Obituary of Christina Hanch Berkholtz
Christina Hanch Berkholtz
(June 9, 1927 - October 7, 2018)
Christina Berkholtz was born the fifth of seven children to Karl and Molly Roth on June 9, 1927, in Rollyview, Alberta. She was educated in a small country school where she made lifelong friends and got to know many of the kids in their farming neighborhood. As she was growing up her family experienced many hard times, including the loss of three children. Of the four remaining sisters, it seemed Christina was the one who was steered towards being her dad’s farmhand and we often heard her speak fondly of working with her team of horses. On June 16, 1949 she married Robert Berkholtz and they made their home on a farm in the Hay Lakes area. Early in their married years, Robert’s infant nephew Larry came to live with them for a length of time after losing his mother. That time was followed by the birth of two children: Karen and Brian. After Robert’s passing in 1979, Christina eventually moved to Camrose where she was fortunate to find a house in a great neighborhood where she made friends with many of the neighbors even as some of those residents changed over the years. Before moving to Camrose and during her first years in her new home there, Christina went to work in an extended care home, doing laundry and helping where she could with the residents. This was a rewarding time in her life as she had such compassion for those residents.
Christina was passionate about gardening, berry picking, and cooking and baking. She always had to have a garden of some sort, even if it was just a small one, because those fresh vegetables were just so good! And of course, if she could share some of the pickings from that garden or from her berry picking, that was even better! She was always seeking out new recipes to try and had a small library collection of recipes she found in books, magazines, newspapers, or jotted down while watching a cooking show on TV. She was known for whipping up a pie, be it a fruit pie or a favorite custard pie, or a cake or batch of cookies, and then calling someone to come for coffee and share them with her.
Christina had a yearning to see places other than the farm and was fortunate to do some travelling. They made many trips to the mountains, either to just take a break from the farm, or to pick some scrumptious fresh BC fruit. Before Robert’s passing, Robert and Christina took a trip to Australia to do some site seeing and to make a visit to Christina’s life-long pen pal, Shirley. Christina and Shirley had been pen pals since they were fourteen years old and remained that way their entire lives. Christina also took the opportunity to travel to Japan to visit Karen while she was living there and she was just elated to be able to see a place so different and meet so many kind people. Karen’s Japanese friends invited her to attend a very traditional outdoor tea ceremony which resulted in having a photo of her participating in the tea ceremony on the front page of the local newspaper. That was a treasure!
Christina loved all animals, from cows and horses to ducks, geese, and chickens, to dogs and cats. Her best friend at the end of her life was a white, fuzzy cat that she took with her everywhere, including to bed when she rested.
Christina worked hard all her life, both as a housewife and a farmer, and filled her life with family, friends, and volunteering in the church and in the community. She was also a regular at the curling rink and when she was no longer physically able to participate in ice curling, she switched to floor curling.
In January of this year, Christina moved from her home of some thirty years to a care centre where she lived until her passing. Christina died peacefully at St. Mary’s Hospital on Sunday, October 7. She was pre-deceased by her husband Robert, her son Brian, her parents Karl and Molly, and five siblings. She is survived by her daughter Karen; her grandson Chad; her granddaughter Robyn and her husband Matt, and their daughter Brynn; and by her sister Tina and her family.
A Funeral Service was held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, October 12, 2018 from Our Saviour Lutheran Church, Hay Lakes. Interment has taken place in the Our Saviour Lutheran Church Cemetery.
If family and friends so desire, memorial contributions are gratefully accepted to the Diabetes Association, or to the charity of one's choice.