With the greatest of sadness, we are announcing the peaceful passing of Lydia Elfreida di Dio on Saturday, 5 February 2022 at the age of 92 years of age, at Lions Prairie Manor.
Lydia will be lovingly remembered by her son Allan, his wife Jennifer (nee Roteliuk) and grandson Mark. Lydia was predeceased by her husband Richard in 2015.
Lydia was born to Willi and Elisabethe Weigand in Garbenteich, Germany on 3 February 1930. Her younger days and teenage years were difficult with the coming of WWII. Bombings, curfews, famine and evading strafing runs from Allied fighters were daily events. At one time, Lydia and three of her younger cousins jumped flat into a small depression to escape the bombs being dropped from above; only to be blown three feet into the air from the ground concussion. Sadly, 2 weeks before the end of the war, her father lost his life in one of the last infantry campaigns in Norway. Lydia and her Mother remained in Germany, near Garbenteich after the war and fortunately found themselves on the western divide of Germany, away from the oppression of the Russian occupation and the Berlin Wall.
In 1951, on her birthday, she was married to her husband Richard di Dio. Richard had miraculously survived WWII with two naval tours as a submariner within the dreaded North Atlantic U-Boat fleet. As a forward torpedo mechanic, he was able to escape twice from sinking submarines. Once, from an attack from torpedo bombers and once, from surface vessel depth charges. After being transfer to the army and being captured by the Russians, he endured two years in a Russian PoW Camp until the end of the war. Luckily for Richard, he was also released on the western side of the divide. Unfortunately, Richard’s family, which resided in Berlin, were partitioned under Russian control and remained confined in East Germany and were never allowed to leave. And so, Lydia, Richard and Lydia’s mother Elisabethe, came to Canada in 1952 to seek a better life.
Lydia’s sharp memory and strong math skills took her to work in accounting, book keeping and payroll for a number of years in Toronto, Ontario. A far departure from her occasional dental assistant work in Germany. Richard, as a skilled machinist, worked on the early Avro Arrow project and the founding company to Spar Aerospace. He eventually became a high school teacher for Industrial Arts until his eventual retirement in 1987. Lydia, for the most part, fulfilled the role of homemaker after the arrival of their only son, Allan in 1961 and enjoyed a prosperous life enjoying summers on Lake Simcoe on their cabin-cruiser, traveling and winters in Tampa during their retirement. They also moved to St. Catherines in their later years and after Richard’s passing in 2015, Lydia moved to Portage to be closer to her son Allan, daughter-in-law Jennifer and grandson Mark. Lydia was astonished to be involved with the enormous, extended Roteliuk family that she found herself with in Portage. She always enjoyed the company of the family and lengthy chats. Never hesitating to speak her mind with full German tradition and a fair accent, she would offer cute comments on fat bellies or new moustaches and always loved to wash the dishes before putting them into the dishwasher… There was no cleaner home than Lydia’s.
Lydia was a loving wife, mother, oma and friend. We will remember and cherish her love and memories.
There will be a private family gathering at a later date.
The family would like to extend their sincere thanks to the Lions Prairie Manor staff for their warm and gentle care.
A tree will be planted in memory and cared for by McKenzies Portage Funeral Chapel. www.mckenziesportagefuneralchapel.com