Helen Penner died Mar. 1, 2009 at 94 years. She was born Apr. 30, 1914 in Fischau, Ukraine to David and Susanna Derksen. She came to Canada in 1927 with her parents. Helen had no formal public school education in Canada but in the 1940s she attended Winkler Bible School, then took courses for high school and trained at Brandon Mental Hospital, graduating with a proficiency award in mental health nursing. In 1958, she married Aron Penner and together they farmed in the Morden area, until they moved to Winkler for health reasons. She cared for Aron’s aging mother who lived with them. Aron died in 1974 and Helen continued in her home, looking after his mother who died in 1975 at age 99. Helen decided to follow Christ in her teen years and was baptized upon confession of her faith. Her strong faith kept her going through difficult situations. She will be remembered as a wonderful friend, sensitive listener, encourager, and prayer warrior. Hospitality was her gift and her flowers gave her much joy. Predeceased by Aron, 3 sisters, 1 brother, 4 siblings in infancy; Helen is mourned by brothers David, Peter; many nephews and nieces.
Karla is a writer for Mennonite World Conference who lives in Winnipeg.