Obituary of Noreen Polzin
February 18, 1931 – Alsak, Saskatchewan
April 9, 2023 - Calgary, Alberta
Noreen Polzin beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother passed away on Easter Sunday, April 9, 2023, at the age of 92.
Noreen was born on February 18, 1931 in Alsask, SK. She lived on a farm near Sibbald, AB until 1936 when the family moved to another farm in Guernsey, SK. In 1950 Noreen moved to Saskatoon, SK to attend Teachers College. She graduated with her Interim Teacher’s Certificate in 1951 and began teaching grades 1-8 in country schools in SK.
In 1953 Noreen moved to Eaglesham, AB and taught in a one room log schoolhouse, grades 1-8. During summer holidays she attended the University of Alberta to take classes to upgrade her Teacher’s Certificate. In 1955 Noreen desired more bible study and journeyed by train to Hesston, KS where she attended bible school and also worked as dean of a grade 12 girl’s dorm.
In 1956 Noreen travelled to Twillingate, Newfoundland when the MCC was looking for teachers and nurses for out of the way places. It was a big change for a prairie girl to live by the ocean, but it provided the type of education you do not get in books and created lasting friendships.
In 1959 Noreen returned to Saskatchewan and decided to complete an education degree and switch to teaching high school. She attended the University of Saskatchewan for 2 years and graduation with a Bachelor of Education.
In 1960 she worked a summer job at her cousin’s dairy farm, and this is when she met Alfred who was working on the brother’s farm. Noreen and Alfred were married at Sharon Mennonite Church, Guernsey, SK on August 17, 1963.
Between 1961 and 1966 Noreen taught math and sciences at several high schools in SK. After their wedding in August 1966 they moved to Harrisonburg, VA so Alfred could attend Eastern Mennonite Seminary. Noreen taught chemistry at Eastern Mennonite College and was also Dean of the Eastern Mennonite High School Girls Dorm.
While juggling school and teaching in Harrisonburg, Noreen and Alfred started their family with the first two of their daughters, Maria and Monika. Noreen re-structured her career in order to spend time with the girls and also enlisted the girls from the dorm to help with baby sitting.
They moved to Philadelphia, PA in September 1969 where Alfred continued his education at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Once Alfred graduated in 1970, the family moved to Moorefield, ON. While Alfred pastored 2 Mennonite Churches, Noreen supported his endeavors and did plenty of counselling herself. Her compassion for members of the congregation and neighbors made her the go to for anything they needed. She spent countless hours on the phone with her long cord dispensing advice and comfort all while cooking, canning, etc. They also welcomed their third daughter, Martina, while in Moorefield.
In 1976 Noreen and Alfred decided to accept a mission assignment in Nigeria, Africa for the Mennonite Board of Missions. However, when the visas were not granted, they spent time in Guernsey, SK with the Cressman family and then Fairview, AB and Lac La Biche, AB before arriving in Calgary to accept a pastorship at Pineridge Christian Fellowship in 1979.
Though out all the moves and adventures, Noreen was always a pillar of strength and an incredibly loving wife and mother. She was proud of her daughters’ accomplishments and became very involved in the lives of her grandchildren as they arrived.
One of her favorite sayings was, “pray your way along”. Noreen lived her faith every day and was a tremendous blessing to all who knew her. She always had warm, encouraging words for everyone. She was a very kind, gracious, generous, caring, and thoughtful person. She will be deeply missed by all who knew her.
Noreen is survived by her husband of fifty-nine years Alfred, daughters Maria Burns (Scott), Monika Brigden (Ken), and Martina Butler O’Mahony (Brendan), grandchildren Michael Brigden (Kerri), Megan Brigden, Ethan Brigden, Brett Butler and Matthew Butler, and great-grandchildren, Madison Brigden and Hudson Brigden.
Funeral Services will be held at McInnis & Holloway (Crowfoot, 82 Crowfoot Circle NW, Calgary, AB), on Monday, June 5, 2023 at 2:30 p.m. Reception to follow in the Hospitality Centre at the Funeral Home. Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared and viewed here.
In living memory of Noreen Polzin, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Crowfoot, 82 Crowfoot Circle NW, Calgary, AB T3G 2T3, Telephone: 403-241-0044.
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