Finish Lines (Obituaries)

Birthplace: Readymade, Alta.
Parents: Johann & Aganetha (Siebert) Wall
Marriage: Margaret Ewert, Oct. 31, 1954
Baptism: Coaldale, Alta., June 25, 1950
Church Communities: Coaldale MB; Fraserview, MB, Richmond, B.C.; Willingdon (MB), Burnaby, B.C.; Central Heights (MB), Abbotsford, B.C.
Family: Margaret; children Gary (Beverley), Randall (Susan), Kathleen (Ernie Janzen); 10 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; 11 siblings

Jack missed so much school because of illness that he had to repeat Grade 1, but worked so hard, he skipped Grade 2. He attended Coaldale Bible School for 2 years, and graduated from Lethbridge (Alta.) Business College with honours. Vehicles became his passion, and a life-long career developed as bookkeeper, salesman, credit manager, and fleet sales manager for car dealerships. Jack helped many immigrants from Paraguay and Germany with loans to buy homes. He managed the Golden Rule Credit Union 14 years. Jack served as auditor, treasurer, finance committee member, and boys brigade leader. At Willingdon, Jack and Margaret were care group host couple for 8 years, and served 10 years with the Gideons. His travels included Japan, Germany, Belgium, the Holy Land, Greece, and Egypt. Jack enjoyed his grandchildren’s recitals. Jack had valve replacement surgery in 1998. Congestive heart failure and Parkinson’s disease took their toll. He is remembered as hard-working, kind, patient. Jack opened the car door for Margaret as long as he was able.

Birthplace: Winkler, Man.
Parents: George W. & Justina (Elizabeth) Neufeld
Marriage: Trudi Klassen, June 21, 1969
Baptism: Grossweide MB Church
Church community: Winkler (Man.) Bergthaler Mennonite
Family: Trudi; children Matthew, Christine (Kent), Michael; 2 grandchildren

Arnie’s youth on the farm near Horndean, Man., fostered his passion for prairie landscape, service to the community, and involvement in church. Arnie’s deep desire was to serve the gospel of Christ Jesus: as a teacher, a historical theology instructor at Winkler Bible Institute (1976–1981), the owner of Christian bookstore, and a pastor at Linden (Alta.) MB Church (1981–1985) and Port Rowan (Ont.) MB Church (1990–1992). Deeply curious about the world, Arnie loved to travel, and to collect and tell stories. A gracious, gentle man, Arnie was a model of thoroughness, faithfulness, and kindness who blessed many.

Birthplace: RM of Hanover, Man.
Parents: John & Mary Voth
Marriage: John Toews, Apr. 23, 1960 (deceased April 2002)
Church communities: Vancouver MB (now South Hill); Culloden MB, Vancouver; Ross Road Community, Abbotsford, B.C.
Family: daughters Ruth (Paul) Fast, Lorna (Walter) Krueger, Marian Toews, Linda (Greg) Huebner, Anita (Dan) Spenst; 19 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren

When Anne was 3, her family began farming sugar beets in Readymade, Alta. After moving to Chilliwack, B.C., at 12, Anne attended school for a short time – an unhappy experience. She graduated from East Chilliwack Bible School in 1952 with a firmer grip on her faith. She worked as a “blue girl” serving meals to patients. At Vancouver MB Church, she joined a choir, the Ambassadors, and made lifelong friends, including John, who pursued her for 2 years before she agreed to date. Anne found fulfillment in homemaking and was active in the ladies’ helping hands club at Culloden MB Church, Vancouver. In 1983, Anne and John retired to Abbotsford, B.C., where they loved the Ross Road Community Church seniors’ group and choir. Anne was grateful for the friendship and purpose she found volunteering at the MCC Thrift Store, especially after John’s death. In February 2012, she was diagnosed with cancer. Anne’s life was testament to Jesus’ power for forgiving hurts and being forgiven.

Birthplace: Grunthal, Man.
Parents: Cornelius & Maria Heppner
Marriage: Harry Hooge, June 22, 1947 (deceased January 1981); Ron Matthews, Nov. 18, 1989 (deceased)
Baptism: Greendale MB Church, Chilliwack, B.C.
Church communities: Maple Ridge (B.C.) Baptist; Bakerview (MB), Abbotsford, B.C.
Family: children Allan (Jean), David (Sharon), Grace Howard (John), Carol Warner (Peter), 11 grandchildren; 1 great-granddaughter; stepsons Barry, Allan; 4 siblings

In 1930, Ann’s family moved to Yarrow, B.C. She met Harry at Greendale MB Church. They raised 5 children in Maple Ridge, B.C., and attend Maple Ridge Baptist Church. Ann mourned eldest daughter Gloria in 1971. Ann was passionate about music, singing and leading choirs with joy. Three years after Harry’s death, Ann married Ron Matthews. They enjoyed 12 years of happiness in Salmon Arm and Mission, B.C. Ann’s welcoming smile and loving kindness made hers a walk to remember and follow.

