Lina A Matz (nee Elsen)

May 6, 1932 – November 20, 2021
Lina was born in Poland on May 6, 1932. Her family escaped that country after the War and settled in Rosenthal, Germany. There she met Eugen Matz, and they married in 1953. They decided to start a new life in Canada, and after completing a farming contract on a sugar beet farm in Lethbridge, Alberta, they moved to Duncan, BC. They built their first home together, and their only child Ursula was born. They blended their culture with the new community they loved, made wonderful friends and stayed in Duncan for the rest of their days.
Lina kept a spotless home and by word of mouth got hourly work cleaning houses. This led to a job as a school custodian, a job she was very proud of. She would say, “Just imagine, I am a Union member, I work for Union wages and I get Union benefits”. She was well organized and a real multi-tasker; a sight to behold coming down a school hallway: steel wool under her toe to remove scuff marks, floor mop in left hand and duster in her right. She loved the camaraderie with her workmates.
Lina felt very strongly that women should be independent. Getting her driver’s licence was another proud achievement. She was generous with offering rides to friends for appointments and shopping, as well as chauffeuring Ursula to after school and weekend activities and work. She was the one that taught Ursula to drive.
Lina and Eugen loved to dance and were a delight to watch, always perfectly in sync. They had wonderful times at many house parties with their friends. On many a Sunday afternoon the German records would be played on the HIFI, and it was Lina that taught Ursula to waltz and polka.
Cooking and baking were a joy for Lina, whether a traditional German dish or a new “Canadian” recipe. From an early age, “Mama’s little helper” was allowed to assist, instilling a love of cooking and baking in Ursula. In the early days, Eugen would invite his workmates and their wives over, and the ladies would spend the evening looking at pictures in cookbooks. The language barrier was never an issue. Life was what they made it, and company was always welcome.
Lina was an avid gardener, and liked to keep her hands busy. She enjoyed sewing, macramé, and crochet. She also loved animals, especially dogs. She cooked separate meals for dietary needs for her pets, long before it became a “thing”. All the wonderful dogs that came into her life were treated like royalty.
After retirement, Lina and Eugen enjoyed weekly card games with friends. They travelled to Germany several times, and Hawaii was a favourite place. They also liked bus trips to Reno, trying their hand against the one armed bandits. Lina continued to visit the local casino in her later years: it was handy, she felt safe, it was a few hours of entertainment, and she was luckier than most.
After Eugen passed away in 2001, Lina remained very independent, but became more private, saying she just wanted a quiet life. The one relationship that never faltered was with her dearest friend Elinor Lachman. They shared so many happy times and lovely memories over the years.
Lina loved her son-in-law Dennis Whitaker very much, she always treated him like the son she never had. He teased her a lot and she liked to complain about it but deep down inside she loved every moment.
Lina lived her last two years in Cairnsmore Place. Even through COVID-19 protocols she was so grateful for the care she received from the staff. Ursula and Dennis would like to express their appreciation to Dr. Peter Postuk for all he did for Lina and his guidance when he was needed most. Ursula and Dennis were so thankful to be with Lina as she slipped away peacefully on Saturday, November 20, 2021.
At Lina’s request there will be no funeral or memorial service. Ursula and Dennis ask that in lieu of flowers please consider giving to the charity of your choice.
From Ursula: “Mom, I was so fortunate to have you in my life. I wouldn’t trade those moments for the world. I cherish the memories and I will miss you forever and always.”
Mother and Daughter
It’s a special bond that spans the years.
Through laughter, worry, smiles and tears.
A sense of trust that can’t be broken.
A depth of love sometimes unspoken.
A lifelong friendship built on sharing.
Hugs and kisses, warmth and caring.
Mother and Daughter, our hearts as one.
A link that can never be undone.
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