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At the age of 33 years, with her family at her side, Erica Dawn Riedel passed away on March 19, 2016 at the Riverview Health Centre after a particularly short battle with cancer.
She is survived by her husband Gonzalo; sons Elliot and Charlie; parents Ron and Laury; sisters Jenny (Jenni), and Brittany (Ben); grandparents John and Alice Steinke and Rodger Morris. She is predeceased by grandmother Mary Morris.
Erica was born on December 26, 1982 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the first child to Laury and Ron Steinke. Growing up, Erica was a quiet, easygoing, kind-hearted little girl. At the age of 2 ½, she became the proud older sister to Jenny, and then in 1992, she gained another younger sister, Brittany. She had the world of patience for her little sisters, and enjoyed very close relationships with them, even into adulthood. Erica had a happy childhood, growing up surrounded by loving parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Erica met Gonzalo Riedel at an early age but it wasn’t until high school that the two really hit it off. They started dating in 1997, and dated for 11 years before getting married. Right from the start, Erica and Gonzalo enjoyed a close partnership; their personalities complemented each other well and they had a lot of fun finding their way through life side by side. Together they moved to Montreal for Gonzalo to pursue a master’s degree. Erica’s time there brought out her adventurous side: from exploring the city to learning French, she made the most of every opportunity that arose.
After two years in Montreal, the pair moved back to Winnipeg to grow their family. When Erica and Gonzalo’s first son, Elliot, was born in 2012, Erica threw herself into parenting, and it came quite naturally to her. Three years later, they welcomed their second son, Charlie, to the family. She loved being a mother, and her gentleness, patience, selflessness, and great sense of humour served her well in raising her two sons.
Erica was an extremely creative and talented person and had a passion for art: she studied Art History at the University of Winnipeg and worked at the gallery there. An avid traveler, Erica enjoyed many trips around Canada and abroad, making sure to visit any art museum that she came across. She always had some type of craft project on the go, and whether it was sewing, knitting or painting, her handiwork could be found all around her home and in the homes of those she knew.
People who are lucky enough to have known Erica would describe her as a beautiful person both inside and out. She had an amazing smile and loved to laugh. One barely ever heard a complaint or a negative word about anyone from her. Erica will be remembered as an amazing wife, mother, daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, friend and co-worker. Her calm, gentle spirit and caring demeanour will be greatly missed.
A service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 26, 2016 at Westminster United Church, 745 Westminster Ave., with the Rev. Scott MacAuley officiating.
In lieu of flowers, friends and relatives are invited to make a donation to Erica’s family fundraiser through GoFundMe, at www.gofundme.com.