It is with deep sorrow and much love that we mourn the passing of Zita Lynn Borgwardt, of Sturgeon County, AB, beloved wife, mother, sister, and aunt, at the age of 65 years.
Zita is lovingly remembered by her husband of 45 years, Bill Borgwardt–semicolon– her son, Drew–semicolon– her sister Bonnie Chalifoux, and her children: Crystal (Joey) Kosa, Tracy Chalifoux, and Troy (Shelley) Chalifoux, and their famlies–semicolon– her brother Lorne (Mavis) Remple, of Winnipeg, and their children: Brian Remple, Elaine (Greg) Sheppit, Rick Remple, and Darren Remple, and their families–semicolon– and many friends, including those in the antique and country music fields.
Zita was born in Victoria, BC, on July 28, 1948, to John and Ella (Wheeler) Remple. Her maternal grandfather was famed Canadian Horticulturalist Seager Wheeler of Rosthern, SK. The family lived in various locations in BC and Alberta before ending up in Edmonton in the 1960s, where Zita attended Victoria Composite High School. On April 19, 1969, she married Bill Borgwardt of the Horse Hill district in north east Edmonton and they went to live on the family farm. They had one son, Drew, born in 1971. In 1986 they relocated at their dream acreage near St. Albert.
Zita shared many interests with her husband, including enjoying driving vacations throughout Canada, the US, and Mexico. In 1976 they shared their passion of preserving history and antiques by becoming founding organizers of the Wild Rose Antique Collectors Society. They were also involved with museum societies in Fort Saskatchewan and St Albert. The Borgwardts were passionate collectors of Canadian and especially Alberta antiques. As part time antique dealers, they, and later along with their son Drew, participated in antique shows for 40 years. Zita and Bill also shared an interest in country music and became involved with Global Country in Edmonton in the mid nineties. Zita could always be found working behind the scenes helping to organize country music concerts and other special events that the Foundation sponsored. She also accompanied her country music photographer/reporter husband to numerous live country and cowboy music events, was a huge supporter of young local talent, and became friends and was respected by many in the music industry.
In 1991 Zita suffered kidney failure and in 1992 her sister, Bonnie, graciously gave her one of her kidneys. The transplant was so successful that the kidney lasted the rest of Zita’s lifetime, 22 years. Sadly rheumatoid arthritis and polymyalgia set in, which affected her mobility to the point where in later years she was in constant pain and confined to a wheelchair. Unfortunately Zita caught a highly contagious disease while in hospital for tests, and her life ended on July 4, 2014.
Cremation has taken place. A musical celebration of Zita’s life will be held at Festival Place in Sherwood Park on Sunday, August 10, 2014, starting at 1:00 pm and running until 4:00 pm. Zita always loved to attend shows at Festival Place and the management, staff, and volunteers always made her feel at home there. The event will feature live music performances by many of the different country artists who touched Zita’s life.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in Zita’s name to the Kidney Foundation of Canada.
Thank you to the homecare nurses of the Capital Health region who looked after her so well when she was at home, and thank you to the nurses on Ward 5A2 at the U of A Hospital, for their compassion and care during her final days on earth.