Vida was born to I.J. and Emily Marais on the 5th of April, 1922 in Paul Roux, South Africa. Along with two siblings, Leon and Adri, she attended the local primary school, where her father served as principal, and completed her secondary education in Bethlehem, South Africa, matriculating with excellent grades. Though it was relatively rare for young South African women to do so at the time, she decided to pursue a tertiary education. She studied English literature at the University of Bloemfontein, which had offered her a full scholarship.

Upon graduating, she moved to Pretoria, where she worked in the South African government’s Translation Bureau during the final years of World War II, becoming an accomplished typist and writer of shorthand.

After the war she accepted an offer to become the editor of an Afrikaans art magazine based in Johannesburg. It was here where, at a youth function, she met Hentie Venter, a young accountant. They fell in love, got married, and moved to Potchefstroom, where both of them earned their bachelor of education. After a short and unrewarding stint as a teacher, Vida accepted a job at the library of the Potchefstroom University of Christian Higher Education. She soon decided to study Library Science, and after earning her degree, started working in the catalogue room at the university library. She excelled at this work; her knowledge and competence were reportedly legendary. Rising through the ranks, she became the head of the library’s catalogue department, and eventually vice librarian. She loved her work and continued in her position even after she had reached retirement age. Over time, she gained an extraordinarily broad general knowledge, as well as a working familiarity with several languages, including German and French.

In Potchefstroom, Vida took time from her work at the library to raise twin boys, Hennie and Marais, and a daughter, Emily. A loving mother, she eventually became a grandma who adored her grandchildren and later also her great-grandchildren.

In retirement, she continued to read but also occupied herself with pastimes like crossword puzzles and hobbies like sewing. She and Hentie were the founding members of the Potchefstroom chapter of the Dendrological Society. 

In 2002, Vida and Hentie emigrated to Canada, joining Hennie and his wife Lorinda in Shoal Lake. Here, Hentie began to show signs of dementia. As his condition worsened over the years, Vida continued to take care of him with patience and tenderness.

After Hentie’s death in 2012, Vida moved in with Emily’s family in Winnipeg. She eventually moved with them to Graysville, Manitoba, where she spent the last years of her life. She died on the 4th of February, 2024 at the age of 101. She is mourned by her children Marais (Adri), Hennie (Lorinda), Emmie (Sias). She also leaves behind her loving grandchildren Hentie (Janice), Vida (Geoff), Elsie, Hendrik (Elizabeth), Sias (Nadia), Willem (Emma), and her great-grandchildren, Evey, Celia, Mila, Anneke, Emily, and Felix.

Funeral service will be held on Thursday, February 8, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. at Doyle’s Funeral Home, Carman. Interment will take place in the Riverside Cemetery, Graysville.

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Doyles Funeral Home
Hwy. 3&13 10-4th Avenue SE, Carman, MB
Phone:  204.745.2045 | Fax: 204.745.2499
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