Our beloved Anne passed away peacefully on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at the age of 88 years. She is survived by her loving husband Harold, son Ken, daughter Bonnie Friesen, and grandchildren Janell, Eric, Tracey and Laura. She is also survived by her brothers Walter (Erna), Bill (Stephanie), sister Lydia (Leonard Harder) sister in laws Elizabeth, and Martha and their families. She was predeceased by her sister Sarah Neufeld, Helen, and brothers John, Henry, and Peter and brother in law Peter Neufeld.
A Celebration of Anne’s Life will be held Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 2:00 pm at Foothills Mennonite Church (2115 Urbana Road NW, Calgary, AB).
Anne’s parents, Henry and Maria Braul immigrated from Russia Ukraine in 1928 to Beaverlodge Alberta to start a new life in Canada. Anne was born January 27, 1931 in Lymburn, and she was the middle child of 9 children.
The harsh conditions of homesteading in northern Alberta took its toll on the family and they made the decision together with extended family to move south to Rosemary in 1946 where they began farming again.
Her youthful days were spent helping her mother with the daily tasks on the farm and going to school. She was known to be a hard worker and wonderful help to her mother in taking care of her younger twin brothers and sister.
She was an avid learner who enjoyed school and was determined to finish high school. When deciding on her future, she thought of pursuing a career in the field of nursing or teaching. A summer of volunteer work in Winnipeg at a nursing home with MCC helped her to decide that teaching would suit her skills best. She attended Teacher’s college and obtained a bursary in return for teaching in a rural setting. She taught her first years in Gem and Duchess which was close to home for her. Following that she moved to Calgary and began a life-long teaching career for the Calgary Public School Board primarily as a grade 1 and 2 teacher. With her earnings she would purchase things for her parent’s home which included a washing machine, a china cabinet, davenport couch, and a set of dishes for the growing family and her mother’s love for fine china.
Living in the city Anne attended youth group and other activities at church. Many young adults were moving to the city for work and the church was the obvious gathering place to make new lasting friendships. This is where Anne met Harold Hildebrandt, the love of her life. They dated for a time enjoying the outdoors and trips to the mountains. Anne was not very interested in learning to drive a car, but Harold knew how important it would be for her to learn. One day they drove out of the city and they switched places. He got into the passenger seat and she in the driver’s seat and she drove all the way back to Calgary down Mcleod Trail, and straight to the licensing bureau to get her driver’s license. Her fierce determination became evident once again. Harold loved her for her free spirit, strength of character and love for God and his people. They made a wonderful couple and were married August 21, 1955 in Rosemary Ab.
Their son Ken was welcomed into the family in October 1956 and daughter Bonnie 4 1/2 years later completing their little family. They lived in their house on 35th St before moving to the new community of University Heights where their brother in law John Penner built them a new home. This was an exciting time as it was the same time that Foothills Mennonite Church was being built. Mom was happy to win the contest of naming the church! She has been a lifelong member of this church community.
During these busy family years, Anne also completed her BEd degree at the University of Calgary during the summer months. The family still managed to find time for vacations and some travel. Of course, being children of a teacher, each vacation had extra educational value added.
It was Alberta’s centennial year when they discovered Buffalo Lake near Stettler. Anne and Harold had found their dream project. She felt much joy in designing and building the cabin together. Many friends and family were recruited for work bees and gathering times. She cherished every moment at the lake.
Anne and Harold later moved to the community of Edgemont where they renovated a beautiful home to allow them to continue their lifestyle of entertaining. Mom’s home was larger now which could accommodate more family, friends and visitors.
When mom retired from teaching after 36 years in 1990, she was honored by her colleagues who knew her well. She celebrated with the 4 Gs- Grandchildren, Golf, Globe-trotting and Gardening. She loved spending as much time as she could with her treasured grandchildren before they moved to Manitoba. Every event in each of their lives was a highlight and celebrated by her. Anne enjoyed her weekly golf games. In winter she joined the ladies curling league. She and Harold traveled as much as they could around the world. They particularly enjoyed visiting their international friends in their home countries. Later retirement included camping in their 5th wheel trailer going golfing and hiking. She loved every minute of life and when they came home from a trip, she would spend endless hours in her garden enjoying the raspberries and peonies and fresh vegetables. Anne was also a very talented seamstress who meticulously stitched quilts and wall hangings together with great expertise.
Anne was devoted to a life of service to God, her husband, family and community. She was a kind cheerful helpful person whose laugh came easy. She encouraged her children and grandchildren to be people of strong character. She welcomed anyone who needed a place to live for a short stay or longer stay. Her home was always open. Our friends always had a place in her heart as well. She was interested in knowing and developing relationships without judgements. As many as 6 International students and countless others were recipients of her love and hospitality. She was a shining example of God’s love for us all.
Life became difficult for Anne in 2014 when Dementia became a common word. Day to day tasks became too hard to handle and it was time for them to move from their home in NW Calgary to the furthest SE corner of the city where they found the most suitable arrangement for them to live together as a couple. Immediately she was able to extend her warmth and graciousness to her new neighbours and friends in Auburn Bay. Those who loved Anne, family and friends, rallied around to help make their move possible and we as a family are forever grateful. She was moved to Age Care Midnapore in January 2018. Anne passed away peacefully on March 27, 2019 when her white chariot arrived to carry her to her eternal home