Birthplace: Laird, Sask.
Parents: David & Maria (Loewen) Epp
Marriage: Henry Klassen, 1994
Baptism: Ebenfeld MB, Laird, Sask.
Church community: Clearbrook MB, Abbotsford, B.C.
Family: Henry; stepchildren Helen Wiens,
Mary Pankratz, John (Joyce), Larry (Kathy); grandchildren

Tilly accepted the Lord as Saviour at 15 during revival meetings. In 1944, her family moved to Saskatoon, and in 1953, to Clearbrook, B.C. She worked at Bartsch Jewellers and a bakery in Abbotsford, B.C. Tilly sang in choir and ladies’ groups, worked in the church library, and as treasurer for the ladies’ group. She had a servant heart, caring for her parents in their home until their death.

Birthplace: Main Centre, Sask.
Parents: Abraham & Justina (Schroeder) Janz
Marriage: Art Martens, June 16, 1946 (deceased Jan. 31, 2006)
Baptism: July 14, 1940
Church community: Bakerview (MB), Abbotsford, B.C.
Family: children Ron (Evangeline), Rudy, Redge, Valerie, Ralph

Leona was the only girl at school who trapped gophers for money. She gave her heart to Jesus at 16. At church, she noticed her friend’s brother Art, who also thought her the prettiest girl in the choir. Leona loved beauty, and her creativity showed in her cooking, sewing, gardening, music, and the way she undertook everyday tasks. After Alzheimer’s disease set in, making it impossible for Art to take care of her any longer, she moved to Tabor Home. Leona will be remembered for her servant heart, gentle spirit, love for family, and devotion to her heavenly Father.

Parents: Werner & Elda Rempel
Baptism: Steinbach (Man.) MB Church, age 17
Family: children Michelle, Tyler; her parents; sister Beverly; a niece & nephew

Elaine loved playing sports and riding dirt bike. Her teenage summers were spent at Red Rock Bible Camp, Man. Elaine earned a BEd from University of Winnipeg in 1988, and a diploma in teaching the hearing impaired from University of B.C. in 1990. She received medals for her achievements in piano. For one and a half years before her illness made it too difficult to continue, she taught at the Manitoba School for the Deaf in Winnipeg. As her mobility decreased, increasing visits from friends became a great source of pleasure. Elaine remained as active in her children’s lives as possible, enjoying movie nights and snuggles. She moved to Rest Haven nursing home in 2011.

Birthplace: Vancouver
Parents: Adam & Anna Mensinger
Marriage: Wade Dalke
Baptism: Baptist church
Church community: Coaldale (Alta.) MB
Family: Wade; daughter Sharon (Jerry) Gurr; 3 grandchildren; 4 step-grandchildren

Marion’s biggest commitment was to God’s family, and her love for the Lord was evident. When she and Wade moved to Coaldale, Alta., in 1995, they joined the MB church. She served the church in many ways, including as recording secretary. Marion worked as a nurse’s aide, secretary, documentation worker for MCC, and Canadian citizenship course teacher. She was an active member of Girl Guides of Canada. Marion loved travelling, her last trip being to the Philippines, where she visited missionary Larry Thiessen and his family.

Birthplace: Alexanderkrone, Ukraine
Parents: Abram & Sarah (Peters) Koop
Baptism: Vineland, Ont., Aug. 7, 1949
Marriage: Lily Penner, June 10, 1950 (deceased 2000)
Church communities: Vineland (Ont.) MB; Black Creek (B.C.) MB
Family: children Bob (Paulette), Kathy (Ernie) Klassen, Marie, Peter (Darla); 8 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren; 10 siblings

John’s family immigrated to Manitoba, Canada, when he was 6 months, and moved to Ontario when he was 13. At 16, he began full-time employment at E.D. Smith’s nursery. He studied carpentry in Alberta. Beginning in 1969, John taught woodworking at Kernahan Park Secondary School, St. Catharines, Ont., until 1986. After retiring, he continued woodworking. John was a trustee and usher at Vineland M.B. Church and a trustee at Black Creek MB Church. In 1989, John and Lily moved to B.C., where he became an avid fisherman. He enjoyed his weekly coffee buddies and seniors’ groups from the church. He took care of Lily until her death, learning to mend clothes and quilt after her eyesight failed. John also mourned a granddaughter. In later years, John reconnected with Eleanor Wolverton and had many good times together.

