Elsie Off, age 87 years, former resident of Thunder Bay, and most recently of Surrey, BC, died suddenly and peacefully with her beloved John at her side on Wednesday, June 27 at Surrey Memorial Hospital.
Born in Port Arthur on May 2, 1930, Elsie was the daughter of John Semenick and Stella Krawh (nee Molkoski) and older sister to Archie (Olga), all who predeceased her.
She grew up in the Current River area with her mother and brother after her father’s death in 1936. After high school, she attained her secretarial diploma and worked for the City of Port Arthur until marrying in 1954. On May 22, 1954, she married John Off with whom she lovingly raised four children, starting their lives together on Fort William’s Christina Street and then on Walnut Street until their move in 2014 to British Columbia.
Elsie is survived by her life partner and devoted husband, John; her daughter, Louise, and son-in-law, Edwin Klaponski of Surrey, BC; son, Raymond Off, and daughter-in-law, Angela Fong of Edmonton, AB; daughter, Rosemary Off of New Dundee, ON; and daughter, Shirley Anne Off, and son-in-law, Bill Jeffery of Ottawa, ON. She will be greatly missed by her 11 grandchildren, Matthew, Jill, Laura, Peter, Allison, Erika, Karl, Paul, Luke, Lauren and Mason; as well as her five great-grandchildren, Jacob, Sarah, Hannah, Andrew and Dominic. Her nieces and nephews also held a special place in her heart.
When Elsie wasn’t gardening or cooking up a wonderful meal for family and friends, she volunteered for many charities and community organizations, she was a member of St. Patrick’s Cathedral Choir for decades and dedicated 63 years to the Catholic Women’s League, first in Thunder Bay and then in Surrey.
A funeral mass will be held at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, 211 South Archibald Street , Thunder Bay, Ontario, on Friday, July 7 at 10:00 a.m. Friends and family are welcome to arrive after 9:30 a.m. for prayer and silent reflection. A reception will follow the funeral at the church.
A Memorial Mass will be held Saturday, July 15 at 3:00 p.m. at St. Matthew’s Church, 16079 88 Avenue, Surrey, BC. Reception to follow.
If friends wish to make a donation in lieu of flowers, please consider the Canadian National Institute for the Blind who supported Elsie as she lived with macular degeneration.
Elsie was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and Baba, as well as a loyal friend and auntie. She loved, lived and laughed greatly and her smile filled a room. She will be greatly missed but never forgotten.
A memorial will be held in Surrey at St. Matthew’s Church in the near future, details to follow.