Elsie was born in Langham, Saskatchewan on August 12, 1931 to Klaus and Elizabeth Epp. She was the youngest of two girls, with an older sister, Helena. As a family they moved from Langham to Rosemary, Alberta where her Dad opened up Epp’s Service Station. In her early teens they moved to Mission, BC where they farmed as a family. It was here that she also attended Bethel Bible Institute. In the summers her family would temporarily move to Peachland, BC where they would pick fruit to add to the family income. Later, Elsie found work of her own at the local cannery in Kelowna, BC.
It was there in the summer of 1951 that she met her husband, Peter Wickenheiser. Elsie’s recollection of the time was that Peter was heard to say “there is the girl I am going to marry”. During a brief courtship that summer they would go for ice cream and walks through Kelowna City Park. Later that year, they were married in the city of Abbotsford, BC on the first of December. Following the wedding they chose to settle in Kelowna. It was here where they later purchased their first home and began raising their family. As their family grew, they moved to a property on Parsons Road in East Kelowna where their family of nine (seven boys – George, Edward, John, Douglas, Peter, Robert, Arthur; two girls – Cynthia and Diane) and extended family enjoyed time along Mission Creek.
After raising their children and entering their retirement years they moved to a farm along the Kettle River outside of Westbridge where they tended to cows, chickens and where Elsie maintained a huge garden. It was also here where their children, 21 grandchildren and even some of their 25 great-grandchildren enjoyed many more family gatherings that included plenty of Elsie’s wonderful cooking and baking.
Ten years later, they moved back into Kelowna to be closer to their family. Shortly after this move Elsie and Peter celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in front of a large group of family and friends. Her husband Peter sadly passed away a few months following their celebration. Elsie continued to live in the same home for the next few years still gardening, cooking and baking. Also, during this time, Elsie grieved the losses of her son Peter, as well as her granddaughter Emily and her sister Helena.
To occupy her time Elsie started volunteering at the Rutland Hospital Auxiliary as well as quilting at Willow Park Church where she regularly attended services and was part of a Bible study group. Elsie later sold the house and moved to a nearby condo complex where she continued her volunteer services and to host large family gatherings.
Over the past four years Elsie has encountered a number of different health issues which she faced with great strength and grace. During this time, she moved to Mission Creek Landing where she spent the last year and half meeting new friends and continuing to enjoy frequent visits from many family and friends. While there Elsie was known for her wonderful smile, good humour and friendly disposition. She would often participate in many activities including crafts, bingo, singing and evening snacks with other residents.
Elsie passed away peacefully on Saturday, July 20, 2019 surrounded by family. She will be missed dearly by her family and friends who will forever cherish her loving memory.
Elsie would like everyone to know that, “love does not die people do, so when all that is left of me is love, give me away…”
A Funeral Service will be held on Thursday, July 25, 2019 at 10:00 am, in the chapel of Springfield Funeral Home, 2020 Springfield Road, Kelowna, BC. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, www.heartandstroke.ca, or the Rutland Hospital Auxiliary www.kghfoundation.com/rutland-hospital-auxiliary.
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THIS SERVICE WILL BE LIVE STREAMED THURSDAY JULY 25 AT 10:00AM
The service for WICKENHEISER, Elsie is scheduled for Thursday, July 25, 2019 at 10:00 am. Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.