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Jake Janzen

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Jake was the second son born to John and Sarah (Unger) Janzen, his brother Ben being the eldest. Jake was born in Ignatyevo, Russia, Nov. 29, 1930.  His mother always said he was her sickly child. He struggled with sicknesses from the time he was born until he died. In 1933, his parents fled to Siberia, to Omsk, where they lived for 8 years and 4 more brothers were born: John, Henry, Nick, and Neil. In 1941, under threat of war and communism, they fled to Fuerstenland, and settled in the small Mennonite Village #1, close to Zaporizhzhia, Russia (now Ukraine). Russia and Germany were at war. Jake’s father was determined to get to Germany, so they followed the German army westward. There they learned that Stalin wanted all Russian citizens returned to Russia, so they fled to an International Refugee Camp in Germany, narrowly escaping being sent back. In Germany, Jake’s youngest brother Danny was born. Now they had 7 boys and would try to get to Canada. His father’s brother Jake had immigrated to Canada in 1926. Being well-established in Clearbrook, he and his wife Lisa were able to sponsor them all to come to Canada. In 1948, the family arrived in Quebec. Travelling by train across Canada, they arrived in Mission, B.C., on Mother’s Day. Jake moved to Vancouver to find work. There, he met Mary in 1951. Shortly afterward, Dad developed a tumour on his lung and was quite sick for a very long time. Mary stood by his side and they were married Aug. 9, 1953. In 1955, Jake got seriously sick again. This time he ended up losing one of his kidneys. It was a tough time; Mary had a baby and a very sick husband. In 1958, they became Canadian citizens and were welcomed by W.A.C. Bennett. In the next coming years, Victor, Anita, and Karien were born. Jake loved the Lord. Since 1948, when Jake accepted Jesus as Saviour, he did his best to point his family to Jesus. Jake prayed that his children would all respond to the Father’s drawing and come to Jesus; and yes, God will raise him up on the last day. What a glorious hope. On Monday, May 8, 2023, Jake was admitted to the hospital very ill, dying on Mother’s Day, only 3 months from Jake and Mary’s 70th wedding anniversary. Jake will be greatly missed by his brother Henry; many nieces and nephews; his children Ron (Hilda), Victor, Anita (Jim) and Karien (Brian); 7 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren; but mostly by Mary, his wife of almost 70 years.

  • Birth: November 29, 1930
  • Birthplace:
    Ignatyevo, Russia
  • Death: May 14, 2023
  • Parents:
    John & Sarah (Unger) Janzen
  • Married:
    Mary, Aug. 9, 1953
  • Family:
    Mary; children Ron (Hilda), Victor, Anita (Jim), Karien (Brian); 7 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren
  • Church:
    Clearbrook, Abbotsford, B.C.