It is with profound sadness that we say goodbye to Gerda, who passed away peacefully on April 18, 2021. She was the beloved wife of the late Felix Siuksteris (father of Ruta) and later found love again and was married to Leo Sillaots who has pre-deceased her. Gerda was a loving mother to Ruta Siuksteris and loving mother-in-law to Larry Richardson. She was a proud and devoted Oma to her very cherished grandchildren, Lukas and Kyla. Gerda is predeceased by her dear sister Edith Sernas. She will be especially missed by her long-time friend, Anne Navickas, her nieces Asta Simkus, Vida MacDonald, Silvia Kisonas and their families, as well as her brother-in-law Gytis Martin Sernas.
Gerda was born in Schmalininken, Lithuania. She attended business school and later worked as a typist at a Displaced Persons Camp during WWII. Gerda met Felix Siuksteris at the DP Camp and they married in 1947 in Lubeck, Germany. They first immigrated to England where they lived for a few years before immigrating to Canada and settling in Toronto in 1951. In Toronto, Gerda worked for Canada Packers for many years prior to moving to Wasaga Beach where she ran a cottage rental business with Felix until his health declined and he passed. After this, Gerda continued to run her business independently. In 1974 she married Leo Sillaots. They spent many happy years enjoying life living on the Nottawasaga River until his passing in 1999.
Eventually Gerda moved to Caledon East to be closer to her daughter and her family. During her golden years Gerda experienced some significant health issues but always faced them with bravery and great determination. Most recently Gerda lived at the Vera Davis Center in Bolton where she spent her last few years in their good care.
Spending time with family was one of Gerda’s greatest joys in life. She especially loved spending time with and spoiling her grandchildren. Gerda’s other life-long passions were cooking and baking. Gerda enjoyed entertaining and hosting many gatherings with friends and family over the years. She was an outstanding cook who spent countless hours creating and perfecting recipes and delighted in sharing her culinary skills with everyone. Gerda was a very social person who took a genuine interest in everyone she met and could easily strike up a conversation with anyone. She always had a positive, loving demeanour, a witty sense of humour and enjoyed sharing a good laugh. Gerda always exhibited strength and determination and this was reflected in everything she set out to do and fittingly, one of her favourite phrases was, “If there’s a will, there’s a way.”
Gerda will be fondly remembered by all who knew her.
Much loved and never to be forgotten.
A private family service will be held, followed by interment at St. John’s Lithuanian Cemetery. A celebration of life memorial will be planned for a time when all can gather safely in person. For those who wish, donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada / Fondation des maladies du coeur et de l'AVC du Canada