July 30, 1921 – November 28, 2020
It is with sadness, we as a family, announce the passing of Maria Stelke, our loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother on Saturday, November 28, 2020.
Beloved wife of the late Erwin Stelke (2007), loving mother to Bob Stelke, Karen Blom, Malcolm (d. 2020), and Marty, loving grandma to Matthew, Chris, Cassandra and loving great-grandmother to Landon and Astoria.
Maria was born on July 30, 1921, the third child of six children to Rudolf and Elisabeth Ortel in Jagendorf, Czechoslovakia. She grew up and had many fond memories living in Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia. Her love of children drew her to becoming a pediatric nurse working in Jena, East Germany and in Heidelberg.
In 1951, she traveled to Canada visiting her friends who moved to Vancouver. On the ship to Halifax, she met her future husband. Maria ended up staying in Vancouver, Canada after marrying Erwin Stelke.
Maria and Erwin had two children and after the threat of the Cuban missile crisis, they moved to Ruskin in Maple Ridge. She lived happily on acreage operating a Children’s Holiday Guest Ranch which led her to fostering numerous children over many years. Two very young children remained in her care. She raised them as her own until adulthood.
She loved caring for her farm animals, gardening, and later having her grandchildren living close by. She attended Wildwood Church in Whonnock for many years and made very dear friends from her church family. Maria and her husband were very involved in the Abbotsford-Mission Alpen Club and enjoyed hosting the annual picnics on their property.
After 40 years, Maria and Erwin moved to Abbotsford, BC and continued to enjoy their many friendships, her participation in the German Choir, and involvement with the Peace Lutheran Church.
A celebration of life, depending on the circumstances, will occur in July, 2021, which would have been her 100th birthday.
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