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ELZA VILHELMINA SNIKERIS It is with heavy hearts that we, Elzas family, announce the sudden passing of our "Mum". Elza was born on January 26, 1919 in Novgard, Russia of her Latvian parents Martins Ozolins and Alma Ozolina. She was born in a time of turmoil but she strove to excel and became accomplished in her education and sports. Mum was multi-lingual and was versed in Latvian, English, German, Russian, and Polish. She had also studied Latin and had a strong understanding of many other languages. She was immensely proud of her history, culture and family. Elza and her family survived the 1939 oppressive regime of Soviet occupation. She survived the terrors of the East Front in the Second World War. She also survived the separation of her family through the war. She survived displacement from her country at the wars end. Following the end of the war she was able to unite with her sister Rasma by working with the fledging UN, the postwar German government and the western occupation forces. In 1947 Elza and her sister started their lives anew in Canada. They faced many challenges and overcame them all. Elza worked many jobs to make her way through engineering at the University of Manitoba. She went on to work at Pittsburgh Industries and often proudly pointed out buildings around Winnipeg she had influence in designing. In 1954 she married Talivalds Snikeris, started her home life and raised four sons, Martin (Token), Mikelis (Lorraine), Juris (Linda) and Andris. Her boys were educated in traditional schools but were also taught the importance of their Latvian culture and background. About 1970 Elza returned to the workforce and with her limitless knowledge of multiculturalism joined the Museum of Man and Nature. Elza was also involved in the founding of Folklorama and the Latvian Pavilion. She retired from the Museum in 1990 but continued going there on an almost daily basis until the end providing help and advice. Elza was extremely proud of the honour bestowed on her by the Manitoba government with the presentation of an achievement award by the Lieutenant Governor in 1993. The award was always displayed with pride. Elza was predeceased by her husband, Talivalds in 1982 and with a very heavy heart by her son Andris in 1987. Our mother was a friend to anyone and everyone. She always had a nice word for all, a time to chat, and a genuine concern. She had an immense pride in her seven grandchildren, Alexis, Ashley, Neal, Krista, Kayla, Nicole and Natasha. Elza was active, independent and aware until the last chapter was ended and her book was closed. She shall be greatly missed by her family, her many friends and colleagues. A visitation will be held on Tuesday, November 20 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Chapel Lawn Funeral Home, 4000 Portage Ave. Funeral service will be held on Wednesday, November 21 at 10:00 a.m. also at Chapel Lawn with Rev. Egil Grislis presiding. Reception will follow. Lai Dievs Dod Mieru Aizsaule! Arrangements entrusted to: CHAPEL LAWN FUNERAL HOME CEMETERY AND CREMATORIUM 885-9715
As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Nov 20, 2001
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