1934 ~ 2017
Mrs. Erna Schwarz of Lethbridge, beloved wife of the late Mr. Albert Schwarz, passed away at the Chinook Regional Hospital on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at the age of 83 years.
Erna was born on a farm in Siberia, Russia on August 14, 1934, to parents Auguste and Alexander Kaminski. She attended grade school in Germany and after the War, she upgraded and received her cook’s papers from the Lethbridge Community College. Erna’s hobbies included gardening, fishing and camping. She enjoyed politics, sports, bingo and watching game shows on tv.
Erna married Albert Schwarz in Germany in 1950. Together, they immigrated to Canada in 1952 with their son Ewald. During their first years in Canada, they worked on a farm around Picture Butte and then in the lumber industry in Burmis. They saved enough money for a down payment on a home in Lethbridge, where Albert worked in the construction industry and Erna as a cook until they retired. If you ate out at a restaurant anytime during Erna’s career spanning four decades, she probably cooked a meal for you. Erna worked at the Majorette Café in the 1950’s, the Marquis Hotel, at her own restaurant The Blue Sky Grill in the 1970’s, the Park Plaza in the 1970-1980’s and the Top of the Grandstand in the 1980-1990’s.
The term Super Mom aptly describes Erna. Through these years when times got tough, and there were plenty of those, she’d work two or sometimes even three jobs to make sure her family had everything they needed. She raised three children, Ewald, Egan, and Angie, took care of a sick husband, cooked, cleaned, painted the house, always had a large garden; she canned, pickled, preserved, and froze the produce to keep food costs down and ensure proper nutrition for her family.
After she retired, she kept right on gardening and looking after one or another disabled family member. Her hobbies slipped away one after another as she became more and more frail.
Still, she did her best to take care of her live-in houseguests or company as she called them, her dog Rusty and watch The Price is Right on TV.
Even though she suffered from depression and ill health, the staff at the Lethbridge Regional Hospital really liked her and took wonderful care of her. Thank you so much to all of those great caregivers.
A Memorial Service will be held at 1:00pm on Saturday, October 14, 2017 at MARTIN BROTHER’S RIVERVIEW CHAPEL, 610 – 4th Street South, Lethbridge, Alberta. Inurnment to follow in Mountain View Cemetery.