Williams, Lena - After a long and full life, Lena died at Albright Manor in Beamsville on February 14, 2023 in her 99th year. Lena was the beloved wife of Rudy for 69 years until his death in 2014 and the loving mother of Nancy Regehr (Ernie), Carolyn Lucuik - deceased 2014 (David), Bruce Williams (Tina) and Janet Sack (Dirk). She was the proud grandmother of Matthew Regehr (Brenna MacKinnon), Joel Regehr (Vania Sukola), Stefan Regehr (Tanya Chisholm), Erin Lucuik (Adam Colangelo), Ian Lucuik (Alana Williams), Eric Williams (Melanie), Alan Williams, Selena Sack and Heidi Sack. She was the much loved great-grandmother (Oma) of Joshua Williams, Nathan Regehr, Erin Regehr, Clem Sukola, Mabel Sukola, Trinity Regehr, Theo Regehr and Rose Colangelo.
Lena was the youngest and last surviving member of her immediate family. She was predeceased by her parents Henry and Anna (Goossen) Schultz and her siblings and their spouses, Annie and Ben Loewen/Harry Keyes, Nat and Grace Schultz, Abe and Ann Schultz, Arnold and Elsie Schultz, Tillie and Victor Unruh, and Hilda and John Mathies, as well as Rudy’s parents, Peter and Elisabeth (Baerg) Williams, Rudy’s sisters and brothers-in-law, Reta and John Dyck, Helen and Ermos Truant, and Norman Thornton. Lena is survived by sister-in-law Margaret Thornton and many nieces and nephews in both the Williams and Schultz families.
Born in Waldheim, Saskatchewan on November 24, 1924, Lena spent her early years on a farm on the rolling hills by the North Saskatchewan River. She described those years as a wonderful childhood, walking to school listening to the meadowlarks and riding horses to collect cattle. Music was an important part of her family life, singing duets and playing the guitar and ukelele. She also said she enjoyed yodeling! Lena, along with her parents and several siblings came to Ontario in 1942. She and Rudy married in 1945, living first in a rented house, then in 1949 moving to the house Rudy built at 6 Jubilee Drive where they raised their four children. In 2017 Lena moved to Ina Grafton Gage Village where she lived until February 2023 when she moved to Albright Manor in Beamsville.
Lena and Rudy were charter members of Grace Mennonite Church in St. Catharines where Lena taught Sunday School, sang in the church choir, served on committees, was active in the women’s group, and participated in sewing many comforters for MCC. For many years Lena sang in the St. Catharines Symphony Chorus (now Chorus Niagara) and she enjoyed attending concerts in St. Catharines, and in Parry Sound while at the cottage. Lena and Rudy were strong supporters of Conrad Grebel University College and established memorial funds in support of the College at Abundance Canada, for peace studies in honour of Rudy’s parents, and for choral music in honour of Lena’s parents.
Lena spent many hours sewing and knitting clothes for her children and grandchildren as well as helping with wallpapering and painting projects. Rug hooking became an interest at the cottage as evidenced by the many wall hangings there. Lena was an excellent cook and experimented with new recipes until very late in life. Her angel biscuits were a favourite of her great-grandchildren. Lena also assisted Rudy in the office during his time as the Canadian representative for Kingsbury Inc., a US manufacturer of industrial bearings. They enjoyed many trips visiting family and also enjoyed their travels to the UK, Europe and Ukraine with their travel companions from across Canada. Lena was an avid reader, enjoyed doing crossword puzzles and watching the Blue Jays on television, and was a keen follower of political affairs.
The family extends its heartfelt thanks to the staff at Ina Grafton Gage Village and at Albright Manor for their compassionate care of Lena. Contributions in her memory may be made to the Henry A. and Anna Schultz Memorial Fund at Abundance Canada or to a favourite choir.
A celebration of Lena’s life will be held on Saturday, March 4, 2023 at 11am at Grace Mennonite Church, 677 Niagara Street, St. Catharines, followed by a lunch in the church auditorium.