CELMAINIS, Nina Linda

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Linda Celmainis (nee Linis) died peacefully at the age of 102 on February 8, 2018. She will be lovingly remembered by her daughters: Sarah Huemmert (Don Stewart), Inese Clark (Al Williams), Diane (Bob) Brayman; her 7 grandchildren: Brad Celmainis (Courtney Adams), Greg (Elizabeth) Celmainis, Jeff Celmainis (Julie Bailey), Bryan Ward, Angeline Clark (Doug Callow), Chris Brayman (Bev Milroy) and Graham Brayman; her 11 great-grandchildren: Andrew, Malcolm, James, Christopher, Hunter, Oliver, Jack, Elijah, Joshua, Kate and Alec as well as the extended family of Sarah Huemmert and Kurt (deceased) and his children and grandchildren, and Don Stewart’s sons Kyle and Mackenzie.  Linda was predeceased by her husband John, her son Andrew and her brother Viktors Linis.

Linda studied Economics at the University of Latvia in Riga and married John in 1937. Along with her husband and 3 young children she fled war torn Latvia in early 1945 and sought shelter in Sweden.  In 1948 they arrived in Canada and settled in Red Deer, Alberta.  Despite tremendous hardships during their early years in Canada, Linda and her husband worked hard to establish themselves.  While proud of their Latvian heritage, they embraced the opportunities that Canada had to offer and worked very hard to provide a good education for their 4 children. 

Linda will be remembered for her generosity, her determination, her wry humour and her celebrated talents in the kitchen. Nothing pleased her more than baking bread for her family, helping a friend in need or caring for her grandchildren.   She was an avid reader, a progressive thinker and a force to be reckoned with when faced with a challenge.  Her courage, fortitude and sheer grit were at times astonishing, even to her final moments. 

Her family is very grateful to Dr. Sadia Shakil and the staff at Copper Sky in Spruce Grove and to all the friends who offered loving care, prayers and support for Linda in her final days. The family invites you to a celebration of Linda’s life on March 10 at 10:30 AM at St. Matthews Lutheran Church, 101 McLeod Avenue, Spruce Grove.  Memorial donations in Linda’s name may be made to the Red Deer Regional Hospital, 3940 50A Avenue, Red Deer AB T4N 4E7, or to a charity of your choice. 

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Valerie McKinney Lugonja

What beautiful memories I have in the very early ‘70’s sitting at Linda’s kitchen table in Red Deer drinking a steaming cup of strong and vibrant Latvian coffee. When she made bacon buns, she’d save one for me. Oh, the conversations we’d have. She told me her story. Described the hardships from her past with such passion and brought them to life for me. I adored her and the family that she shared with me at the time. I reconnected so very many hears later and she came over to my home, in her 90s and finally taught me how to make my own bacon buns. I think of her every Christmas when I make them. I see her hands shaping the dough and that twinkle in her eye and recall the stories she would share every time we were together. Linda Celmainis definitely left her mark within me and I am blessed to have those memories and to have known her as I did.

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