It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Aleida Zellweger of Alliance, on February 18, 2022. Aleida is predeceased by her parents, Hendrina and Gerhard and her brother Hendrik. She leaves behind her husband of 38 years, Shea Zellweger, her daughters, Deanna (Tony), Lucy (Doug), Jennifer, grandchildren Hannah (Matt), Megan, Chelsea and Joel. Her great grandchildren are Tony and Vinnie.
Aleida Hendrika Zellweger (nee Veerenhuis) was born in a farmhouse near Almelo, Netherlands in February of 1929. The family welcomed Hendrik, a brother for Aleida in 1934.
In 1940, the three generational family’s peaceful life was drastically changed with the occupation by German forces and World War II. Along with other extended family members, they persevered with courage, strength and resistance to the Nazis in spite of knowing the risk to themselves.
At the end of the war, Aleida met a Canadian soldier. After a five year correspondence, Edward Windsor returned to the Netherlands and the two were married. Aleida said that it was “an adventure” to move to a northern Saskatchewan farm and a lifestyle and climate that was so unlike her native land. Aleida easily learned to speak English and raised three daughters while tending animals, gardening, sewing, along with all manner of house and farm work.
In 1977, Aleida ventured out to advance her education and job prospects. While cooking in a northern fly-in camp, she connected with her second husband, Shea Zellweger.
Hence, the third chapter and a life in Ohio, which Aleida thoroughly enjoyed. She and Shea made many friends and their social circle was wide. Meanwhile, Aleida worked tirelessly renovating and decorating their home(s). She also crafted, knitted sweaters for all of her family, volunteered for several different causes and marched in Washington to support women’s rights. She and Shea enjoyed going to markets and getting all-but-lost on the country roads. They travelled to Europe and around the United States, including a bus trip to Alaska.
Aleida maintained a long term relationship with her dear friend, June Heath from Saskatchewan and together they enjoyed visits and two European vacations.
Of note is Aleida’s innate talent for playing different instruments by ear and without having had lessons. She enjoyed playing solo and with other musicians. With her handy iPad, she was able to reconnect with her Dutch songs which she could readily play and/or sing along.
And, as full circle moments often occur in a long life, Aleida endeavoured to share her experiences as the young Dutch girl living under oppression and fear. This was done with the purpose and hope of educating others, especially children. She spoke at many presentations and has documented her history. Aleida was interested in current events and followed the news regularly.
She will be greatly missed.
In the last years, staying in their home would not have been possible but for the help of Rhonda, Karen and their respective families. Their devotion, kindness and generosity went above and beyond and we cannot thank them enough.
The family also wishes to thank all those many others who offered their support, companionship and assistance. You know who you are…
We also thank the nurses and staff of Aultman Alliance Community Hospital and Crandall Health Center.
A Memorial Service will be held at a later date.