Elizabeth "Elsie" HarderApril 28, 2017
Elizabeth “Elsie” Harder, age 93, was ushered into the presence of our LORD on Friday, April 28, 2017 at Cypress House, Swift Current, SK. Elizabeth “Elsie” Emma Harder was born to George & Elizabeth “Lizzie” Sawatzky on March 13, 1924 on a farm near Aberdeen, SK. She was the oldest of five children – three girls and two boys. Elsie received her public schooling at New Steinbach School, which was a 2½ mile ride by horse and buggy (or sleigh), and her high school in Aberdeen. Elsie wanted to take teacher’s training, and could have started before finishing grade 12, but her parents advised her to finish grade 12 first. While teaching, she took university classes in summer and received her bachelor’s degree. Elsie taught at the School for the Deaf for six years and continued taking summer classes in Edmonton, AB for this specialized teaching. After teaching for 12 years, Elsie got the position of Supervisor of Libraries in the Saskatoon West School Division, and enjoyed her 19 years there. Elsie accepted Christ as her Saviour at the age of 13, and was baptized in 1940. After teacher’s training, both Elsie and her sister Tina attended the Briercrest Bible College in Caronport, SK. It was said that Dr. Hildebrand didn’t realize there were two sisters there until they sang a duet in their second year. Elsie was very involved in church ministries such as Sunday School, choir, Ladies Fellowship, and served with Stonecroft Ministries as the Saskatoon area rep for Saskatchewan. She also served on church council at Nutana Mennonite Brethren Church, and that is perhaps how she got to know Peter Harder. After he was widowed for several years, Elsie and Peter were married on June 27, 1981 at Nutana Church in Saskatoon, SK. They moved to Abbotsford, B.C. in October of 1983. Later, they enjoyed many winters in Mesa, Arizona. After Peter’s passing, Elsie moved back to Saskatoon in 2001. In the summer of 2012, she moved to Swift Current and enjoyed her stay at Riverview Village Estates until early 2017, when a move to Cypress House was made to facilitate increased nursing care needs. Elsie was predeceased by her father, George Sawatzky, in 1961; her sister, Tina Toews, in 1989; her mother, Lizzie Sawatzky, in 1998; her husband, Peter Harder, in January 1999; and by two step-children, Voleda (Edwin) Kliewer) and Glen Harder. She is survived by her step-children, Ray Harder and Debra Harder; her step-grandchildren; her brothers, Wilmer Sawatzky of Aberdeen, SK, Harvey (June) Sawatzky of Enderby, BC; her sister, Vivian (Henry) Thiessen of Herbert, SK; and by her nieces and nephews, Dean (Brun) Sawatzky, Karri (David) Gregor, Renée (Terry) Evashkevich, Richard (Suzanne) Thiessen, Ruth (Jamie) Callender, Karen (Ken) Dyck. The Funeral Service for Elsie Harder was held on Friday, May 19, 2017 at 2:00 pm from Forrest Grove Church, Saskatoon, SK with Pastor Harry Strauss officiating. “There is a Fountain” and “A Wonderful Savior is Jesus My Lord” were sung by the congregation, with Renée Evashkevich serving as pianist. Special music was brought by Harvey & June Sawatzky. Tributes were given by Ray Harder on behalf of the Harder Family, and Vivian Thiessen on behalf of the Sawatzky Family. The Private Family Interment Service preceded the Funeral Service from the Aberdeen Cemetery, Aberdeen, SK with John Krahn, Art Lehn, Paul Neustaedter, Dean Kliewer, Mark Sawatzky, Dean Sawatzky, and Richard Thiessen serving as Pallbearers.
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