Lydia Retzlaff

Lydia Retzlaff (Klassen)

Sunday, February 10th, 1935 - Thursday, February 27th, 2020
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Lydia (Klassen) Retzlaff passed peacefully into her eternal home with Jesus at the age of 85 years on Thursday, February 27, 2020 at 4:45 PM at home surrounded by family.

Lydia was born February 10, 1935 in Coaldale, Alberta to Jacob and Aganeta Klassen, the sixth of their twelve children. On November 18, 1956, Lydia married Jacob Retzlaff and they were blessed with four children.

Lydia was predeceased by her parents Jacob and Aganeta Klassen, brothers, Jake, Dave, Daniel, and Henry, sisters-in-law, Linda Klassen and Mary Klassen, and nephew James Harder.

Left to mourn her passing are her husband of 63 years, Jake, her son, Glenn (Charlene) Retzlaff and their children, Brent (Rue), Cameron (Chelsea), Steven, and Tyler; daughter, Chandra (Kelly Janzen) and their children, Travis, Vanessa, Marissa, and Derek; daughter, Lorena (Trevor Janzen) and their children, Leticia, Jonathan, Rebecca, and Benjamin; and daughter, Cindy (Marvin Grasmeyer) and their children, Kristin, Alianna, Elias, Naomi, Vivian, and Josiah. Lydia will be sadly missed by her sisters, Nettie (Willie Hildebrandt), Amelia (John Dyck), Heidi (John Retzlaff), Sara (Dave Derksen), and Katie (Dennis Harder), brother, Gerald (friend Ralyn) Klassen, and sister-in-laws, Elizabeth, Susan, and Hilda Klassen, and numerous nieces and nephews, and the extended Retzlaff family.

It was during Youth retreats that Lydia and Jake met and then they began to visit at Bible school. Their relationship blossomed resulting in marriage. Lydia thought she had married a farmer, but after one year on the farm in Rosemary, they made the decision to move to Calgary and both enrolled in Business College. Through the years, Lydia supported Jake with all the charitable organizations that he worked with; specifically with MCC Alberta, where she did a lot of the secretarial work. Later on when Jake set up his own accounting practice, she once again played an important role in working alongside him in whatever area he needed.

Lydia was baptized in the Coaldale Conference Church on June 6, 1954. She spent two winter terms at the Mennonite Bible Institute in Didsbury. Church life was very important to Lydia. She volunteered in her youth and continued throughout her life. She was involved in various capacities with Sunday School, Religious Education at the public school, DVBS, and Girls Club. She was very involved with a refugee family that was sponsored by the Foothills Mennonite Church. Also, Lydia volunteered for many years at the MCC Thrift Store. She enjoyed working together with other ladies from the church.

Lydia lived a rich and fulfilling life. Her greatest passion was spending time with her children and grandchildren. She also loved gardening, outdoors, camping, hosting, and singing. Lydia blessed many with her kind and caring personality.

After a brief struggle with cancer, we are grateful that Lydia was able to go to be with her Lord and Saviour. Relatives and friends are invited to a visitation at Choice Memorial (105-4715 13th Street NE) on Thursday, March 5, 2020 from 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm. Graveside Service will be held at Queen's Park Cemetery (3219-4th Street NW) on Friday, March 6, 2020 at 11:30 am. A Celebration of Lydia's life will follow at Foothills Mennonite Church (2115 Urbana Road NW) on Friday, March 6, 2020 at 2:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to MCC Alberta, 2946 – 32 Street NE, Calgary, Alberta T1Y 6J7. To view and share photos, condolences and stories of Lydia, please visit Arrangements entrusted to the care of Choice Memorial Cremation & Funeral Services (403) 277-7343.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Thursday, March 5th, 2020 | 7:00pm - 8:30pm
    Thursday, March 5th, 2020 7:00pm - 8:30pm
    Choice Memorial
    105 - 4715 - 13th Street NE
    Calgary, Alberta T2E 6M3
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Friday, March 6th, 2020 | 2:00pm
    Friday, March 6th, 2020 2:00pm
    Foothills Mennonite Church
    2115 Urbana Rd NW
    Calgary, Alberta T2N 4B9
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Friday, March 6th, 2020 | 11:30am
    Friday, March 6th, 2020 11:30am
    Queen's Park Cemetery
    3219-4th Street NW
    Calgary, Alberta T2M 3A6
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Elma Voth

Posted at 02:27pm
Dear Uncle Jake, Glen, Chandra, Lorena and Cindy:
Don and I send our heartfelt sympathy to you and all the grandchildren on the loss of your wife, mother and grandmother. May you be comforted by the knowledge that she has no more pain and is with her Heavenly Father. I’m sure she and dad had a great reunion. May you feel the Lord’s peace and comfort at this time.
Also, one of my very strong memories of Aunt Lydia was how much she loved her grandchildren and how proud she was of them!! She glowed when she spoke of them. I was so impressed!!

john piera

Posted at 08:09pm
Chandra, Cindy, Glen, Lorena, and Jake,
On behalf of our family, please accept my condolences. We knew Lydia through church events and she was always kind, gentle and helpful. Her love for Jesus flowed through her and spread over all she came in contact with. I will always think of her on February 10 as it is a birthday that she and I share.
John and Iris

Wanda Lepp

Posted at 10:43am
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Uncle Jake, Glen, Chandra, Lorena, Cindy and families. May all your happy memories help you through this difficult time.
Irv and Wanda Lepp


Janzen Marlene

Posted at 11:07pm
My heartfelt sympathy to all the families. I remember Lydia as a gracious host, always willing to extend the table so family and friends could gather in the Retzlaff home.

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 05:28pm
Our thoughts and prayers are with you. With 2 Timothy 4.7: I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith
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