Mary Sadlier
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Obituary of Mary Sadlier

Mary Sadlier (nee Siemens) (nee Burkholder) 1912 ~ 2012 Mary was born February 26, 1912. She was the seventh living child of Johann and Maria (Born) Siemens who lived at Krasnopol in the Ukraine (or Siberia as it was then known). Mother’s parents had moved to Siberia in 1909. Mary’s parents built a nice log house. Except for the kitchen, floors were of painted wood. The kitchen floor was clay and dirt. Walls and ceilings required lots of "elbow grease” to clean at spring time. The clay oven her father built in the kitchen area was large. Her mother and older siblings baked a lot of bread and special pastries for the family and the many visitors who stopped by. It was a great place to keep warm during winter months. Visitors were common since her father was a minister. A number of events occurred the next fifteen years that would affect the course of Mother’s life and that of her family. On Mother’s third birthday, her mother passed away from complications of tuberculosis. That was February 26, 1915. Before her death, Maria suggested her father marry her sister Sara Born. When mother was thirteen the Bolshevik Revolution was in full swing. That was a period when evil spread like wildfire. Some mercy was shown to her family because of her father’s love, respect and willingness to hire Russians and to spread the gospel to all in the area. Unlike other places, the soldiers were ordered not to molest the girls. However, the family was ordered to bake for the soldiers and provide sleeping space. When the soldiers left, the horses were taken and little else left. By the miracle of God’s people and His providence, the majority of the family left with "the shirts on their backs”. They travelled to Neudochna, then to Tatarsk, then to Antwerp, and from there by ship to Vera Cruz, then Mexico City and from there by train to a village near San Juan. Mother’s fourteenth birthday was celebrated on the ship on the way to America (1926). Within a year her father passed away leaving the family with their step-mother. In 1928 the remaining family, minus the eldest brother, Hans, moved to Flowing Well, Saskatchewan where Mother attended the Herbert Bible School. During the year of 1933-34, Mother moved to Lethbridge where she worked as a housekeeper for a doctor. Then she moved to Duchess where she worked for the Lauver family. There she met John Burkholder. They were married at Tofield November 7, 1935 and resided on a small farm which he purchased near Duchess. Then in 1944 the family moved to the Town of Duchess where her work as a housewife with three children kept her busy. Dad passed away April 7, 1962. This left a large void in her life. However, she worked for a couple families at Brooks. She also worked at the Newbrook Lodge at Brooks. Then she moved to Clearbrook (1966) where she lived and worked at the Tabor Home. She also cared for her step-mother, Grandma Kliever. When Grandma passed away, Mother continued to live and work at Tabor Home. She assisted the home in various ways to make accommodations pleasant for its clients. She then became a resident of Tabor Home until she came back to Alberta. An invitation to be part of the wedding party for her eldest grandchild, Timothy LaRochelle and Tammy Sadlier resulted in another important change. She met Philip Sadlier who was the other member of the wedding party and was a widower. The Lord’s will was sought and resulted in their marriage September 17, 1988 near Baytree, Alberta. She and Phil enjoyed travelling and visiting. Mother had the joy of being a continuous caregiver for Phil in his last two years at home. They had very good nine years together before the Lord took Phil home July 10, 1997. This also left a deep void. He left a legacy of humour, education and a good assortment of living skills. Mother lived a full life. However, her view of her longevity was that she would likely not get past the age of thirty-five. In her youth she experienced the beauty of large gardens, orchards and fantastic baking in the Ukraine. In Canada she experienced care-giving, large canning projects, large gardens, cooking for three hungry children and a hard-working husband, and teaching her children how to survive in a changing world. She taught her children to mend our own stockings, do embroidery, knit, and crochet. She also taught how to cook, iron clothes and do the weekly clean-up around the house. She was a good cook and baker. Her cooking and baking impressed youth groups and other special groups who were hosted by Dad and Mother. She cared deeply about the spiritual wellbeing of us children and reminded us frequently of that fact. After Step-dad and Dad passed away, Mother lived in the house at Baytree for awhile, then moved to a small house near Edith’s place near Bonanza. When physical limitations caused difficulties in mobility, Mother moved to the lodge at Spirit River. At the end of May, 2011 she was moved to the Spirit River Continuing Care facility where she remained until her departure to heaven. She left us the evening of Saturday, February 11, 2012 approximately two weeks before her hundredth birthday. Mary is survived by two half-sisters: Betty at Penticton, and Erna at Abbotsford. Her children Harvey and Darlene (Sitler) of Three Hills, Harold and Mary (Van Bergen) of Duchess, and Edith Larochelle of Bonanza are also surviving her. She is also survived by her step-children Jim and Kathi (Finney), Paul and Becky (Martin), Tim and Gloria (Van Corbach), Terry and Tom Fatherree, Joanne and Don (Pesterfield), Kathy (Krehbiel) and Sean (Hopkins). She is also survived by numerous grandchildren and step-grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren. She loved them all. She was predeceased by four brothers (Hans, Henry, George, Cornelius), three sisters (Gertrude, Katherine, Helena), one half-sister (Sally), and one half-brother (David). She loved the wonderful staff at Pleasant View Lodge at Spirit River as well as the staff at the Continuing Care facility. She felt that the love and care was reciprocated. Now as she is at physical rest with a new life in heaven. She leaves many memories. A funeral service was held Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at Bonanza Hall, Bonanza, Alberta, an interment followed in the Hillhaven Cemetery, in Bonanza, Alberta.
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