Lara Elizabeth Ens

Lara 2003

Lara died very suddenly on Saturday, May 10, 2008. Lara grew up in Saskatoon. She had a very happy childhood and was involved in many activities, particularly music. She sang in the church and school choirs, played violin and played french horn. She enjoyed the opportunity to play in the high school band at Walter Murray Collegiate. After high school, she attended the College of Education, University of Saskatchewan and played in the University Wind Ensemble. She spent one year at Canadian Mennonite Bible College studying voice and theology. Shortly after graduation, she became ill with what was eventually diagnosed as schizophrenia. Although the illness robbed her of much of her energy and vitality, she took on the challenges of the illness with her usual determination and grit. She became an outstanding spokesperson and educator about the illness. Through the Partnership Program she spoke to different audiences in schools, hospitals, the university, police training courses and others. She maintained her sense of humour, her joy of living and especially loved being with her niece and nephew and her many friends. She is survived by her parents, Jake and Barbara Ens, one sister, Susan (James Funk), niece and nephew, Colin and Ella, loving aunts, uncles and many cousins.

She will be missed.



Filed under personal

6 responses to “Lara Elizabeth Ens

  1. Susan,

    My most heartfelt condolences to you and your family.

    This was a lovely tribute.


  2. Also my deepest sympathies to you and your family. How moving to share a deep grief of such a wonderful sister.

  3. Noa Zorea

    My deepest condolences to you and the family. Although we haven’t seen each other in over 30 years, Lara was always in my heart and thoughts and I will always remember her as part of my childhood and I promise – the first chance I get I will light a candle for her in Jerusalem.
    May she rest in peace
    All my love

  4. Joanne de Groot


    My condolences to you and your family. Your sisted sounded like a wonderful person. I’ll be thinking of you.


  5. Curtis


    My thoughts are with you and all your family as this Sunday marks the first anniversary of Lara’s passing. I know it may be a difficult day of reflection.

    I remember after it happend many people stopped by the Schizophrenia Society. Many were her friends and others were friends of your family. Still other’s made phone calls, sent emails, cards, and donations…..people that didn’t even know her.

    Lara was a person that suffered so much and few understood to what extent. That is why the work she did was so important as she’d helped thousands of people to view schizophrenia in a different light.

    Her humor and lighthearted manner put the audience at ease while she told her story. Lara was often candid while presenting and always had an impact on the audience. Professors, teachers, and students sent countless donations in her honour.

    People that didn’t know of her death were still requesting her for presentations in the fall and were stunned of the news.

    She’d spent much time mentoring so many people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. These people looked up to her.

    I remember some of the debilitating drugs she was put on which made it all the more difficult for her to funtion in the early days of the Partnership Program. However, she fought it every day and bravely managed to go out and speak. She finally found a medication that helped her tremendously. Her life had recently changed for the better.

    You see Lara had championed a cause despite the daily torment she faced.

    Words cannot describe the impact and invaluable role she’d played in so many lives. I guess if I had to pick one phrase that best described Lara it would be in a way that she’d been described of before and that is “Lara the Lionheart”.

    She truly was a person of exceptional courage and bravery. Second to this was that she was also a person of compassion. I don’t know what else to say.

  6. Thanks Curtis. It has been another year of learning and building our understanding about what all of this has meant. Your kind words and thoughts are appreciated.

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