Lydia Jean (Rempel) Lehn
1930 - 2020
Passed away peacefully on July 30th, at the age of 90 years. Lovingly remembered by children Alfred (Janet), Arnold (Lorna), Marlene (Michael), Anna, and Jean (Mark). Loving Oma (grandmother) to Craig (Danielle), Shawn, Carrie, Ian (Melodie), Nika, Simon and Aaron. Doting great grandmother to Charlotte, Emmeline and Adaline. Survived by sister Nelly and brother Helmut (Inge), and in-laws Jake (Elizabeth) and Christine. Caring aunt to many nieces and nephews.
Predeceased by her devoted husband Peter Lehn, parents George and Elizabeth Rempel, sister Hilda (Peter), and many in-laws.
She was born on March 12, 1930 in Hanley, Saskatchewan, the second child of George and Elizabeth Rempel. In the early 1930s when the prairies turned into a dustbowl, the family moved to the "bushland" west of Struan. Lydia joked that she and her older sister Hilda were the "prairie chicks" and her younger siblings Nelly and Helmut were the "bush bunnies."
Lydia was always appreciative of her parents who worked hard to provide for the family. Her father could make or fix almost anything. Her mother sewed their clothes and baked (her specialty was Christmas chocolate). Lydia also fondly remembers her grandparents who were doting and generous.
She had many happy memories of the one-room school at Wilson Lake. The yearly Christmas concert was especially exciting with songs and treats. In 1939, she was one of the students who visited Saskatoon to see the King and Queen. There were tragic times too. An aunt and an uncle died young. A neighbour boy drowned in the lake. These memories stayed with Lydia her whole life.
The Rempel family moved to the Niagara region when Lydia was 12 years old. Lydia was baptized in 1949 on confession of her faith in St. Catharines. It was a long way from home to the church for catechism, but Lydia enjoyed the classes and the singing. One of her Sunday school teachers gave her a printed Bible verse that she treasured: "I will praise the Lord always."
When living out in the bush of Saskatchewan, Lydia's family would go to the "Lehn mansion" to visit the many Lehn kids. The Lehns moved to Ontario in 1949, so now both families were in the same province. Lydia made sure that Peter Lehn didn't forget her, and they were married in 1952.
Lydia and Peter started raising their family in Leamington, but eventually moved to a small farm on Concession 6. She took on the role of making meals as a craft. Out of one batch of zwieback dough she could produce a pizza, buns and a platz. Over the years, Lydia collected many cookbooks and was always happy to try out a new recipe, especially desserts. Her kids' favourites are probably her cinnamon buns and apple or raspberry-rhubarb platz (which we were allowed to eat for breakfast when visiting as adults). She also canned pickles and fruit, and made many types of jam.
When not in the kitchen, Lydia was weeding the garden wearing her straw hat. She hoed so much that she eventually wore down the hoe blade to half its original size. Lydia was also expert at using a vintage washing machine and hanging laundry outside in record time. Lydia also knitted baby clothes, hats, slippers, teddy bears, and sewed clothes for the kids and their dolls.
When the kids left home, Lydia and Peter upgraded to the house on Bruce Avenue where Lydia continued to bake and garden. Grandchildren also learned to bake or cook in her kitchen. Some family members developed the uncanny ability to drop in just as baked goods were coming out of the oven. She also became an expert at garage sale finds, and the grandchildren's toy box was always well stocked with fascinating items that even adults played with.
Lydia’s life was full with family, church community, friends, ladies aid group and her strong trust in God. She was always grateful for the recorded services and support of North Leamington United Mennonite Church when she could no longer participate for health reasons. We are grateful to the Leamington Mennonite Home for the increased care from staff in the last months of Lydia's life, especially during the pandemic when she increasingly needed more assistance.
Condolences can be shared with the family at a visitation at Reid Funeral Home, 14 Russell St., Leamington, on Tuesday, August 4 from 6:30-7:30pm. A private service will be held on Wednesday, August 5 followed by burial at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery. Due to COVID restrictions, visitation at Reid Funeral Home is limited to a specific number of visitors at a time. ONLY THOSE WITH AN APPOINTMENT WILL BE ALLOWED IN. PLEASE BOOK AN APPOINTMENT AT www.reidfuneralhome.ca TO SECURE A DESGINATED TIME TO PAY YOUR RESPECTS. All visitors must remain in their cars in our parking lot until their designated time and one of our staff members comes to invite you into our facility. Everyone must wear a mask.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Mennonite Central Committee or Leamington Mennonite Home.
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