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Tiessen, Erika



Erika Tiessen

1948 – 2020

With great sadness we announce the passing of Erika (nee Penner) Tiessen. Erika was a generous and loving mother, grandmother, sister, friend, daughter, aunt, cousin, and niece.  

She is cherished by her kids and grandkids Tim (and his wife Ursula and sons Taylor and Nick), Dan (and his kids Lydia and Wyatt) and Rebecca (and her husband Philip and kids Jonah and Adrienne); her brothers (Vic, John and Ron Penner and their families); her extended family; and her extraordinary group of friends who enjoyed her company in Leamington, in Florida during the winter months and at Rideau Acres in Kingston, Ontario in the summer months.

Born in Germany (Pecklesheim) in 1948, Erika came to Canada with her parents (John and Helen Penner) when she was just 8 months old. She spent much of her youth playing in what is now Point Pelee National Park. She lived in Leamington until 2007 and in Kingston from 2007-2013 where she lived with her daughter, son-in-law and two grandkids. After 2013, she split her time between Kingston in the summer months, Florida in the winter months and with her kids and grandkids in Leamington or Ottawa between.

Erika was known for her excellent cooking skills. She showed her love through cooking and always managed to prepare a meal that even the pickiest kids enjoyed. She often made soups for friends and neighbours who were unwell or just because she had extra and wanted to share.

Erika knew how to do or fix almost anything. She was a great source of information when it came to preparing food or repairing something around the house. She never ceased to amaze us with her wealth of practical knowledge. She was to us what google is to most other people.

She was great at crafts, enjoyed painting and interior decorating, and she secretly wrote poetry. Her biggest hobby, however, was probably gardening. No matter where she lived, she always invested a lot of energy in her flower beds. Her thumb was the greenest in the neighbourhood and because of this, her flowers bloomed bigger than others, her gardens grew lusher than most.

Throughout her life, Erika learned many things from farming to bookkeeping to catering to sales. She loved to play cards and games. She enjoyed the company of friends, family and strangers she met. She was warm and generous to all who knew her. Her house was the house where friends would gather. Her home was the place where her kids’ friends would feel comfortable hanging out. She made everyone feel welcome and it was her biggest gift to this world.

Erika Tiessen passed away on April 12, 2020 from complications due to Covid 19. She left us too soon but our memories of her will stay with us forever. Please share your memories of Erika with us here.

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Family of Erika Tiessen

I met Erika a few years ago through the Sunday Brunch Group in Ottawa. I liked her from the get-go; and enjoyed quite a few social outings with her during the summer months. She even had a few of us gals for weekend sleepover/visits at her trailer in Kingston - great memories. As recently as last Saturday, I waved to her at the campground as I drove past. Everything I have just read about Erika in the obituary notice is so very true of her spirit, kindness and goodness. I will miss her as a summer friend. It was only this past Friday that I learned of her passing after informing the Coordinator of the Brunch Group that I am moving to Napanee in July.
My sincere condolences to all her family - she loved you all and well. Blessings,

Joy Whittle, May 24, 2020