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Ernst Redekopp

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Ernst’s family lived under the Soviet regime until 1941, often going cold and hungry. His father assisted the German Army as translator; they moved often. Ernst was known for getting into trouble, or as he put it: helping. When a German plane landed in a nearby field, curious Ernst was first on the scene; he offered the pilots directions to the town they were looking for, and unbeknownst to his parents, scored his first plane ride. In 1943 when the German army retreated, the Redekopps left for Poland. As they fled the Russians toward Germany, the children were separated from their mother, so Ernst took charge until they reunited. His father, who was still serving in the German Army, met them in Germany. The Ukrainian refugees of German descent feared being returned to Russia, so through Mennonite Central Committee, the Redekopps sailed to South America in 1947 on the Volendam. After a 6-month journey full of challenges and delays, first in Argentina and then in Paraguay, they arrived in Chaco, Paraguay. Ernst left for Brazil in 1952 to complete his apprenticeship as a lathe operator, where he stayed with his Enns relatives who accepted him as their own. Ernst made people laugh and feel comfortable. He worked more than 16 years repairing cars, even making parts that were no longer available. After Ernst and Luisa married, they lived first in Curitiba and then raised their family in Boqueirao. In 1973 they immigrated to Canada, settling in Vancouver. Ernst liked to travel: taking 47 annual trips to Osoyoos. Ernst and Luisa retired to Abbotsford in 1997. Ernst enjoyed watching cars go by and watching Bonanza and Wheel of Fortune. His commitment to church deepened over the years. Not one to wear his beliefs on his sleeve, only in his later years did Ernst share about his early spiritual experience: how at 20, he accepted Isaiah 43:1 as Jesus’s personal promise to him. Ernst taught his family generosity: his commitment to supporting the church was exemplary.

  • Birth: May 12, 1932
  • Birthplace:
    Chortitza, Ukraine
  • Death: August 10, 2022
  • Parents:
    Jakob & Lena Redekopp
  • Married:
    Luisa Rahn, Dec. 1, 1956
  • Family:
    Luisa; children Hane-Lore (Fred) Ekkert, Adelheid Klassen, Siegfried (Joan) Redekopp; 6 married grandchildren; 9 great-grandchildren; pre-deceased by grandson Arno Ekkert
  • Church:
    King Road, Clearbrook, Abbotsford, B.C.