Obituary of Bertha Evelyn Epp
Bertha Evelyn Epp, after 82 years of living, passed on into the health and wholeness found in God’s presence from her home at Elmview Nursing Home on March 9, 2019. She leaves behind her husband of nearly 62 years, Arnold, of Regina; and her children John (Charity) of the Cayman Islands, Carla (Gary) of Toronto, and Joy of Moose Jaw. Bertha’s son Steven passed on before her in January 2018. Also left behind are her sister Laura of Saskatoon; her grandchildren Troy of Moose Jaw and Stacy (Phil); great- grandchildren Garrett, Katjana, Malcolm and Annika of Leduc; numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and honorary grandchildren as well as her beloved community of Argyle Road Baptist Church in Regina.
Bertha was born in Wilkie, Saskatchewan to Edythe and Elmer. She was a middle child of six with three older siblings (Jean, Jay, and Spencer, all deceased) and two younger siblings (Patrick, deceased, and Laura of Saskatoon). Growing up on the farm in the White Swan School District with a view of the Eagle Hills had its hardships and its joys, the most significant joy being Bertha’s delight in her baby sister Laura.
Bertha’s family moved into North Battleford in 1950 where Bertha graduated from North Battleford Collegiate in 1955. She was accepted by the Saskatchewan Hospital into its Psychiatric Nursing program and graduated in 1958. It was at the Hospital where Bertha and Arnold met – Bertha was nursing and Arnold was working as an orderly.
After marrying and starting their family in The Battlefords, they moved to Swift Current where Arnold began his career with Farm Credit Corporation. Bertha managed the household and entered in fully to the life of the Baptist church community there. The Epp family moved into Regina in 1973 where Bertha continued to manage the household that, by then, included four Epp and many more children for she hosted a day home, caring for young children allowing their Moms to go to work. In the late 1980’s, Bertha began working for Wascana Home Care and continued to do so until she retired. She then turned her attention to serving the international student community and to serving children through several after school kids clubs. To dozens of children she was Aunty Bertha. They were gifted with her stories – sometimes told through her alias – ‘Callie the Clown’, and her delicious baking. Bertha was honoured by the Pregnancy Counselling Centre with the ‘Mother/Grandmother of the Year’ award in 2001 and, in 2011, the Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation recognized both Arnold and Bertha with the Global Citizen Award in recognition of outstanding contribution to international equality and justice.
While there had been some signs of forgetfulness before the trauma of breaking her hip from a fall in February 2014, the injury seemed to fully initiate a journey with Alzheimer’s Dementia. Arnold ensured that she was fully cared for at their home. The Adult Day Program at Pioneer Village helped immensely. When mobility became a concern, the staff, residents and volunteers at Elmview Nursing Home welcomed her. They and Arnold faithfully cared for her there since October 2017.
A Celebration of Bertha’s Life and Faith will be held at Argyle Road Baptist Church, 3510 Argyle Rd, Regina, SK, on Friday, March 15, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Ryan Emmons officiating.