Marla Rose Mark (Tootsie Klassen)

20/01/1940 - 05/10/2023


Obituary For Marla Rose Mark (Tootsie Klassen)

Marla Mark (Tootsie Klassen)

January 20, 1940 – October 5, 2023

With heavy hearts we announce the passing of our mother Marla Mark (Tootsie Klassen). Marla passed away on October 5, 2023, in Grande Prairie, Alberta at the age of 83.

Born Mildred Rose Zenner, Tootsie was born and raised on the homestead of Robert (Bob) and Rosalie (Rosie) Zenner. Tootsie attended Mountain Springs School, completing grade 9, at which time she started work at the young age of 15, first in DeBolt, then moving to Grande Prairie shortly after where she worked in retail. Tootsie met and married a handsome man from DeBolt, Gordon Klassen, and returned to DeBolt to farm and raise a family.

Tootsie’s life on the farm was both wonderful and tough. She was extremely hard working and enterprising; farming full time with mixed livestock, grain production and market gardening. Tootsie raised four children, Gordy, Roy, Jacalyn and Bill; who were all loved unconditionally and supported with their beginnings by her hard work and innate wisdom. Mom provided her children with the latitude to understand that nothing was impossible and boundaries to respect that they had to do things the right way. She taught them all to love life, family and work hard. Gordon worked away to finance his dreams, so Tootsie was our biggest influence, protector and champion. While Dad was ambitious, mom made it happen through personal sacrifices and the ability to transform ideas into reality. An amazing cook and always available for a coffee, mom had an amazing network of family and friends who she cherished.

Tootsie especially loved all her grandchildren. From tall stories to going for ice cream at the nearest convenience store, mom lived to spend time with her ‘angels right from heaven.’ Her life revolved around her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. In return, she was adored and loved by us all.

Tootsie was blind in one eye from early childhood, and we learned that didn’t stop her from seeing everything we were up to. In her early forties, mom was a candidate for the Gimbel Eye Centre, receiving one of the first eye lens in her blind eye in the province. Having sight in both eyes was incomprehensible, at first, but it also provided growing independence. Tootsie was afflicted with debilitating osteoporosis arthritis throughout her life affecting her neck, jaw and upper back. Her attitude towards health struggles always amazed us, even to her last moments.

In 1991, mom completed her GED, a lifelong dream to graduate. As her independence her grew, she divorced Gordon in 1994, and moved to Grande Prairie where her hard work attitude made her many new friends. She took boarders into her house, while working full time. Many of these renters became family to her and she prided herself in her ability to readily help anyone in need. Tootsie was the epitome of a very special, kind person to everyone.

In the late 1990’s, Tootsie was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s and was treated with a new, experimental drug that provided our families many additional years of time with our mom. As dementia set in, the later years were more difficult for her. Throughout the journey, she worked her way through the demons from this ugly disease to a place of peace with herself. As a family, we loved and supported her the best we could.

We would like to heartfully thank the staff at Prairie Lake, who made the last few years of Marla’s life easier and eventually happier. A special thanks to her brother Jack Zenner who never stopped bringing her milkshakes; our sister Jacalyn and Brent Tiedemann who were able to be with her most every day; Gordy Klassen for handling her affairs and being her favorite cowboy; Roy Klassen for being her fashion magnate and taking her on trips around the province that she cherished beyond words. As the baby of the family, and the one mom got to dote on the most, you all have my heartfelt gratitude for the love and care you provided our hero, our champion, our Mom. We will not cry for our loss, as we had the best Mom!

Marla is survived by her children: Gordy (Allison) Klassen, Roy (Sheila) Klassen, Jacalyn (Brent) Tiedemann and Bill (Helene) Klassen; grandchildren: David (Lindsey) Klassen, Brian (Tara) Klassen, Gail (Tyson Birchall) Klassen, Dale Tiedemann, Alex (Becky) Klassen, Ashley (Neil Gerstel) Tiedemann, Jessica (Gabe Barrios) Klassen and Marshal (Makenna Whyte) Klassen; great grandchildren: Parker Klassen, Dillan Klassen, Jordan Ophus, Darren Ophus, John Birchall, Layla Birchall, Waylon Birchall, Braden Klassen, Grayson Tiedemann, Wranglen Klassen, Abel Klassen, Novalee Gerstel and Rosie Barrios; and her sister Eileen Jossey; brothers Jack (Donna) Zenner, Gerald (Julie) Zenner and Tom (Wanda) Zenner.

Marla was predeceased by her grandchildren: Garrett Klassen and Tyler Tiedemann; father Robert Zenner, mother Rosalie Zenner; brother; Richard (Anne) Zenner and Robert Zenner Jr., and sister, Edna Zenner.

Celebration of Life will take place October 21st at 11:00 AM at the Bear Creek Funeral Home 11802 99 Avenue Grande Prairie.

Care entrusted to Bear Creek Funeral Home 780 830 7742


21 Oct

Celebration of Life

11:00 AM

Bear Creek Funeral Home 11802 99 Ave Grande Prairie, AB T8W 0C7 Get Directions »
by Obituary Assistant

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  • 23/11/2023

    To the family, I'm sending my deepest condolence to all. I remember your mom as a patient. Was so caring and loving. I'm glad to have spent time with her and the laughs we had. I will sure miss her. Joanne Laverdiere

  • 24/10/2023

    Gerry and I have the most amazing memories of Tootsie. She was a wonderful, hardworking, kind and loving friend. She no doubt has a pathway directly through the pearly gates. This I know for sure. Maureen and Gerry Anderson

  • 22/10/2023

    Sorry for your family's loss she was strong dynamic lady.

  • 21/10/2023

  • 21/10/2023

    She was a great angel on earth now one in heaven..she will be remembered fondly

  • 21/10/2023

    I meet Tootsie at Sheila & Roy's & later she became our neighbor in Grande Prairie. What a wonderful & kind person she was. So enjoyed our coffee & visits she was always so interesting & a great conversationalist. Our deepest condolences to all her family may GOD comfort & hold you in the palm of His hand as you mourn her loss. Sincerely Deborah & Dennis Smith

  • 14/10/2023

    Our deepest sympathy to your family. The Alkerton Family.

  • 13/10/2023

  • 11/10/2023

    To Tootsie's Family ( Siblings & Descendants ) Please accept our sincere Condolences on Tootsie's passing, our prayers go out for you, that you find more joy in your remembrances of Tootsie's life than sadness in her passing. God Bless All Mo & Marlene

  • 11/10/2023

    We extend our condolences to Tootsie's family at this sad time. We have good memories of her when we lived in DeBolt particularly curling together. I actually babysat Gordey and Roy when they were small Willard and Arlene Logan

  • 11/10/2023

    Fly high Marla we will miss you. ☕️

  • 11/10/2023

    My sincere condolences to all of her family. I remember her well from growing up in DeBolt.

  • 11/10/2023

    I'm so saddened to hear of Tootsie's passing. I've had the pleasure of short visits with her when volunteering at Prairie Lakes. I would remind her of my name and she would tell me stories of my grandparents from years ago. When it was time for me to go she would thank me for stopping to talk. Such a beautiful and incredibly kind lady. Deana (Dievert) Marth

  • 11/10/2023

    My sincere condolences to Tootsie's children, siblings, grandchildren and great grandkids. I knew Tootsie many years ago in DeBolt growing up and spending lots of time with Sharon Klassen Newman and have many memories of Tootsie. A wonderful tribute to your Mother, blessings to all of you at this sad time. Heather (Knox) Sagan

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