It is with sadness that Rosa Jessen’s family announces that she passed away December 13, 2016. Left to mourn are her son, Dirk Jessen; her daughter, Anke Eastwood (Paul); her four grandchildren, Erika and Tilman Jessen and Sarah and Rebecca Eastwood; her younger siblings, Hans, Heidi and Gabi and other relatives in Germany, as well as friends here in Canada. Rosa was predeceased by her husband, Hans Jessen (2014), her parents, Wilhelm and Margarete Zirpel, and her older sister, Gretl Ziehl.
Rosa was born in Breslau, Silesia, at the time part of Germany, and grew up in a nearby village, Steindorf. Shortly after the Christmas of 1944, the extended Zirpel family had to flee their homes, because of the approaching Russian front. After more than a year as refugees, they settled in Halle/Saale, a city which became part of East Germany. There Rosa completed high school and then trained as a nurse at a Lutheran church-run hospital, followed by nursing in an associated hospital in nearby Dölau. In 1957 she moved to Schleswig Holstein in the northern part of West Germany with the unfulfilled hopes of the rest of her family following her to the West. She worked first in a hospital in Flensburg and then as a community care nurse just south of there. Rosa met Hans in May of 1960 in Schleswig Holstein, they married in August, and in October they were on their way to Canada. They travelled by boat to Montreal and from there by train to Tofield, Alberta. It was in the Tofield area that they lived, worked, raised a family and then retired. Late 2013 Rosa moved to Edmonton following a stroke. She lived her last years at the Continuing Care Centre, Shepherd’s Care Millwoods.
Rosa will be remembered for her personal touch in caring for patients at Tofield Municipal Hospital, and later, residents in the Continuing Care unit of the Tofield Health Centre; her devotion to her family, and especially her 4 grandchildren; her generosity; her red cabbage recipe; her warm smile; and her love of coffee.
Rosa’s family would like to thank the staff at Shepherd’s Care for the wonderful way in which they took care of Rosa throughout her time there. As well, many thanks to the dear people at the Tofield Lodge, both staff and friends, for their support during the years Hans and Rosa lived there.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 28, 2017 at Tofield United Church (4832 – 53 Avenue) at 2:00 p.m., Rev. Adam Hall presiding. Rosa’s ashes will be interred at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: the Edmonton Mennonite for Newcomers (emcn.ab.ca), the Alberta Council on Aging (acaging.ca) or Tofield United Church (beaver.anwc.net).