Erica Suderman died June 27, 2009. She was born July 14, 1938 in Winkler, Man. to Jacob and Tina Sawatzky. As a child in Gnadenthal and a youth in Winkler, Erica loved music, sang in the girls’ church choir, took violin lessons, and played in the school orchestra. She also loved to play “scrub” baseball. Erica had a devout love for her Lord and Saviour. She accepted Jesus into her heart as a young girl and was baptized in a creek. She was active in the church in Winkler, later in Abbotsford, B.C., at Clearbrook MB Church, and as a charter member of Bakerview, where she served as Sunday school teacher, librarian, and Pioneer Girls leader. After teacher training in Winnipeg, Erica moved to B.C. in 1957. She taught in the Abbotsford and Surrey school districts, leaving a mark of excellence, and always including singing activities. Erica’s training and aptitude for order led to work in school and church libraries, and the Historical Society in Abbotsford. Erica married Peter Suderman Apr. 21, 1962. She was generous and humble, with an extraordinary mind. She lived victoriously with celiac disease, never complaining, and she served others with frequently expressed joy and thankfulness. Erica and Peter loved to travel. She always carried a hymnal and books on their roadtrips. Erica loved her family dearly, instilling in them a love for beauty, learning, and Christian values. She was diagnosed with lung cancer in early spring. Erica is mourned by Peter; children Jeffrey (Heidi), Jacqueline (Cory) Gilmore; 2 granddaughters.
Karla is a writer for Mennonite World Conference who lives in Winnipeg.