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Posted: March 15, 2021

Obituary of Lydia Ridke


DECEMBER 22, 1924 – MARCH 5, 2021

The family of Lydia Ridke write this tribute in memory of our beloved mother Lydia (nee Renner) Ridke with deepest sorrow and gratitude in our hearts.

Our mother was born in Freudenthal  Odessa December 22, 1924.  On March 5, 2021 as she slept she was taken into the arms of Jesus.  Our family has been deeply blessed by the love of our mother, Oma and Uhr Oma, her love will follow us eternally and in many generations to come.  Our mom and our dad taught us the value of family, church, faith, hope and friendship.  They were unrelenting in those values. Was our mother an easy mom..Never!  She persevered and loved us unconditionally.

Our mom fled her home in Freudenthal  alone during the atrocities of the second world war.  Saying she was a refugee, she escaped to Denmark and worked, later after some resistance from the Danish Government on her wish to return to Germany she exposed the only picture of her brother Fritz as proof of her German status.  She was allowed to go and found her way to Hildesheim Germany.  After much searching she was reunited with her brother Oskar and his new family in Hildesheim.  There she met our father Wilhelm Ridke and they married.  Three years later they were given a very quick opportunity to leave Germany and go to Canada.  They left everything behind and my mom and dad left for Canada on a freighter with myself and sister Erda with only hope in their hearts.  Our train ride through Canada left us in Cranbrook, a very small town in the bush, a contrast to what they had left behind. This became home and they soon made friends some of which are still with us today.   And the journey continued.  Our brother Klause was born then our sister Rosemarie.  Our family has grown in proportion  to those early days and mom has loved each and every one of us.

Our mother’s accomplishments in  Cranbrook were many. She raised her family, visited the sick, comforted the dying  and fed those hungry.  Mom was involved in the building of Mount Zion Lutheran Church and was a member of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League.  She worked at then,  St. Eugene Hospital and then Cranbrook Regional Hospital.  Mom was the oldest member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, she was one of the founders of the German Canadian Club in Cranbrook.  Mom and dad along with their dear friends built a legacy in Cranbrook, they taught us that despite hardships there was always time to celebrate and that we did!

Mom was predeceased by our dad in 2011 and her son-in-law Bob Bysterveld in 2010, her mother Pauline Renner, father Wilhelm Renner, Oskar and Ellie Renner, and Fritz Renner.  She leaves behind in Germany her sister Tante Berta and Johannes, Sieglinde, Roland and Bjorn as well as many other family members.  Mom leaves to mourn Gabriele {Gabi} }{Toijonen} Bysterveld, grandson Kris Toijonen, wife Nikki and great grand daughter Ava Toijonen, grandson Curtis Toijonen, Boyd ,Faith and Bryce Bysterveld, Erda and Gerry Walsh grandchildren children, Lydia and husband Neil Lindsay, great grandchildren, Faith and Alan, Gerald and Deb Walsh, great grand daughter Samantha, husband Brett Freeman, Jaimie and husband Alejandro, great, great, grandson Luca Quiroz,  Klause and June Ridke, grand daughter  Megan, great granddaughter Maddy, Tammy,  Rosemarie Ridke, grandchild Delon Ridke  and wife Kristiana, great grandchildren  Draycen and Daxton.

Our mother’s love and life will be with us always.  She lived her’s unselfishly with perseverance, dignity and grace.  Her reunion with heaven must be glorious now as we are left to mourn, God’s Peace mom, until we are together again this is not good bye, but see you later.

In view of our inability to gather at this time due to COVID our memorial service will be announced at a later date when safe to do so.


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