Marta Rucks

Marta Rucks (Wittin)

Monday, August 23rd, 1926 - Thursday, March 21st, 2019
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Marta Rucks
1926 – 2019

It is with great sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of Marta Rucks (nee Wittin) at the Estevan Regional Nursing Home on Thursday, March 21, 2019 at the age of 92 years.

Marta was predeceased by her husband Ewald in 2019 and two children, Garwin in 1961 and Doren in 2007. Marta was also predeceased by her four sisters, Emmy, Meta, Freda and Herta as well as her parents, Arnold and Bertha Wittin in Germany.

Marta is survived by her children and their families: Reita MacDonald of Saskatoon, SK and her children, Patrick and Michael; Edwin (Sheri) of Frobisher, SK and their children, Emily (Andrew) and their daughter Hazel, Aaron and his daughter Bly, and Laura; Dieter (Marlene) of Frobisher, SK and their children, Cory (Tia) and their sons, Harbyn, Fentyn and Kamdyn, Devin (Lauren) and their children Dominic and Naomi; and Dustin (Ashley). She will also be missed by her sister Lenchen in Germany;a special niece Gisela Hammermeister of Winnipeg, MB as well as a special Godson and nephew Harold Weiss in Winnipeg, MB.

Marta grew up as the youngest of 6 daughters in the eastern part of Germany. Towards the end of the war, at the age of 18, she travelled along with her young nephew aged 12 to the western part of Germany where her oldest sister lived and planned to stay with her. There she met Ewald and they were married in 1947, a life they shared together for almost 72 years.

In 1948, a son was born and together the family embarked on a life changing journey to Canada where they homesteaded and farmed south of Frobisher. They were long standing members of St John’s Lutheran Church in Frobisher until moving to Estevan.

Later years when Marta and her husband Ewald moved to a condo in Estevan, she continued her passion for growing flowers, welcoming others into her home with fresh baking, playing her organ and sewing. She was a member of St Peter’s Lutheran Church when her and Ewald moved to

The family is grateful to the nurses and caregiver staff at the Estevan Regional Nursing Home for their tremendous care for Mom during her short time there.

The Funeral Service was held on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Estevan, SK with Rev. Jason Schultz officiating. The lunch reception was held following the service in the church auditorium. Interment will take place at a later date.

If friends so desire memorial donations may be made to the charity of one’s choice in memory of Marta.

Yvonne Clark at Hall Funeral Services, Estevan assisted Marta’s family.

Eulogy by Reita MacDonald (daughter)

My Mom - Marta
I want to thank you on behalf of our family for being here to share the grief we are all feeling in the passing of our dear mom.

Less than months ago, many of you were here after we lost my dad, Ewald. I knew that life was going to be a challenge for mom since they had been together in a marriage of 71 years. At one point at the Nursing Home when dad was really not doing well, mom pulled herself up in her wheelchair close to him and held both of his hands and said “I want to go where you go”. She seemed to hold on to this prayer and in the end her prayers were finally answered. Although my heart aches, I hold on to knowing they are still together.

Like my dad, my mom was a deeply religious and spiritual person. She taught us the importance of prayer and to be thankful for the many things that we are blessed with. Her true spiritual faith is what gave her strength in the not so easy times. There were many not so easy times.

Mom was the youngest of 6 daughters born to Arnold and Bertha Wittin. She grew up in eastern Germany and went to school until the age of fifteen, at which time WW II broke out. She then worked in a church and on the grounds and cemetery area of the church. She also worked for a short time on a farm and in a hospital. Near the end of the war, Mom at the young age of 18, along with her even younger 12 year old nephew Frank, fled to western part of Germany where her oldest sister Meta lived and she planned to stay and wait out the war. This was not easy travelling as there was always the possibility of confrontation with soldiers. During this time she helped out on the farm. This is where she met my dad and they were married in 1947.

In 1948, Garwin was born and together the family crossed the ocean by boat on a life changing journey to Canada and homesteaded south of Frobisher. My mom had some challenges in her life time, some greater than any of us may have encountered or will ever encounter. Life through the war and losing her own mom at a young age of 50 was one thing. She also had to say good-bye to the rest of her family - her sisters whom she has always been very close to…AND on arriving in Canada, she could not speak English. But given her determination, perseverance, courage and mental strength, she carved out her own life on the farm. She enjoyed the peacefulness of being outdoors in her yard and garden. She worked hard at all that needed to be done and I’m sure many of you know farm life, it was hard and sometimes endless work. She did that, never complaining. We saw the constant products of her hard work. I remember the many times that mom would take us out mushroom or wild strawberry picking. As a family we were often out to the banks of the Souris River or our own pasture for an afternoon of chokecherry and Saskatoon berry picking.

