Erna Lips (nee Schopp)
Called home by her heavenly Father on November 17, 2022, at the age of 99. Erna was the eldest of 7 children born to Henry and Rose Schopp. Born on March 18, 1923, in Southey, Saskatchewan. At the age of ten, Erna, her parents and four brothers, made the long drive from Saskatchewan to North Vancouver, British Columbia. It was a difficult journey in those days, and she often recounted memories of that trip.
Erna and her siblings, Arthur, Lloyd, Stanley, Herbert, Audrey, and Gordon all attended Queen Mary School in North Vancouver. Erna started working at a very early age, in order to help her family, initially as a housemaid and chambermaid. Returning to Saskatchewan for a brief period between 1942 and 1943, then returning to North Vancouver. Eventually, she went to work at Ocean Falls, B.C. where she met August Lips. They were married in Vancouver in 1947.
Throughout her entire life, Erna epitomized the Christian work ethic and she and August passed along to their children those important Christian values.
Her husband and her brothers were the driving force behind the building of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in North Vancouver. August was also instrumental in building the original Faith Lutheran Church at 96 Ave. and 132 Street. The building, still standing on that site, was a testament to the faith they both shared and August’s fine carpentry skills.
In 1963, they moved to Surrey, where they owned and operated a small general store, Cedar Hills Grocery, at 96 Avenue and 128 Street. Many of their former customers have fond memories of the kindness and generosity that the Lips’ family at Cedar Hills, gave to their clients. Despite the fact that she often worked in the store, fourteen hours a day, at least six days a week, she was always there, caring for others, especially August’s Mother. She was an avid letter writer and friends and relatives, near and far, always looked forward to receiving correspondence from her.
In 1979, following the birth of their third grandchild, they retired to Delta and continued to be actively involved in the Lutheran church at Faith, St. Luke’s, Zion, and St. Timothy’s School. Erna could often be found working at St. Timothy’s School Thrift Shop.
Following August’s death in 1991, she moved closer to St. Luke’s Church and continued to make quilts, sing in the choir, bake cookies, and serve coffee, to the glory of God. Often travelling to North Vancouver to visit friends and relatives and providing support for her stepmother after the death of her Father, also in 1991.
At the age of 81, she moved to Glenbrook Drive in New Westminster and provided her daughter with company and support following the death of her son-in-law. Every Thursday, she, and her sister-in-law, would drive to St. Luke’s for Bible study. Being independent and able to drive to church for all of her activities was something she valued and treasured.
She made a miraculous recovery from a broken hip which she sustained on the way to her cousin’s one hundredth Birthday party in Saskatchewan. She really enjoyed spending that time in Saskatchewan recovering from her fall and visiting with her cousins and especially her lifelong friend from Southey. In 2015, she fell at home, and eventually moved into Zion Park Manor in Cloverdale, despite failing vision, she knew all the words to the hymns by heart and continued to sing and praise God!
Erna leaves behind her son Donald, grandson Terry, granddaughter Chandra, great grandson Jacob, step great grandchildren Anyeline and Anthony in Cuba.
Daughter Kathi Orser-Lips, granddaughter D’Arlea Orser and great grandson Dayton McDonald
Brother Herbert Schopp, Sister Audrey Karlstrom and Brother Gordon Schopp
Nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives
Many friends and members of her Church families
Thank you to all the staff at Zion Park Manor who provided her with a loving, caring home since 2017.
“Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die.”
We have wonderful memories of Erna’s positive spirit, encouragement, endless energy and love of Jesus which she exhibited in everything she did. We were blessed to know her (and August).