August 10, 1923 – June 18, 2020
It is with sadness and joy we announce the promotion of Ilse-Maria into the presence of her Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ, whom she loved, trusted and longed to meet in heaven.
She was born in Berlin, Germany, the second of four children of Paul Heinrich and Margarete Reckliess. Despite the aftermath of WWI her childhood experiences were generally positive, marked by much love and support from her parents and grandfather. At age 15, a mandatory conscripted year of domestic service followed her graduation. After a 3-year apprenticeship, she became a journeyman Technical Draftsperson, her meticulous work earning her much praise. Her employer assigned her tasks in several German cities during WWII where she witnessed much devastation.
In January 1942 her older brother was killed on the Russian front only days after having become a Christian. This searing loss ultimately led to a deepened quest for the meaning of life, which she found in the Lord Jesus Christ. At the close of WWII, she met Arthur Hiller in a Baptist Church in Hannover and they married in 1946. A year later their twin daughters, Renate and Irene, died shortly after birth.
With most of Arthur’s family having emigrated to Canada before the war, the couple moved to Vancouver in 1949 where their sons, Hans and Walter, were born. Arthur started a construction company which she supported by using her Technical Drafting and office administration skills.
Comprised of mainly German immigrants, Immanuel Baptist Church became their spiritual home where she taught Sunday School, sang in the choir and worked in the ladies’ auxiliary. She was a devoted student of the Bible and a person of ardent prayer.
Hans married Anita Sonntag in 1975. Ilse became a grandmother to their sons Bernie (Pam) and Norm (Gloria), and a great-grandmother to their four children. Hans’ death in 1998 when he was 49 left a deep scar in her life.
Walter married Carmen Bohlin 1978. Ilse became a grandmother to Corinna (Andrew), Sylvia (Matt), Emily (Brendan), Martin, Julia (Brianna) and Nicola (Dan), and a great-grandmother to their eight sons. Martin’s death in 1992 at age two left a further deep scar.
After nearly 60 years of marriage, Arthur died in 2006. She then moved to Abbotsford, enjoying time with family and friends. At 94, she moved into residential care at The Oxford, counting the support she received from caring staff, family and friends as a special gift from the Lord God. Her deep gift of faith gave Ilse a palpable, infectious assurance of Jesus’ presence in every situation, and a conviction that nothing could ever separate her from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus, her Lord. On June 18th, He welcomed her home saying, “well done, good and faithful servant…come and share your Master’s happiness!”
Ilse leaves behind an extended family, including her youngest brother, Fritz, in Berlin. A viewing has been held with a private graveside service to follow.
If so desired, donations to the Union Gospel Mission can be made.
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