Through mom, we enjoyed nature and all it offered. We often wondered why mom had such a big garden! Besides having enough fruit and vegetables for our own family, I can’t help but think it was due to the joy it brought to pass on some of the extras (there was plenty) to family and friends. But there may also have been another reason. There were 5 of us and somehow she managed to know how and when to delegate some of the load she had and keep us 5 squabbling kids in line. I remember well how us older ones were handed a pail and hoe and sent into the garden, yard or chicken coop. It started with doing what we should have realized was pleasant work - picking off potato bugs and getting rid of those nasty yellow plants - we called dandelions.

I think our squabbling errors were realized too late. We were then handed and spent a morning or two cleaning the chicken coop…..IMAGINE THAT!! Cleaning that was almost unbearable. We learned not to complain - maybe a trait us kids adopted as well; and to mom there was never any harshness to her instructions or parenting, at least none that I can remember. Her style was soft, gentle but always firm. I think eventually we found more constructive things to do on our own.

Mom loved and cared deeply about her family. On my many visits from Saskatoon to see my parents, whether on the farm or in Estevan, I would typically stay for a week. My mom went to a great extent to make special meals that I liked. In Estevan, she went to an even greater extent to go to the store to get the food I liked to eat. In the morning, she would wait to have breakfast with me and had my coffee ready as I was coming up the stairs from the room where I was staying. My mom enjoyed welcoming others into her home and making them feel warm and comfortable. It didn’t take long for others to feel that mom was always this way, her concern for others to feel good. There was never a lack of freshly baked honey cookies, butter horns, butter tarts, Saskatoon berry pies and jams. Much of these including a special Klasse meal were favorites of most of our family. Leftovers and a generous package of goodies was always sent home with family that visited.

Cory, Devin, Dustin, Emily, Aaron, Laura, Patrick and Michael - you as grandchildren meant the world to my mom and she loved having you around. I am sure you know that, over the years and even more recently mom took great pleasure in giving you many of her treasured gifts. You will have something in your own homes I am sure that was made especially for you, either a quilt or needlepoint print or a special hummel figurine that she earmarked for you. I KNOW how much time she spent in making some of these treasures and the tremendous joy she had in giving them to you. Recent years mom enjoyed seeing 7 great grandchildren getting their feet off the ground. She had a special place in her heart for them also.

Later year’s mom and dad moved to a condo in Estevan where they lived for 12 years. There she continued her passion for growing flowers and it sure didn’t take long for her to settle in. She filled every available space with flowers. She enjoyed visiting with all of her neighbors, especially with Evelyn who lived next door, since they shared the same love of plants. In the winter, she could be seen outside collecting snow and in the
summer rain for her plants. Using the water hose was easy, but mom felt the water was too cold for the flowers. She insisted on filling the watering jugs from the hose the day before so that the water is warm enough to water her plants. Definitely harder work hauling jugs, but plants needed the best too. She managed to do this from her condo even after she lost some of her mobility. She shared with me the story that dad didn’t like her going outside on her own because he was afraid she might fall. Her alternative was to wait until dad left the condo for groceries or pay bills. She wanted me to keep hushed about this and of course I did.

I think I am unbiased here when I say that she had the nicest looking flower bed. I had many chuckles at times when I watched the mom and dad operate in their condo. Mom wasn’t going to give up being boss in the kitchen, even though dad now had the time and wanted to help Dad really knew very little about cooking. He tried to help in this own way, but found himself at odds, having to do things twice before it met with mom’s approval. It took dad some time to realize that all he needed to do was listen more carefully because every word meant something. A pan wasn’t just a pan - it was THE pan and it had to be the right size pan for the number of potatoes that were being cooked. …too funny! I had prepared meals with mom for a long time and I knew my place as a helper. Dad eventually just smiled and things always worked out.

My mom - there is so much to say, but my mom is best described by her actions, her kindness, her genuine desire to help others, her patience and her fierce loyalty and love for our family. This and much more about my mom tells us the beautiful person she was, both inside and out. She had the most beautiful smile. I will cherish the many precious moments we had together, sitting side by side, holding hands, either silently or in conversation in her little sitting room. I am sure that Edwin and Dieter would agree, if there is to be such a thing as a perfect parent and perfect mom, she was was all of that to us. By her own example, she gave me the strength and wisdom to face my own challenges in life and to be such an example to my own children in order to pass on some of her convictions. I am sure all her grandchildren would agree she was the perfect Oma.

Mom you lived an honourable life, with integrity, compassion and respect. Our family has been truly blessed to have had you as our mom, our Oma and our great Oma. Words cannot describe the void we are feeling now and in the days to come.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Tuesday, March 26th, 2019 | 2:00pm
    Tuesday, March 26th, 2019 2:00pm
    St. Peter's Lutheran Church
    130 Souris Avenue
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Rev. Jason Schultz
  • Interment

    Souris Valley Memorial Gardens
    Highway 39 West
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Reception

    St. Peter's Lutheran Church
    130 Souris Avenue
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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