Birthplace: Blumenort, Ukraine
Parents: John & Edith Schmidt
Baptism: 1955
Marriage: John Derksen (deceased 1984)
Church community: Greendale MB, Chilliwack, B.C.
Family: children John (Tina), Henry (Terri), Vera (Sid) Unger, Laura (Wallace)
Loge, Ron (Carol), Rudy (Fay); 17 grandchildren; 31 great-grandchildren

Helena’s youth was shaped by poverty and war. Life improved when her family immigrated to Canada in 1947, settling in Greendale, B.C. Her family and her faith community at Greendale MB Church were always her top priority.

Birthplace: Pavlodar, Russia
Parents: Johann & Helena (Klippenstein) Jantzen
Marriage: John Dyck, Nov. 29, 1942 (deceased 1998)
Church communities: Fraserview MB, Richmond, B.C.; Bakerview (MB), Abbotsford, B.C.
Family: sons Ralph (Aggie), Ken (Sally), Stan (Nora), David; 9 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; 1 sister

Agatha’s family immigrated in 1925, settling in Grunthal, Man. After Grade 7, due to her mother’s illness, she stayed home to assist with household duties. Weekly youth meetings, youth choir, and the guitar band brought her great joy. The family moved to Yarrow, B.C, in 1937. While living in an MCC girls’ home and working as a maid, preparing foods she’d never seen in the Mennonite Cookbook, Agatha committed her life to the Lord and was baptized. She attended Yarrow Bible School for 2 years. At Yarrow MB Church, she met John. Agatha served 25 years as Sunday school teacher, 18 years with Moms (a ministry of Union Gospel Mission), and 21 years with John as ordained deacons at Fraserview MB Church. Agatha supported the Ambassadors choir, serving care homes and missions. Hospitality and cooking were her gifts; she catered functions, and entertained friends, family, and many visiting MB conference pastors and leaders. In her last years, Agatha had much pain, but insisted on living independently.

Birthplace: Winnipeg
Parents: Robert & Mary McLeod
Marriage: Barbara Robinson, June 3, 1942
Church community: Salem Community Bible (MB), Winnipeg
Family: Barbara; children Judith (Dan) Hay, Lois (Winston) Churchill, Joanna (Darrell) Shaule, Timothy (Annette), Naomi; 19 grandchildren; 37 great-grandchildren

Bill invited Jesus into his life at 22. After his first pastorate in Rosthern, Sask., he became a circuit pastor in Burdette, Alta., and Strathclair, Shoal Lake, and Birtle, Man. In 1945, Bill joined Shantymen’s Christian Association, where he ministered in logging camps until beginning Tabor Baptist Chapel, Winnipeg, in 1953. He served as district superintendent of 40 churches over 1,000 miles. 1962–72, Bill ministered at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Saskatoon. As a member of Canadian Revival Fellowship and then Life Action Ministry, Bill travelled Canada and overseas, challenging believers to a deeper relationship with God. He established and directed Bird River Bible Camp, Man., and Nemieben Lake Wilderness Camp, Sask. Bill will be remembered for his knowledge of Scripture, faith-filled prayers, Bible-centred preaching, and love for family, friends, and nature.

Birthplace: Winkler, Man.
Parents: Philip & Anna Wiebe
Marriage: Phyllis Marie Cromartie, Feb. 1, 1969
Baptism: 1982
Church community: Bakerview (MB), Abbotsford, B.C.
Family: Phyllis; children Leah (Rob) Hasselmann, Kevin (Amanda), Allen (Maria); 8 grandchildren; 4 siblings

Dave’s family moved to Clearbrook, B.C., in 1952. He accepted Christ at an early age. In 1967 his building career began and continued to prosper. In 1974, Dave built the home where he and Phyllis lived ever since. Dave was enthusiastic in everything he did – working, playing and watching hockey, skiing, loving family and friends. He will be remembered for seemingly ordinary qualities that made his life extra-ordinary.

