Mom had the best laugh. It was spontaneous, contagious, and filled the room with such joy. Often it was near silent as she covered her face with her hands while her tears flowed and her whole body shook. Ours smiles beamed and we laughed with her and were transported to a place of safety and joy and love that enveloped each one of us. It was a gift that she gave over and over throughout our lives and one that will endure.
Mom was creative, skilled, resourceful and had a tenacity that carried her through ongoing physical challenges and great personal loss. She was an introvert at heart and home was everything to her, and her family was her greatest source of security and happiness. Home was not a place any of us dreaded being, and we returned there over and over our entire lives and each time it was a gift.
Mom suffered many health issues throughout a good portion of her life. By far the cruellest of these was dementia. It took her to a place of great anxiety, loneliness and fear that she could not escape. That combined with the isolation from her family during the Covid pandemic made for a period of insurmountable suffering and mental and physical diminishment for her. Often times when we could be with her that suffering was momentarily eased by her wit and humour, but also with moments of agonizing clarity for her where she fully understood what she had lost and the trajectory of her future. Those were the most heart wrenching moments to be in mom’s presence.
Mom loved her children fully and equally. She loved her grandchildren. She loved her great grandchildren. Mom lost three significant members of her family that she loved dearly, her daughters Karen and Gail and her daughter-in-law Ingrid. However her greatest loss came with dad’s passing in 2015 which left a huge void in mom’s life that none of us could fill for her no matter how much we wished we could. Mom and dad were an inspiring team that brought out the best in each another. They parented equally and exceptionally, ran their household in tandem, dreamed together, travelled together to be with their children and grandchildren, continually challenged one another, and never stopped supporting each other. They loved one another early and long and were together for almost 63 years. Through everything mom endured over the last 6 years she never stopped missing dad or asking after him or wanting to be with him.
The ways that mom’s life has enriched the lives of us five remaining siblings (Terry, Craig, Bob, Jeff and Kim) and our families can never be be fully measured or recounted. It will come to us repeatedly through memories and stories and legacies that will last our lifetime. Mom loved her family completely and was loved fully in return. Her faith carried her through her life and grace set her free to fulfill her greatest longing to be with dad again. Thanks Mom for raising and nurturing us, for loving us fully, for inspiring us to be truly ourselves, for accepting us just as we are, and for showing us that even in the darkest moments of life laughter will draw us together and help guide us through. We will miss you deeply but are so thankful you were finally able to go. We will always celebrate you with joy, laughter, love and unyielding gratitude. Journey well mom.
Ina Mae Schellenberg (nee Hiebert) was born in Didsbury AB on April 19, 1932 and died on February 1, 2022 in Winnipeg, MB.
Ina was predeceased by her husband John Schellenberg in 2015, her daughters Karen Beriault (2002) and Gail Schellenberg (2020), and her daughter-in-law Ingrid Janssen (2015).
She is survived by five of her children, Terry (Brenda), Craig (Patricia), Bob (Sandi), Jeff, and Kim (Byron), son-in-law Mike (Sylvia), 17 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren, and her sister Verda (Toby).
Mom’s generous spirit touched many throughout her life. If you feel led to acknowledge her passing in a more tangible way, please give to a charity of your choice in her memory.
An online Memorial Service for Ina is available on the dropdown menu (on mobile) or the side menu (desktop) of this tribute page.
You can also copy and paste this link into your web browser: https://youtu.be/20tjKaK557Y
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.