Erika Sebaldt, 92, very sadly passed away on April 23, 2023 in Montreal, peacefully, after a short battle with late-stage pancreatic cancer.
Erika is survived by her sister, Veronika Widmann, sister-in-law, Martina Timmermann, son, Dr. Rolf-Jochem Sebaldt (Dr. Michèle Galdès-Sebaldt), daughter, Madelene Veronika Sebaldt, beloved grandchildren, Alexandre (Laura), Daniel, and Gabrielle, and nieces Katanja, Carola, and Petra. Erika was predeceased by her mother, Margaret Timmerman (nee Grete Munk), father, Ernst Emil Theodor Timmermann, husband, Rolf Alexander Sebaldt, and brother, Ernst-Juergen Timmermann.
Erika was grateful to hold many final exchanges, until her final week, with her dear, longtime friends and family members who visited or communicated with her.
Erika was hugely appreciative of her wonderful team of nurses and allied care providers and doctors at St. Mary’s Hospital for their kind and good professional care and support. We likewise thank them once more.
Erika was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1931. We are unspeakably fortunate that Erika survived the terror of the Nazi regime, and further, that four years after its end, she emerged from her high school graduation on a path to becoming a librarian, along with strong leadership and organizational skills and a love of classic literature.
Through a shared passion for the arts with her future husband and a shared fun-loving streak, Erika also met the true love of her life. Two years after their marriage, they set sail for Montreal in 1955 to begin a new life in Canada. Erika was a wonderfully caring and nurturing mom to her children, and much later, “Mutti” to her grandchildren. Her family was the core of her pride and happiness.
Erika was proudly an educator. She completed further studies and formally became a teacher in addition to librarian. She served as the teacher-librarian at Willingdon School for 29 years and also at Nesbitt, Hampstead, Merton and other schools.
Erika was also reliably a trailblazer. Seeing the sorry state of the unattended library at her young children’s school, she volunteered not only to organize it but also to make it functional for the teachers and children. The school board soon proposed to hire her to continue her good work. When the school board planned to introduce new technology called personal computers into elementary schools, Erika was in the pilot team to explore how it might best be used.
Erika was permanently interested in learning. She delved into new books, new music, new art, new architecture, or new things she could do with her cellphone. She was sustained by and remained strongly mindful of her wonderfully detailed memories of the many joys she experienced over her long life: joys with her family, friends, long career as a teacher-librarian educator, stimulating personal travels, and of course her lifelong immersion in books, music, visual arts – and baking!
A private family celebration of Erika’s life was held in Montreal.
Donations in Erika’s memory are gratefully accepted to: St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation https://stmaryshospitalfoundation.ca/donate-now in recognition, thanks and support for excellent patient care, or are gratefully accepted to: Notre Home Foundation https://www.notrehome-qc.ca/donate to support the contestation of Bill 40 (legislation that abolishes public school boards) and to help protect the vitality of the English-speaking community of Québec.