The time came for the final chapter of life on earth for Marita Erika Kith. On April 17th, 2020, Mom was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). For the next 11 months, during a global pandemic, she thrived and continued to live her best life by showering love on her family, reminiscing with old friends, making new friends at Cancer Care, telling her stories (some of them over and over and over again), and facing every day with enthusiasm to experience moments of joy. On March 12th, 2021, she started her afterlife journey.
On June 23rd, 1949, Gus and Nelly Rohde, along with her “big old sister” Brigitte, welcomed Marita into the world in Bremke, Germany. In 1953 the family immigrated to Winnipeg, and in 1960 they settled into their brand new home on Arrowwood Drive N. Brigitte and Marita were often seen driving their Honda 50 or Karmann Ghia convertible to Garden City Collegiate, beehives secured against the wind! Marita thoroughly enjoyed her childhood… hot chocolate and toast with her sister, family dinners with her cousins, Dirk and Brita, sneaking off to the Bay, and family road trips.
In 1969, Marita married her high-school sweetheart Garfield Kissack. Over the next five years, she obtained her BA from U of W, taught courses at RRCC, and passed her real estate exams. Garfield followed her into the real estate profession and together they became the proud owners of Mr. and Mrs. Real Estate.
During this same busy time, Marita became Mom, welcoming Chad, Coco and Kierra Kissack into the world. Marita LOVED being a Mom. She was frequently seen scooting to open houses with her blonde, brunette and red head in tow. She played with us, taught us important (and unimportant) lessons, kissed all our booboo’s away, and was always 100% there for us, even when we messed up bad (although those experiences were always accompanied by the Mom look). She also LOVED being an Auntie to Ryan and Dee DeLeeuw (and families). Her niece and nephew always reciprocated all the love she had for them.
Mom relived many memories through story telling, especially stories from the days at Lake of the Woods: her and her sister cramming all five kids into the backseat to go get chips in Kenora; snow-mobile and ATC rides (and accidents); eating Omi’s pancakes; watching Opi haul gas down the stairs for the endless waterskiing; removing mostly dead fishflies and frogs from pockets; and, many games of Pass the Ace.
At the age of 33, Marita became a single Mom, and faced all the challenges head on. The family was as out of control as the hairdos in the 80’s, but there was always food in the fridge, clean clothes in the closet, presents under the tree and unconditional love and encouragement for us to be the best versions of ourselves.
Mom grew her amazing network of friends over the coming years. When she wasn’t busy with her best friend Diana working at their own company MaryLynn Cleaning, or, living the dorm life in Brandon while enrolled in Psychiatric Nursing program, she could be found enjoying the car races, at a cottage or campground fishing, snowmobiling on a winter trail, at a bar dancing the night away, or sitting in a sunray absolutely anywhere with a good book or junk magazine.
In 1993, the joy exploded out of Marita when she became a first time Grandma to Kitzianna. Over the years, her love of Grandma-ing extended to Griffin, Daveena, Jazmyn, Arriana and Katerina. She was their rock, always available to each for a laugh, a cry, a hug, a kiss. She also became Mother-in-law to Krystal and Jeff, and really enjoyed having two more kids to boss around.
In 1999, Mom married Dennis Kith and enjoyed 8 years of camping, Nutimik cottage, ice-fishing, blues bands and friends and family. She became Aunt to the Demski boys, and enjoyed every minute spent with them.
In 2001, her ‘family” grew immensely when she started working at St. Amant Centre. Her eyes sparkled with joy, and sometimes with tears, telling work stories about her clients, colleagues, and letters to the CEO. She was a fierce advocate for the clients.
In 2012, Mom exploded again with joy when she became a great-grandma to Mackenzie, and again three years later to “little April”. Her face lite up even brighter when she was being “Omi”, all except for a tobogganing trip to the Forks, but that’s a story for another time.
Finally, at the age of 69, Mom retired. She filled her days with visits to her Dads home to watch wrestling, lunches with her sister, and trying (and failing) to make a decent batch of slime for Mac and April.
Mom was totally not impressed with her diagnosis, but true to her realistic approach to all life issues and her positive attitude, she found the silver lining and was thrilled that she had the chance to be surrounded by the love from those she loved the most, whether in person, through text, phone calls or Facetime chat.
Mom and her family wish to thank the amazing staff at Victoria Hospital, Cancer Care, Palliative Care, the MAID team, and all the family and friends that filled her days. We also need a special shout-out to all the anonymous blood donors that made the last eleven months possible - thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
There will be a private family ceremony. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Winnipeg Harvest or RaY (Resource Assistance for Youth), or if you are up to it, a blood donation.
The world is full of amazing people, and she was one of them. Rejoice with the crows everyone!
We understand that there are many questions that arise when a death occurs. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer questions you may have and provide direction. Please call us if you require immediate assistance.