries at Miango Rest Home. After a 1-year training course at Prairie College in 1964, she returned to Nigeria to teach Bible classes and offer teacher training in government schools. In 1973, she contracted infectious hepatitis and returned to Alberta. Oct. 20, 1973, Margaret married Sam Ratzlaff, a widower with 6 adult children. Their home on the farm and later in Linden, Alta., hosted many extended family and friends. Jesus was the focus of their activities. Sam died in 1988, and in June 1989, Margaret moved to Robertson Manor, Three Hills, Alta. Five years later, she returned to Linden to live in the new Linden Lodge. After her health began to fail at 90, she moved to Linden Nursing Home. Predeceased by Sam, all her siblings, 2 stepdaughters, 2 grandchildren; Margaret is mourned by stepchildren Ray (Dorothy), Marie (Garth) Wilson, Doris (Larry) King, Sue (Irv) Harder; many grandchildren.
Karla is a writer for Mennonite World Conference who lives in Winnipeg.