Maria Martha Westphal May 1924 to June 2022
It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of our mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, Maria Martha Westphal. Peacefully on Wednesday, June 8, Maria passed from this life shortly after her 98th birthday and will be remembered with love by her daughter Margit Geisterfer, son-in-law Mike Geisterfer, daughter Carmen King, son-in-law Ken King, and her grandchildren Christine, Mikaila, Julian, Aveline, Annelise, and Elijah. She was also great grandmother to Johann Michael Elfar (Aveline and Andrew Elfar) and Malakai Dowdell (Mikaila Geisterfer and Matt Dowdell). She is also survived by daughter Ursula Schwarz of Oakville.
Maria Pleikies was born on May 6, 1924 in the village of Daugmanten in the former country of East Prussia (Memelland), now Lithuania. She moved to Germany shortly before World War 2 after an arranged marriage, and lived with her in-laws in an attic suite during the war where they smuggled Germans over to the soon-to-be West Germany for money, and then got through themselves before the border closed. Living in Munich and Stuttgart, she worked various jobs and also in a stocking factory. Then alone with a daughter she met her 2nd husband also originally from East Prussia, through an international newspaper (what internet dating used to be) and agreed to marry him and then immigrated to Canada in 1958. Maria worked sewing custom Draperies at home and was a talented Seamstress. She started her own successful business "Maria's Draperies", in the early 1970's in Burlington Ontario, and then retired to the Hastings/Campbellford area in 1987. She was an active member of her community and Glad Tidings church in Campbellford, and loved her little cottage on the Trent River system at Lake Seymour. It reminded her of her upbringing on the Minge River in Lithuania and was her dream to return to a place where she could catch and eat fresh fish and live on the water. Our family has many wonderful years of happy memories there. As her condition declined in her early 90's she moved to Ottawa to a Retirement home and then in 2019 moved to Brampton, where she lived at the Maple Grove Care Community long-term care home. We wish to sincerely thank the wonderful caring staff there for her care especially Christine Anderson whom mom grew to love these last few years.
Even at 98 Maria was still able to walk a few steps and although dementia crept in, had moments of full lucidity and overall her health remained good. After a bad fall on May 27th she took a downturn and was only given days or a few weeks at most to live, so this was not sudden. She was brave and accepting when I told her of her prognosis. But she knew and looked forward to going “home“ to reunite with her dear Lord and Savior Jesus, along with family and loved ones in heaven.