WEISS – Martha Weiss was born on May 18, 1918 on the farm and raised in the Robinson district in Alberta. She married Emanuel Weiss and they lived in the Tothill district until 1951 when they moved to the Peacock ranch east of Maple Creek. Here they stayed ranching until 1964 when Emanuel retired and they moved to Maple Creek. During this time Grandpa may have been retired but Martha certainly wasn’t. She was a member of the United Church and the UCW evening group and the Rebekah Lodge and volunteered for the church at different events. Since she had too much spare time, Martha worked at the Cypress Lodge Nursing Home as a nurse’s aide for over 10 years and after she formally retired she continued to volunteer there. Martha cleaned homes for people in Maple Creek and of course she was an excellent babysitter.
Martha passed away peacefully on September 6, 2016 at the age of 98. She leaves to cherish her memory two sons; Laverne (Bernice) Weiss and Stan (Beth Weiss). One daughter-in-law Francis Weiss, one brother Arthur (Eileen) Hauck of Stoney Creek, Ontario. Two sisters-in-law Anna Hauck and Sally Hauck of Medicine hat. Martha also leaves behind numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren, great, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews who dearly missed her.
Martha was predeceased by her parents Peter and Magdalena Hauck, her husband Emanuel Weiss, daughter Marjorie Weiss, son Harold Weiss, two brothers Ralph and Emanuel Hauck, two sisters Pauline Weiss and Rosie Sailer and two brothers-in-law Ewald Weiss and Emanuel Sailer.
Martha, Mother, Grandma, Great Grandma, Great, Great Grandma and my personal favorite…Great Grandma Weiss (Martha) as she signed her greeting cards was a person larger than life. It is a monumental task to try to condense all the stories and loving memories people have of her so please forgive me if I have left something out.
Work…such an important part of Martha’s life. She always had “work to do” which started on the ranch and continued in later years in town. You never saw Grandma in earrings and fancy clothes because that wasn’t her way. She enjoyed working and took great pride in her garden and her home. She spent hours pulling weeds, raking pinecones and needles off her lawn. The only way to properly clean a floor is to get down on your hands and knees and wash it. There were no shortcuts, no easy ways in her life. You can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl and Martha was a good example. She loved her chickens…”dead or alive.” Connie Martin and Martha had a business deal and Connie reported faithfully to Martha on the condition of her birds, as they were a partnership, and Martha fulfilled her end of the bargain by helping butcher the chickens and this continued from 2001 until 2012 when Martha cleaned her last chicken at the young age of 94! Martha also enjoyed being around cows and she was in her glory driving around looking at the herd at Laverne’s ranch. I would be remiss not to mention that she was an expert cow milker as this was her job for many years but she always tried to attend brandings in the spring. In 2009 she branded a calf at Laverne’s branding, her first time at the age of 91.
Food..at the risk of offending some very good cooks here today Grandma was one of the very best! Where should I start? Cookies. Her chocolate chip cookies. How she would put so much goodness in one little cookies was amazing….I suspect that she had to give her recipe to Saint Peter on arrival as those cookies were heavenly. And the best part of her cookies was that when she handed them out willingly every time someone arrived for a visit. Another personal favorite of mine were her noodles. Grandma’s homemade noodles couldn’t be found anywhere else but her kitchen and they were delicious. Grandma enjoyed cooking but I believe she had greater pleasure watching people eat her meals. Nobody left her home hungry.
Grandma enjoyed her friends and socializing. When she wasn’t working in her yard you could find her walking around town with her “gang” of pals. Taking in the sites, vising with folks downtown and sometimes just sitting on Helen Thorson’s front porch were activities grandma enjoyed. Her circle of friends were important to her and to us as we knew we could count on Muriel to get Grandma downtown for Friday hair day and shopping.
Grandma lived life to the fullest. She never turned town an opportunity to try something new. When her grandson Brodie and his boss kept a helicopter at our ranch in the summer of 2012, the offer was made to give the family rides. While the rest of the family was receiving a talk on the do’s and don’ts of helicopter flight, Grandma was climbing in the chopper and ready to go! With her grandson at the controls and the helicopter at a 45 degree angle 94 year old grandma was yelling “woohoo” into the headset!
Grandma loved family and was immensely proud of her sons, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great grandchildren. Family was important to her throughout her life. She was proud to be a family of five generations. Babysitting her great grandchildren probably gave her the most pleasure. She doted on her great grandchildren, took them on walks to the park and adventures at the swimming pool and of course fed them roast chicken or beef roast or her famous noodles. Snacks were the best as the cookies would come out of the cupboard. She would go to yard sales and buy bikes so they had something to ride when they came to town. We always joked that we never had to take our kids to Disneyland because they went there every day! When things got out of hand Grandma would put her foot down and wasn’t afraid to discipline with a few words of German. We don’t know the translation of those phrases to this day. Of course she was tested continually but her “kids” loved her unconditionally.
Grandma enjoyed her summer holidays with Beth’s mother, Dorothy, when they would travel to Lethbridge to visit their grandchildren. The Dottie and Martie adventures…Summer holidays were not a usual event for Grandma. She grew up in tough times and was no stranger to hard work. She worked in the field helping with haying, did chores, milked cows and then prepared a meal for the men at lunchtime. Her work ethic is one of her traits that has been passed down to other generations of the family.
Grandma Martha was an example of everything that is good in this world. She was kind, thoughtful and considerate. She was never boastful or arrogant. Generous and helpful, Grandma was always willing to lend a hand. We are not sure how many hundreds of pies she sliced for the church. Hard working, but not to serious. She had a wonderful sense of humour and not so much pride that she couldn’t laugh at herself. Her laugh was infectious, she was a joy to be around and could tell a funny story even if it wasn’t mean to be funny. Grandma loved to have fun and her family loved to have fun with her. We will miss her.