Agnes Siemens Schmidt died Mar. 13, 2011. She was born Jan. 4, 1928 in Reinfeld, Amur, Russia to Jakob and Maria (Janzen) Siemens. She had fond memories of playing in the woods. When Agnes was 10, her father, the village leader, was taken away by the Communists and never seen again. Her family made the month-long train journey to Ukraine to live with Agnes’ grandmother. During WWII, they became refugees in Germany. Agnes decided to follow Christ as Lord and was baptized Aug. 19, 1946, in Berlin. The family was caught in Berlin’s Russian zone with the threat of being sent to Siberia. They were in the last train of refugees allowed out. After their ship, the Vollendam, landed in Paraguay during a revolution, they made a home in the jungle. Agnes married Theodor Schmidt Mar. 8, 1952. They grew manioc, oranges, grapefruit, and bananas. After 11 years, Agnes and Theodor immigrated to Canada, arriving in Clearbrook, B.C., in 1958, with the three girls, some clothing, and travel debt. Agnes picked berries and beans and worked in the cannery at night each fall. She joined East Aldergrove MB Church (now Ross Road), Abbotsford, B.C., Sept. 6, 1987. Agnes enjoyed planting flowers, reading, walking, and meeting friends for coffee. Despite dementia, Agnes always recognized family. Agnes is mourned by Theodor; children Annie, Dorothy, Marianne, Karl, Theresa.
Karla is a writer for Mennonite World Conference who lives in Winnipeg.