Adapted to many changes in her lifetime
Bertha (Roessler) Thornton
March 11, 1925 – July 26, 2022
Bertha (Roessler) Thornton went “home forever with God” on Tues. July 26, 2022 at the age of 97 years. Bertha “Berta’ Lehmann was born on March 11, 1925 in Minciuna, Tighina in Romania. In 1928, at the age of three, Bertha’s family immigrated to Canada. Her father survived World War I; where he served as a messenger, and he wanted a safer, more stable country to raise his family.
Bertha’s family homesteaded in the Spondin area where she attended the Gooseberry Lake School. She walked one and three-quarter miles each way to school, until her family could afford a horse for her to ride. She helped her family work in the fields, with horse and plow and tended to the livestock.
At 18, she left home and moved to Coronation to work at the hospital under Dr. O’Brien. She met Emil Roessler on the farm at Lake Thelma and they were married in December 1944. They moved into a house in Coronation where Emil made a living with a house moving company.
Their first child, Roy, was born in 1945, followed by three daughters, Joyce in 1949, May Anne in 1952 and their last child, Donna was born in 1958, just a few months after Emil’s sudden passing on Christmas Eve 1957 from a heart attack.
Bertha was determined to keep her family together and did her best to raise her four children with the help of good friends and neighbours.
One evening, Harold Thornton asked Bertha out to see a movie. This movie date led to a marriage in November 1960.
Bertha moved her family to Harold’s farm, two miles west of Coronation and joined Harold’s family of four children, Janet, Richard, Bill and Donna.
Harold and Bertha worked hard together on his dairy farm where they also raised chickens, turkeys, pigs and grew a large garden to feed their family over the winter.
Harold was very active in community service and was the Reeve of Paintearth County as well as served on the Coronation Hospital Board. Bertha travelled with Harold to conventions across the province and they also enjoyed travelling for recreational purposes. They travelled throughout Canada, the U.S., and also Europe.
Harold’s cancer returned after being in remission for many years and after a valiant fight, he passed away on April 6, 1981. In the years that followed, Bertha kept herself busy with family and friends. She was a chartered member of the Order of the Royal Purple for 44 years and officially became a life member on March 11, 1990. She loved to play and call bingo, play card games, cook and bake, play and watch curling, play floor disking, dance and play her harmonica.
She enjoyed working at the “Tea Tyme Porcelain Treasures” and attending church, bible study and local functions. Her love of music was heard in the songs she played on her mouth organ, such as “This Land is My Land”, “Heel Toe Polka” and many Christmas carols. Her love of laughter and good times only left her briefly in times of grief.
She adapted to many changes in her life including failing eyesight but always looked to the bright side. She loved her large family and her friends were like family to her. Bertha also loved her community of Coronation and its people, and she was always willing to help someone in need.
Bertha will be lovingly remembered by her children, Roy Roessler, May Anne (Bruce) Hampton, and Donna (Dave) Schultz, her grandchildren and great grandchildren, Vicki (Chris), Brooke and Ashley Schrauwen, Kim (Jake) and Tyce Daniells, Trisha (Michael) Hampton and Alex Sewell, Raina (Tyson) and Ariel Moffat, and Terra Fuchko, her son-in-law, Ray (Trudy) Lundy, Harold’s children, Janet (Leonard) Lindmark, Richard (Sharon) Thornton, Bill (Marilyn) Thornton, and Donna (Don) Lindahl, and their children, Morgan (Debbie) Lindmark, Brad Lindmark, Rick (Tammy) Doherty, Roxanne (David) Sopracolle, Kelly (Gayle) Thornton, Tracey (Blaine) Woods, Kevin (Cathy) Thornton, Lisa (Justin) Burgess, Dawn (Graham) Weir, and Lyle (Tanja) Lindahl and their families, her best friend, Frances Forrest and her nieces and nephews.
Bertha was predeceased by her parents, Ludwig and Emilie Lehmann, her husbands, Emil Roessler and Harold Thornton, her daughter, Joyce Lundy, her brother and sister-in-law, Otto and Sarah Lehmann, her sisters and brothers-in-law, Hilda and Emil Regner and Lydia and Gerald Pearce, and good friends, Ione Peterson, Pat Price, Jessie Lowis, Irene Campion, Vera Osetsky, Muriel and Art Heidecker, Max and Edna Heidecker, Velma Torney, Rhoda Pilsworth, Mabel Glazier and Edna Redelback.
If desired, memorial donations in Bertha’s honour may be made to the Coronation Cemetery Society, c/o Town of Coronation, Box 219, Coronation, Alberta, T0C 1C0 or Coronation Health Centre Foundation, Mail Bag 500, Coronation, Alta. T0C 1C0 designated to DSL Patio Project.
The family would like to thank the staff of Coronation Designated Supportive Living, Dr. Shenouda and the nursing staff at the Coronation Health Centre for their kindness and care of their mother and grandmother, Bertha. You went above and beyond to care for her and it is greatly appreciated by her family.
Bertha’s Celebration of Life was held on Mon. Aug. 15, 2022 at the Coronation Community Centre with Reverend Barbara Zimmerman officiating. A private family interment took place at the Coronation Cemetery.
Pallbearers were Tyce Daniells, Tyson Gill, Jake Daniells, Chris Schrauwen, Kelly Thornton and Lyle Lindahl and honorary pallbearers were Bertha’s family and her best friend, Frances Forrest.
Special thank you to Brenda Brigley for singing at the service, to Barbie Berg for playing piano and to Jim Campion for two special readings. The eulogy and family memories were shared by Bertha’s granddaughter, Trisha Hampton. A photo tribute was shared with love from Bertha’s family, including a video of Bertha playing her harmonica with Jackie Brigley and Mary Jane Lowis.
Following the service, a beef on a bun luncheon was provided by the Coronation Community Lunch Committee where everyone shared stories of fun and laughter from Bertha’s well-lived life.
Condolences, memories and photos may be shared and viewed at www.coronationfuneralhome.ca. Arrangements in care of Coronation Funeral Home, Coronation, Alberta. Phone: 403.578.2928.