Birthplace: Hepburn, Sask.
Parents: David & Elizabeth (Falk) Heinrichs
Marriage: Sara
Church community: Bakerview (MB), Abbotsford, B.C.
Family: Sara; children David (Florence), Stan (Karen), Ron (Caroline), Lori (Jamie) Davidson; 11 grandchildren; 3 siblings

Peter grew up on a dairy farm in Yarrow, B.C., and graduated from University of B.C. medical school in 1959. Loved by his patients, he was a devoted family physician for 46 years at Burnaby (B.C.) General Hospital. His greatest joy was spending time with family. Peter enjoyed travelling, including medical mission work, and in retirement, working on his hobby farm in Yarrow. Peter loved Psalm 23 and knew Jesus as his personal shepherd; he always encouraged his family to follow the faith.

Birthplace: Pordenau, Ukraine
Parents: Cornelius & Sara (Enns) Wall
Marriage: Henry Dick, 1946 (deceased 2005)
Baptism: Philadelphia MB, Watrous, Sask., Aug. 9, 1942
Church communities: River East MB, Winnipeg; Bakerview (MB), Abbotsford, B.C.
Family: children Evy (Rudy) Kopp, Judy (Don) Falk, Ron (Lesley); 9 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; 5 sisters

When Katherine was 1, the family immigrated to Canada, settling in Watrous, Sask. Despite few possessions, laughter resonated throughout her home. In her early teens, through the influence of an evangelist, she chose to follow Jesus. Katherine’s first calling was mother and homemaker. She and Henry opened their home to 2 orphaned teenage boys for 3 and a half years. After her mother’s death, her teenage sister moved in with them. Katherine and Henry mourned their son Rudolph at birth. Katherine’s love of books was expressed in her first job at Christian Press and 19 years at Hull’s Family Bookstore, Winnipeg. She implemented Pioneer Girls at River East MB Church, Winnipeg, becoming the representative in southern Manitoba, then a member of the Canadian board. Katherine and Henry were deacons 20 years. Upon moving to Abbotsford, B.C., she served the Bakerview Church tape ministry, library, fellowship choir, and the Gideons women’s auxiliary. Her home, gardens, and cooking reflected her creativity. After Henry’s death, Katherine faced the challenges of dementia. Her faith in God was her hope and strength. At Menno Home, she was known for her beautiful smile and gentle spirit.

Birthplace: Kronsthal, Ukraine
Parents: Abram & Anna Klassen
Marriage: Arthur A. Heier, July 14, 1979
Baptism: Port Rowan (Ont.) MB, age 15
Church communities: Vineland (Ont.) MB; Portage Avenue (MB) Church, Winnipeg; Steinbach (Man.) MB
Family: Arthur A. Heier; children Jonathan; Krista (Morgan) Serger; 3 siblings

In 1943, Katherine’s family left Ukraine for Germany. Due to the threat that Russia would force their return, MCC found them a new home; they passed through Berlin’s Russian territory without capture. In Chaco, Paraguay, her parents pioneered with MCC’s help. There, Katherine accepted Jesus as personal Saviour with friends. After 7 years, the family immigrated to Canada, settling in Port Rowan, Ont. Katherine studied at Eden Christian College and MB Bible Institute, Kitchener, Ont., where she chose to completely surrender to God. Following teacher’s college in London, Ont., Katherine taught Grade 6 at Grimsby Beach, Ont. She attended MB Bible College, Winnipeg, and stayed to teach an inner-city Bible club and help launch Living Bible Explorers. She taught at Champlain School, and completed a BA at University of Winnipeg. Katherine and Art moved to Steinbach, and she taught 4 years in Grunthal, Man. At birth, their son Jonathan had diaphragmatic hernia and a 50/50 chance; he was rushed for surgery, and recovered. Katherine earned a post baccalaureate in education, a resource teaching degree, and an Orff Schulwerk music program. She taught elementary school in Seine River school division, Man. She was grateful for God’s work in her life.

2 Comments on “Finish Lines (Obituaries)

  1. I am looking for the obituary of Peter Peter Toews of Abbotsford BC. He died on June 18, 2000. It should be in the Sept. 2000 edition of the MB Herald. Would this be available on line?
    Thank-you for any help you can give.

    Judi Klassen

    • Hi Judy
      Online articles before 2008 are spotty, and increasingly so the closer one gets to 1999. (MBH table of contents went online in 1995, but full articles did not regularly appear until 1999.)
      One way to find older articles all the way back to 1962 is to purchase the flash drive (http://mbherald.com/mb-herald-flash-drive/) or visit a Mennonite archival centre or library that has one.
      For a single article only, email mbherald [at] mbchurches [dot] com.

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