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Born: May 31, 1956

Date of Passing: Dec 23, 2020

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1956 - 2020

Traudi Guenther (nee Teichroeb), aged 64, of Grunthal, Manitoba, passed away suddenly on Wednesday, December 23, 2020, at her family cottage at Betula Lake.
She is survived and missed dearly by her husband Dennis, daughter Caroline (Bob) Smith and granddaughters, Kaelyn and Maelle, son Tom (Michelle) and granddaughter Emily, parents, Henry and Wera Teichroeb, brothers, Vern (Brenda) and Wilf (Lisa); she will also be lovingly remembered by her mother-in-law Agatha, her brothers-in-law, Gerry (Evelyn), Wayne (Wanda), and sisters-in-law, Chris and Barb (Mario). She will also be dearly missed by her very best friend, Kathy Patterson.
Mom was born on May 31, 1956, in Volendam, Paraguay. In 1960, she immigrated with her parents and newborn brother to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
In a way, Mom's unexpected passing just before Christmas seems very fitting. Christmas has always been very important to Mom. As kids, we have great memories of spending Christmas Eve at Oma and Opa Teichroeb's with the extended family. We always celebrated Christmas Day at home with Oma Guenther, opening presents Mom so thoughtfully selected and devouring her famous thin German pancakes for lunch. Then, on Boxing Day, we'd celebrate at Oma Guenther's, poking fun at her scraggly 50-year-old Christmas tree.
Above all, the real highlight of the holiday season was the Elim Church Sunday School Christmas Concert, which, under Mom and Margaret Boschman's thoughtful guidance, put all other Grunthal church Christmas concerts to shame (our apologies if other churches are offended). To this day many people reminisce about the spectacular productions she was able to pull off. Mom took great pride in and poured countless hours of hard work into each year's production. Preparations for the upcoming year's production typically began the day after the current year's performance had wrapped up. It was common for us as kids to wake up on a beautiful sunny morning in mid-July to hear Christmas music playing that Mom was considering for the coming year's Christmas concert. When autumn arrived, so too did the countless rehearsals: Sundays, before and after Sunday School, Saturday afternoons, weekday evenings... no day was off limits for potential rehearsals, so long as she could convince the parents.
After graduating from high school in 1974, Mom immediately enrolled in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba and graduated with her Bachelor of Education Degree in the spring of 1978. That following fall, she began a teaching career in Grunthal. For Traudi, teaching was more than a job; it was her life's calling, her mission. She was typically the first teacher in the building in the morning and almost always the last to leave. She spent many evenings, weekends, and summer "holidays" planning lessons and sourcing new teaching materials, the vast majority of which she paid for out of her own pocket. To this day, seven years after her "retirement," an entire room in her basement and the backseat of her vehicle are still filled with teaching materials.
She had a kind and caring heart and determined to give each student the best chance to succeed in life, especially those who came from a disadvantaged home life. As a war refugee and immigrant herself, she knew what it was like to come from a home with limited means and made sure to help those who came from similar experiences. If she noticed a student without a lunch, winter gear, or anything else in between, in her own quiet way she made sure that student and their siblings were properly cared for. If a student's family did not have the means to pay to go on a field trip, without question she would ensure that their fare was paid and they were able to participate in the outing.
Over the years, she had several former students reach out to her as adults and thank her for her guidance and kindness. She even had students invite her as their sole guest to their high school graduation. These stories testify to Mom's authentic passion and giftedness for bringing out the best in children. Her career spanned three and a half decades and impacted the lives of thousands of children who passed through her classroom.
In more recent years, even after her retirement in 2013, she spent significant time substitute teaching. We all knew transitioning into retirement would prove challenging for Mom after pouring her heart and soul into teaching for the previous 35 years, but she was also excited to pass on all of her knowledge and kindness to her grandchildren.
She loved visiting with her granddaughters, Kaelyn and Maelle, and was excited this past spring to welcome Emily, her newest granddaughter, into the world. She especially treasured having Kaelyn and Maelle over at the cottage for sleepovers. Because Mom was a teacher, she was always able to connect emotionally and interact with them in meaningful and memorable ways. She shared with them her love of music and crafting, two skills she used frequently in the classroom. She also passed on to them her gift of gab. She loved to talk with anyone who would listen, and both girls can talk for hours on end. They loved the way Grandma would read expressively to them, the same way she did in the classroom, and both girls love to play school. It would not be surprising to see one or both of them follow in Grandma's footsteps.
When Kaelyn and Maelle learned Grandma had passed away, they grieved deeply. On one of Mom and Dad's vacations to Mexico, she had painted two bells which she had at the lake. One of the first things the girls do when they arrive at the cottage is ring those bells. The granddaughters now have these bells and every time they ring them, it signals they are thinking of Grandma, and they make sure to ring them loud enough so that Grandma can hear them up in Heaven and smile down on them.
The family would like to thank Constable Plaskett of the Lac Du Bonnet RCMP Detachment for his response and compassion, and Jarrod Chamberlin of Birchwood Funeral Chapel for his guidance and compassion during this difficult time.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests all readers of this tribute to our mom to, in the very near future, contact someone who has had a lasting, positive impact on your life and share that impact with them. Sadly, we have so much we'd like to say to Mom that we will not be able to now. We encourage you to do so while you still have the opportunity.
A private family funeral service took place on Thursday, December 31, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at Birchwood Funeral Chapel, Steinbach, MB. If you would like to view the service a live stream link is available in her obituary on Birchwood's website for 90 days following the service.

Arrangements by:
1-204-346-1030 OR 1-888-454-1030

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jan 02, 2021

Condolences & Memories (1 entries)

  • Just saw the passing of Traudi in the Retired Teachers Magazine. Sending my thoughts and prayers to the family. Many happy memories of when Traudi and I began our teaching careers at the same time and shared a flat. It was there where she met Dennis who lived downstairs. I am reminded of our fun vacation we took together to Hawaii. Sounds like she and Dennis built a loved and fulfilled family life in Grunthal. She was a great lady. - Posted by: Barbara Warrack (old friend) on: Mar 12, 2021

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