Obituaries: Laura Merle (Radke) Bielby

1929 ~ 2024 (age 94)

It is with deep sadness that the family of Laura Bielby announce her passing on Wednesday, January 31st 2024 at the age of 94 years.

Laura was born at Watrous, Saskatchewan on August 5th, 1929. She was the second child born to Sarah and Jack Radke. She had an older sister Elsie and a younger brother Bert, who were all raised on a farm near Guernsey, Saskatchewan.

When she was nineteen she moved to Kelfield, Saskatchewan to accept a job as a telephone operator on the switch board. Shortly after, she met her future husband, Russell Bielby, at the local curling rink.

They married on June 28th, 1949 and settled on the family farm a few miles from Kelfield. Together they had three daughters, Rhea Ann, Donna and Bonnie. Laura loved her life on the farm. She grew a huge garden and canned and froze everything possible. Laura’s favorite job was to drive the combine, a yellow CCIL combine with no cab. She called it the “Old Yellow Fellow”. She would not give that job to anyone else. Sitting up there driving was probably her happiest place on earth.

Laura learned to sew and became a beautiful seamstress. She made many lovely clothes for herself, her daughters and many others. She was also a wonderful cook especially known for her delicious cinnamon buns. Laura spent the winter curling and time at the cabin in Cochin in the summer.

Laura and Russell took many wonderful holidays together. They travelled to California, England, Hawaii, a cruise and made multiple visits to Ontario. Laura and Russell retired in the fall of 1982 and built a new home in Plenty. Unfortunately, they were only there ten days when Russell suffered a debilitating stroke. She cared for him until it no longer became possible. Russell moved to Diamond Lodge in Biggar, SK in June 1985 where he remained until his passing in June of 1987. Laura remained in Plenty where she opened a coffee shop with the help of a friend. There she baked and served her famous cinnamon buns and enjoyed visiting with all those who came through the door.

In March 2005, Laura moved to a senior’s apartment facility in Saskatoon, SK. Then in March 2021, she moved into the Kerrobert Health Care Facility until her passing. Laura’s mind remained very good although her physical health was failing. She talked daily to each of her daughters and enjoyed the company of staff and residents. Laura’s great passion in life was her family. She loved her nine grandchildren and seventeen great-grandchildren. She enjoyed their visits, looking at pictures and hearing stories about their lives and activities. Russell and Laura raised a very close and loving family. Her family will miss her greatly, but will always cherish the memories and lessons she taught them.

Laura is predeceased by her husband, Russell, sister Elsie Gouliquer and brother-in-law Hector Gouliquer, brother Bert Radke and sister-in-law Joyce Radke; Harold and Rhea Bielby; Elmer and Doris Klassen; Clifford Bielby; Charlie and Grace Switzer.

Left to mourn Laura’s passing are children: Rhea Ann (David) Mandeville, Donna (Pat) Suter, Bonnie (Murray) Hayes; grandchildren Geoffrey (Heather) Mandeville, Carla (Mike Vanin) Mandeville, Steven (Amy) Suter, Curtis (Rae-Ann) Suter, Richelle (Chris) Howson, Christina (Kyle) Dolan, Brian (Kerri) Hayes, Brad Hayes, Joanna (Darcy) Mytton and 17 great-grandchildren.

There will be a “Celebration of a Life well lived” held for Laura on Saturday, April 6, 2024 at 1:00 p.m. in the Plenty Community Hall, Plenty, SK with Lynn Resch officiating. She will be laid to rest beside Russell in the Kelfield Cemetery.

Memorial donations in Laura’s name may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation (Saskatchewan Branch) with details on where to donate below.

April 6, 2024
1:00 PM
Plenty Community Hall
Main street
Plenty, Saskatchewan

Heart & Stroke Foundation (Saskatchewan Branch)
1738 Quebec Avenue Unit 26, Saskatoon SK S7K 1V9

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