Jakob Janzen died Oct. 25, 2010. He was born Feb. 21, 1921 in Molotschna, Ukraine to Jakob and Louise (Derksen) Janzen. He completing Grade 7. When he was 13, he lost his father. When Jakob joined the collective farm, his first job was caring for calves, sheep, and cows; he later drove cattle and oxen. At 20, Jakob was drafted into the Russian army, where he served several months in the infantry until he was wounded. En route from a field hospital, he was captured by the Germans who put him to work translating from Russian to German, driving truck, and working in a supply depot and a bakery. After the war, with his uncle’s help, Jakob found his mother and sister in a refugee camp in the Netherlands. They travelled on MCC’s refugee ship, the Vollendam, arriving in Paraguay in 1947. Jakob married Sophie Siebert July 31, 1947. He was given land to farm. In 1952, with 2 small children, Sophie died. Sept. 30, 1955, Jakob married Maria Klassen. With 5 children, they immigrated to Vancouver Dec. 24, 1959. God provided employment at Bargen Doors, which later became Sauder Industries where Jakob worked for 27 years until his retirement in 1986. In retirement, Jakob enjoyed golf, daily walks with Maria, card games, bowling, and vacations to California and the East Coast. In 2002, Jakob and Maria moved to Abbotsford, B.C., where they attended Clearbrook MB Church. They read the Bible together every morning and evening. Jakob was a good listener. He had a big smile, a great laugh, and a good sense of humour. Jakob cherished and protected Maria faithfully. He prayed for each of his children and their spouses daily. He was quiet, forgiving, thoughtful, loyal, genuine, welcoming, compassionate, and faithful. Predeceased by Sophie, son Jake in 1996, daughter Martha in 2002; Jakob is mourned by Maria; children Helen, Louise, Anni, Henry, Harry, Ken; 1 daughter-in-law; 1 son-in-law; 29 grandchildren; 31 great-grandchildren.
Karla is a writer for Mennonite World Conference who lives in Winnipeg.