Erna Pauline Buhler (Peters)
Erna was the first Canadian-born child with seven older siblings who had immigrated to Canada from Russian with their parents during a time of political turmoil. Her parents left their productive farms and settled as pioneers in Manitoba. Consequently, she naturally developed a strong and feisty spirit, along with solid leadership qualities.
When the war left their local school without a teacher, she and her sister went to Winkler where she completed three academic years in just a few months. She loved school and enjoyed earning top place results. She openly admitted, had she been given the opportunity to continue schooling, that she would have loved to have been a teacher; instead she directed these natural talents into story telling at home, Sunday School, summer camp and girls club.
In 1951 she married her childhood friend and neighbour, Peter Buhler. Together they farmed near Winnipegosis. She proved herself highly capable of driving trucks or combines while raising six children, keeping up with gardening and preserving mountains of produce, sewing clothing, and feeding everyone, including any extra people who happened to come along. At all times, she opened her home to guests --- young people, children and adults; she was always willing to feed, to chat, to nurture, to counsel, to encourage, and to celebrate.
Erna was a determined, hardworking, and generous woman whose basic values of sharing, contributing, and ensuring a useful life persisted throughout her entire life. She continually demonstrated her great love for family. She wrote letters weekly to her daughters who had left the community and supported the efforts of her sons as they continued the family tradition of farming. Several years ago, Alzheimer/Dementia reduced her independence and strength but not her spirit which she continued to reveal with humour and wit. During her last three years she appreciated a quality of life offered to her by her daughter Glenda and son-in-law Joe MacPhee in their home, surrounded by nature and gardens and tasks which she found meaningful and purposeful. She always found hope and healing in her garden, each crop, flower and bird heard many prayers and sermons.
She struggled during the last weeks in hospital with pain, and although she tried, with an inability to speak and express her love to family. She is now at peace, and able to rest. She was predeceased by her loving husband, Peter, and her six siblings. She is survived by her sister Alvina; by her six children Darlene (Byron), Kenneth (Marg), Glenda (Joe), Clarence (Lorna), Elma (Jim), Verna (George); by ten grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Erna Pauline Buhler, please visit our floral store.
Canada Foodgrains Bank
P.O. Box 767, Winnipeg MB R3C 2L4