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Born: Dec 16, 1917

Date of Passing: Apr 18, 2020

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December 16, 1917 - April 18, 2020

With sadness, the family announces the passing of Elsie on Saturday, April 18, 2020, at the Middlechurch Home of Winnipeg, where she had resided for just over a year.
Left to cherish her memory are son, Dennis (Donna); daughter, Donna (Clarence); grandchildren, Jody (Derick), Shelby (Bruce), Carey (Erin), and Kristen (Randy); great-grandchildren, Ember McLeod-Kim, Ryann Kent and Carson Wozney. She will also be fondly remembered by many nieces, nephews, and good friends.
Mom was predeceased by Wallace, her beloved husband of 62 years; her parents, Frank and Rozalie Van Ryssel; her siblings, Bert (Cora, Ora), Maurice (Katherine), and Vera Bracken (Jack).
Mom's parents had immigrated to Canada from Belgium; they worked extremely hard clearing the land that was mostly bush and swamp. She was born and raised on the family dairy farm just outside of Oakbank, MB. At the age of five, she started school in a one room schoolhouse two and a half miles away. She remembers her brothers carrying her when she got too tired to walk. She attended an all-girls school in Winnipeg for grade nine, catching the CPR train at 8:15 a.m., and returning to Oakbank around 7:00 p.m. Grade 10 didn't happen as she was needed to work on the farm – milking cows, digging roots, stones and potatoes from the field. She could spend hours telling us the history of her family.
Upon her marriage to Wally, she moved to the town of Oakbank to raise her family, and later to care for her aging parents. She loved to bake, knit, garden, can, play cards, do crosswords, read, and watch sports on TV (especially her beloved Blue Jays). As a young woman, Mom loved to play baseball, and after daily chores would walk two and a half miles to take her position at first base. Volunteer time was given to the Over 50 Club at Kin Place, the UCW, the community club, the resource centre, as well as many teas and fowl suppers.
Mom's greatest gift was her love for her family, especially her grand and great-grandchildren. She never missed a concert, music recital or sporting event. Even at 99 years of age, she was still in the bleachers watching her grandson play baseball. She took great pleasure in passing on her expertise in the kitchen to her granddaughters.
Mom lived her entire life in Oakbank. She moved from her house into Springfield Place in the summer of 2014. She had many wonderful memories from her time spent there. She always called it "home". A special thanks to all of the home care staff who assisted Mom when she required it.
Many thanks to the wonderful staff at Middlechurch for their kindness and compassionate care. She was fortunate to have you, especially when we were not allowed to visit for many weeks.
As per Mom's wishes, cremation has taken place, and a private family gathering will be held at a later date. She will be laid to rest beside her beloved husband, Wally, at Green Acres Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Elsie's memory may be made to the Oakbank United Church, or to Springfield Place.

The family requests that condolences

and memories can be shared on
Elsie's memorial page by visiting

"A life well lived…"

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Apr 25, 2020

Condolences & Memories (1 entries)

  • I am so sorry to hear of your Mom's passing. Know that my thoughts are with you at this difficult time. Love Mickey. - Posted by: Michelle (Mickey) Van Ryssel (family) on: May 01, 2020

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