Grace Vivian Switzer (nee Bielby) went to be with the Lord on May 17, 2021 at the age of 102. She lived in her own house until she was 99, when she moved into a senior’s home.
Grace was born to Jack & Annie Bielby at Dodsland, Sask. on November 16, 1918. She was the youngest of five children. She attended Ruby and Kelfield schools, about a mile and a half from their home. They would travel by horse (Old White Fanny) and buggy in the summer and a team and cutter in the winter.
After high school, she wanted to become a nurse but due to ailing parents and work on the farm, she was never able to get her nursing education. She always said that she got her education by hands-on experience looking after her parents and other people that were sick. She also worked for neighbors that needed extra help with various jobs.
Grace and Charlie grew up a couple of miles apart. They went together for almost 5 years before they were married. Charlie always said he had to wait for her to grow up and Grace always figured they were waiting until they could afford it. They were married on October 15, 1940 at Kelfield. They spent their first five years in the Kelfield district at which time their first son, Ken was born. They then moved to the Battleford area for the next seven years, where they farmed with her brother Clifford. Their son Murray and daughter Florence were both born during this time. In 1953, they moved back to Kelfield to take over the Switzer family farm. Their home was a real beacon light in the community, where many Sunday meals were shared with family, friends and neighbors. They also hosted many Bielby family reunions and always had a house full at Christmas and New Year’s. Grace always had a big garden and did lots of canning and cooking, and of course, cleaning. In 1978, they retired to Biggar and the boys took over the farm. They attended the AGC churches in Kelfield, Druid and later in Biggar, where they enjoyed the fellowship of these churches.
Charlie and Grace celebrated 58 happy years of marriage. Life on the farm was always busy with work and raising children. They always enjoyed company from Ontario to BC and especially enjoyed it when the grandchildren would stop by. Charlie went to be with the Lord on January 8, 1999.
Grace always enjoyed making many quilts, sewing, knitting, and crocheting. She always found time for reading until her eyes didn’t let her anymore. Even when she couldn’t see that well, she would knit dishcloths by feel and listen to audio books and the Bible. Her faith was always very important to her. One of her favourite verses was Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Grace leaves to mourn her loving children: Ken (Lavonne), Murray (Gloria), and Florence (Cliff) Ratke. Grandchildren who will miss her welcoming smile are: Ken (Isabel), Rob (Connie), Terry (Katherine), Michelle, Kim (Joseph) Ashong, Wanda, Angie, Natasha, Miranda, Lynelle (Matt) Isaac, Erin (Brad) Boutilier, Raelene (DJ) Wiens, Colleen (Todd) Sherwin, Jeff (Gwen) Ratke, Jason (Andrea) Ratke. She was also blessed to have 28 great-grandchildren: Portia, Anaka, Braeden, Savanna, Luke, Jaymee, Kayley, Raiden, Jonah, Kwanita, Alexis, Gavin, Jackson, Selene, Hailey, Taylor, Alia, Emery, Chase, Brynlee, Tiana, Colby, Jordyn, Allie, Dustin, Katie, Kalia and Gemma. She also leaves two sister-in-laws: Gladys Switzer and Laura Bielby and two cousins. She was predeceased by her husband, Charlie Switzer, her parents Jack & Annie Bielby, her siblings: Clifford, Harold, Russel, and Doris, and one great-granddaughter Shae-Lynn Switzer.
Grace was a wonderful mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend to all. We will miss her but we know she was ready to meet the Lord. Thank you for sharing in this celebration of her life!
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Ranger Lake Bible Cammp
#106 - 2543 Dudley St., Saskatoon SK S7M 5V3
Biggar & District Health Care Centre, Long Term Care Activities Fund
Box 130, Biggar SK S0K 0M0
Ken & Isabel Switzer Missionary