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Born: Sep 27, 1924

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It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our precious Aunt Irma at the age of 96.
She was born on September 27, 1924 to Robert and Adina Bergstresser in Russia. In 1927, the family immigrated to Canada and settled in Frobisher, SK. Because of the severe drought of the 1930s, the family was forced to give up their farm and with the encouragement of friends in Manitoba, the family moved to Morris.
Irma attended Broadview School to Grade nine, then Morris High School to finish grade 11. She then took a secretarial course at Success Business College in Regina, SK. Immediately following, she worked for a local company for two years. She then returned to Winnipeg, where she worked first for the CCF Provincial Office, then for Dominion Bag Company. Following her father's death in 1951, she moved back to Morris and worked for the Province of Manitoba in the Ag. Reps. Office. In 1955, she was hired as secretary to the Minister of Health and Welfare, Bobby Bend. For the next 26 years, she worked as secretary to Dr. George Johnson, then Sidney Green, and finally Brian Ransom. She took early retirement and immediately volunteered with Meals on Wheels, where she delivered meals for 25 years. It was only when she fell and broke her leg, that she was forced to quit.
In 1970, Irma married Milton Kelm, who predeceased her on April 20, 2016. She is also predeceased by her parents; sister Beatrice; two brothers, Paul and Harry; two sisters-in-law, Frances and Emily; three brothers-in-law, Nelson Edel, Ralph Molderink, Allen Friesen and a nephew Bobby Edel. She was also predeceased by twin sisters, Irma and Irene and brother Herbert in infancy.
Irma is survived by six nieces; three nephews and their families; two cousins, Pauline (Art) Hammersley and Robert (Connie) Osterman.
Irma volunteered much of her time to things she loved, which always included serving other people. She loved her family and was intentional with making everyone she spent time with feel special. She was a Girl Guide leader for many years, she babysat at her church for Moms Time Out, and she volunteered with helping many seniors. She was always financially supporting many relatives and friends through YWAM, Lake Nutimik Baptist Camp, or those going into mission ministry. She often opened her home to family that needed a place to lodge for weekends or attend school in Winnipeg.
Irma accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Savior at the age of 12 and was baptized by immersion at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Morris. When Grant Park Baptist Church (now Whyte Ridge Baptist Church) was founded, she became a charter member. She loved her church family and was involved in many aspects of church life.
The family would like to thank those who cared so lovingly for our Aunt Irma over the last couple of years. It is deeply appreciated.
A private celebration of Irma's life will be held at Chapel Lawn Funeral Home on Friday, January 29, at 2:00 p.m. with interment to follow.
If friends so desire, donations may be made to Lake Nutimik Baptist Camp or Meadowood Manor Foundation.
Due to the current covid restrictions, it will be a closed service with a live stream option. For access to the live stream, you can email for the link.

For those who wish to sign the online Guest
Book please visit

Chapel Lawn Funeral Home

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jan 23, 2021

Condolences & Memories (10 entries)

  • Irma will be missed. Our ladies singing group enjoyed singing for her. Now she will have the angels Marilyn Giesbrecht - Posted by: Marilyn Giesbrecht (Friend) on: Feb 01, 2021

  • When I attended the same church, many years ago I always enjoyed our many conversations after the Sunday morning service. Irma had that wonderful smile and was generous with her loving hugs. Irma was a lovely person and will be missed by all who knew her. My heartfelt condolences to the family as you grieve this enormous loss but may it also give you peace knowing that she is with her Lord & Savior. - Posted by: Angela (church friend) on: Jan 31, 2021

  • Our deepest condolences to Irma's family. She was such a dear sweet lady!! She always went out of her way on Sunday mornings at church to come and talk to my daughter Jenna who has a disability. And when she didn't see Jenna, she would ask how Jenna was doing, as she has had ongoing health issues because of her disability. We saw in Irma a big heart for other people, and a great love for God. We will miss her, but know she is where she belongs. With Jesus. - Posted by: Marsha Oeste (church friend) on: Jan 30, 2021

  • Prayers and sympathies from a family greatly blessed by Irma's investment in our life. We attended church with "Grammie Irma," as we knew her, when we lived in Winnipeg from 2002-2009. We were inspired by her life of faithful service, her devotion to her Lord and Saviour, and the generous ways she shared her time, care and faith. Irma was a special friend and adopted Grammie to our children, and we were blessed to continue corresponding with her over the years since our move away from Manitoba. We were especially pleased to visit Grammie Irma just before her 95th birthday, and we continue to cherish memories of our times together. God bless and comfort you as you miss someone so dear, and look with hope to the day when you will rejoice in heaven together. Blessings, Jamie, Sara, Emma and Heath Patterson - Posted by: Jamie, Sara, Emma & Heath Patterson (Friends) on: Jan 29, 2021

  • I am so thankful that I got to visit in person with Irma in May 2018. I drove my dad Robert Osterman -Irma's cousin and my mom to Winnipeg and we Were able to have a nice visit with Irma at her suite. We stayed with auntie Polly and uncle Art Hammersley most of the time. I remember visiting with Irma over the years and once when we were young children she took us up in the Parliament buildings up to the top of the golden boy part -A very memorial time and place for us 4 girls. It's a sad time that she has passed on but she has passed on to a much better place - Posted by: Eileen (Osterman) Wagar (Cousin Robert Osterman daughter) on: Jan 29, 2021

  • It’s been a blessing to know Auntie Irma who truly loved her family and above all, being of service to our Lord and Savior. She will be sorely missed but know that Jesus welcomed her with open arms when she departed this earth. Love, David, Lynne & Daniel - Posted by: Lynne L. Edwards (Step-Niece) on: Jan 25, 2021

  • Irma was exceptionally kind to our family on the death of my husband. She loved to talk to my grand daughter after Church and her memory was exceptional. She will be missed by so many. - Posted by: Susan Shallcross (Church friend) on: Jan 25, 2021

  • My name is Ev Lane. My mom, Irene Vermeulen (#205) , lives at Lindenwood Manor. We frequently enjoyed Irma as our companion at lunchtime most Saturdays. We so enjoyed her huge smiles, warm hugs, and friendly disposition. When we met her in the halls recently, we all regretted not being able to share hugs! She will truly be missed. Our condolences to her family. RIP our dear friend. - Posted by: EVELYN LANE (Friend) on: Jan 24, 2021

  • My condolences go to all those family members who knew and loved her. I, for one, loved and admired her love for the Lord and everyone she met. I remember her as my Sunday School teacher when I was a teenager! She was amazing. Attending the same church I was able to chat with her, be encouraged by her, invited to dinner at her home, sang in the choir, ladies’ meetings and many more activities. Now heaven is enjoying her beautiful wonderful smile!! - Posted by: Sharon Paschke Emmelkamp (Friend) on: Jan 23, 2021

  • Irma volunteered with Meals on wheels for more than 25 years. She cared about the people she delivered meals to, knew their names and they looked forward to the connection she of a smile and kind words she brought. I could always count on Irma to help out with extra deliveries when i needed her. Irma strengthened our volunteer team with her dedication and good humour. I am grateful for having the time we spent together. May the good memories give you strength at this time. My deepest condolences and many hugs. Shirley Murray - Posted by: SHIRLEY A. MURRAY (Irma and I worked together when she volunteered for me at Meals on Wheels.) on: Jan 23, 2021

Chapel Lawn Funeral Home & Cemetery

Chapel Lawn Funeral Home & Cemetery

4000 Portage Ave. (Map)
Ph: 2048859715 | Visit Website

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