May 31, 1923 – Oct. 24, 2019
It is with extreme sadness and heavy hearts that the family of Marie Rathgeber announces her passing on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. She was 96 years young. Marie was born in Melville on May 31, 1923, to Bill and Anne Pilot. She was the oldest of three girls (sisters Olga and Natalie). The family lived on a farm outside of Melville and, although they didn’t have a lot, they were a happy, close-knit family. Marie completed her Grade 12 and, even though funds were low, her father wanted her to have an education and made it possible for her to go to Teacher’s College. In February of 1942, Marie got her first teaching position at Beresina School, where she taught 42 pupils from Grades 1 to 10. She was only 19 years old in a strange place away from her home and family and now was teaching children, some close to her own age. She would send half of her cheque home every month to help her family and would always bring gifts of clothing or fruit for her sisters when she got to come home for a holiday. In her 25 years of teaching at numerous schools, she made many friends and loved meeting up with previous teachers and students and hearing about their lives and accomplishments. On Nov. 14, 1947, Marie married Carl Rathgeber, son of John and Louise Rathgeber. So now her family of two sisters grew to a family of ten girls. That’s right, Carl was the only boy with seven sisters. During their marriage, Carl and Marie enjoyed a house full of family and friends, lots of dancing, playing cards and travelling, and nobody ever left her home hungry. She was a wonderful hostess and an awesome cook. Her cabbage rolls will be so missed. Marie loved reading, doing crossword puzzles, knitting, crocheting, bingo and the casino in her spare time. Carl and Marie had one daughter, Sandra, who they cherished and tried to give everything to. Sandra has two daughters, Tamara and Shona, who were the world to Carl and Marie. Both Carl and Marie were retired at this time so while Sandra worked, they would look after the girls after school, and Marie would always make sure there was a snack of cinnamon buns, cake or cookies – always something wonderful to eat at Grandma’s! Marie’s granddaughter Shona married Jesse Rhinas (our rock when Carl died), and they are blessed with three handsome, beautiful boys who Marie just couldn’t see enough of. They became her world, and hockey (something she knew nothing about) became her sport. Then Tamara married Dwayne Lakusta (another amazing man and father), and they are blessed with a daughter, Kamryn, whose dancing and swimming is making history. Marie now had four great-grandchildren and couldn’t have been happier hearing about and watching all of their achievements. They were her pride and joy, and she couldn’t wait to hear from them and anything about them, for they had more talent and skill than she could ever believe possible! She was so very proud of her family. Marie so looked forward to when she would get to go to Moose Jaw or Fort Saskatchewan (which was a long trip, but so worth it); these were her highlights until she couldn’t do it anymore. She became a resident of St. Paul Lutheran Home on July 19, 2019, where she resided until her eternal rest on Oct. 24, 2019. Marie was predeceased by her parents, husband Carl, sister Olga, six sisters-in-law and nine brothers-in-law. She leaves to cherish her memory: her daughter, Sandra; granddaughter Tamara (Dwayne), great-granddaughter Kamryn; granddaughter Shona (Jesse), great-grandsons Brady, Zachren and Nathan; sister Natalie and family; sister-in-law Betty and family; and many cousins, nieces and nephews. God be with you, Marie. Your family will always miss you and love you. Godspeed. Marie’s funeral service was held Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, at Matthews Funeral Home, Melville, with the Rev. Phillip Schwindt officiating. Organist Gaylene Matthews led the congregation in the singing of the hymns, “The Lord’s My Shepherd”, “Nearer My God to Thee” and “How Great Thou Art”. Marie’s great-grandchild Zachren Rhinas honoured her by singing his rendition of “Dancing in the Sky” by Dan and Lizzie. Interment took place in Melville City Cemetery with Wayne Remanda as urn bearer. Arrangements were entrusted to Matthews Funeral Home, Melville.