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Date of Passing: May 04, 2023

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1944 – 2023

Our cheerful and loving mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend, Ditta Cripps, closed her eyes for the last time at Concordia Hospital in Winnipeg on Thursday, May 4, 2023, at 79 years of age. We will miss her smile and ever present willingness to help others.
Ditta was born in Heldsdorf/Halchiu, a village in Romania. She was proud of her Siebenbuerger Sachsen origins and Transylvanian Saxon heritage, even though she was young when they left home to join their father in Germany in 1951. She was a quiet, sickly child, ever under the watchful eyes of her grandmother, mother, or sister Christel. The reunited family made their home in Moers am Rhein until her father’s sister, Sarah Schaetzle, sponsored the family for immigration to Canada. They landed in Quebec City on August 18, 1952. The move changed Ditta into an energetic, gregarious person. The family settled in Winnipeg, where she attended a string of north end schools graduating from St. John’s High in 1963. She was active in sports and student council, the youth group at Immanuel Lutheran Church and the dance group of the German Society of Winnipeg.
Her family increased to five with the birth of a brother. Ditta became his main caregiver outside of school hours and years later his bone marrow donor when Mike was stricken with leukemia. Her chief aim in life became to earn money to buy her own car, which she did with a job with the Manitoba Telephone System. This was followed by earning a teaching certificate and the move to Churchill, Manitoba.
There, Ditta married Arthur Cripps in 1969. They moved to Gillam where the true joys of her life were born, Sean followed shortly by Shane. She worked as a teacher in the northern Manitoba towns where they lived before relocating in 1980 to Art’s family property just south of Stonewall, MB. She and Art dreamed of raising their boys while hobby farming and market gardening. Their energy, ingenuity and sociability turned the dream into a challenging but gratifying lifestyle. They made many friends in the community. Ditta continued substitute teaching throughout the South Interlake School Division. She loved hanging out with the Rockwood Ladies Gardening Club. Ditta was extremely proud of her farming life and enjoyed hosting many Christmas and family events --- the biggest by far was the wedding of Shane and Li. Through the years her five grandsons became sources of continuing delight as their visits to the farm provided many opportunities to explore its variety of animals and plants.
After Art passed in 2002, Ditta stayed with the farm until 2009. She sold it and moved to Thompson to join Shane’s family. Here she found a new passion in helping out at Riverview, their family run restaurant. Ditta's friendliness endeared her to staff and customers, creating a new circle of friends and a busy life well into her 70's.
In her final few years Ditta relocated to Winnipeg and official retirement. She sold her beloved vehicle, renewed her love affair with movies and romance novels, and allowed her family to help with her care. Ditta retained a positive attitude to life despite many premature losses: Mother Christine (1977), father George (1998), husband Art (2002), brother Mike (2005), son Shane (2017), grandson Dylan (2017), step-mother Rosina (2020). She is survived by son Sean (Teresa); daughter-in-law Li; grandsons Keenan (Sydney), James, Austin, Ethan; sister Christine Dewar, nephew Richard Dewar; step-sisters Mariea Moldoveanu and Stefanie Zamphir in Brownsville, TX and extended family in Canada, U.S.A., Germany, and Romania.
Funeral service will be held on Monday, May 15, 2023, at 1:30 p.m. at MacKenzie Funeral Home, 433 Main Street, Stonewall, MB. Internment to follow at a later date.
Donations in her name may be made to CancerCare Manitoba, 675 McDermot Ave, Winnipeg, MB R3E 9Z9 or Alzheimer Society of Manitoba, 10-120 Donald St, Winnipeg, MB R3C 9Z9



Make a donation to CancerCare Manitoba Foundation

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on May 13, 2023

Condolences & Memories (1 entries)

  • My sincere sympathy to Sean and all the family. My mind right now, back in Gilliam reliving our lives there and later in Stonewall. From all my family, we are so sorry. - Posted by: Aileen Tycholis (Friend from Gillam) on: May 13, 2023

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