Lyla Nelner (nee McDonald)

Celebration of Life

2:00 pm
Monday, April 15, 2024
Hand Hills Lake Club
16141Township Road 294
Hand Hills, Alberta, Canada

Private Family Interment

Hanna Cemetery

Obituary of Lyla Ruth Nelner (nee McDonald)

It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, auntie and friend Lyla Ruth Nelner (nee McDonald) in Hanna, Alberta on April 6th, 2024 at the age of 70 years peacefully surrounded by her family. Lyla is survived by her loving husband of over 50 years Larry Nelner, her children Blaine and Heather Nelner, Cameron and Monica Nelner, Darren and Bobbie Nelner, Tim and Elizabeth Nelner and Tracy and Ricky Boyce. She is also survived by her grandchildren Everett (Jacey) Reed, Spencer (Shaelynn) Reed, Austin and Lincoln Nelner, Adelyn and Aubryn Nelner, Ashton, Emily and Chayse Nelner, Zane and Kenzie Nelner, Ellie Boyce, and great-grandchildren Raelee and Dalton Reed. Her sister Linda (Barry) Caskey, brother Larry (Laura) McDonald and brother Dean (Cheryl) McDonald, brother-in-law Lonny (Cindy) Nelner, brother-in-law Garry Nelner, sister-in-law Laurie Little as well as many precious nieces and nephews will also miss her. Lyla was predeceased by her parents Jack and Jean McDonald and her mother and father-in-law Olga and Ed Marquart as well as numerous aunts and uncles.


Lyla was born in Hanna, Alberta on November 21, 1953. The second of 4 children, Lyla was raised on the family farm in the Handhills. She attended Elmer School until Grade 9 and then finished her high school in Hanna. She attended the Secretarial Arts Program at Olds College and returned home to Hanna to work at the Royal Bank. At a friend’s wedding dance on July 24th, 1971, Lyla met the love of her life. She thought he was a little short for her taste, but all the rich farmers were already taken. Larry and Lyla were married on August 4, 1973, at the United Church in Hanna. They settled on the Nelner family farm west of Hanna and began their life together. Larry learned early on that if he was going to be dealing with cattle, it was a solo mission. Lyla was convinced to follow Larry into the pen with the “quiet” bull that promptly chased her up a fence and that was the end of her helping with the cows. Larry got talked into a solution to that problem and in June of 1977, the first farm hand, Blaine was born. Blaine wasn’t overly helpful to begin with, so they added to the team with Cameron in 1980, Darren in 1984, Tim in 1987 and Tracy in 1988.


Family life was never boring in the Nelner household. Lyla spent many hours baking bread and cookies and cooking delicious meals for her family, canning, tending her garden, and later her turkeys and chickens. Many hours were spent hemming and patching pants, but everyone stayed clear when she was dealing with zippers. She enjoyed reading books with a cup of tea in the evenings and Lyla was passionate about shopping for the perfect gift for her loved ones. Sports played a huge part in raising her family and many miles were put on the big red and white van chauffeuring kids to hockey and baseball games and curling matches. As her children got older, she took up taking care of her nephews in her home and then started a job at the Super A grocery store in Hanna. If you ever shopped at Super A and ran into Lyla, you best have a few minutes for a visit.


When the grandma role was presented to Lyla, she accepted it with open arms and excelled.  She was incredibly kind and loving to every single grandchild and always had a twinkle in her eye and a giggle when they challenged their parents. The pantry was always stocked with their favorite treats, and she cherished every moment she got to spend with them.


We were very fortunate to be able to celebrate the special milestone of Larry and Lyla’s 50th wedding anniversary in August of 2023. The deep and abiding love they have continuously shown each other over the years has served as a remarkable example for their children and grandchildren to follow.


Lyla was diagnosed with dementia in January of 2021. Although it eventually affected her ability to walk and speak, she never missed a beat and always remembered a face. Larry took on the caregiver role and together they still made every effort to attend grandchildren’s games, concerts, weddings, and special events. Lyla could still be seen giving kids rides on her walker and landing kisses on any little face that got close enough. That beautiful smile lit up her face whenever she saw one of her loved ones and will be remembered and deeply missed by all who loved her.


In lieu of flowers, donations in Lyla’s name can be made to the Alzheimer's Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories or the organization of your choice.


A Celebration of Lyla’s life will be held on Monday, April 15, 2024, 2:00 p.m. at the Hand Hills Lake Club.


Hanna Funeral Services has been entrusted with the care and arrangements, 403-854-5956,

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