Justina (Wiens) Siemens died July 3, 2009 at 98. She was born Oct. 24, 1910 in Samara, Russia, and the next year her parents moved to Siberia. In 1928, Justina married Jacob Siemens. They farmed in Schumanowka. In Dec. 1930 the entire village escaped Russia across the frozen Amur River into China. Jacob and Justina prayed for safe passage and promised God to surrender totally to him. They immigrated to the Chaco, Paraguay, where they kept their promise and were baptized and received into the MB church. In 1950 they moved to Canada, eventually settling in Edmonton, where Justina worked as a cook in a care facility. In 1983, the couple moved to St. Catharines, Ont., where Jacob died in 1991. Justina was hospitable and ministered to those in need. She phoned every member of her 100-plus family on their birthdays, rarely needing a calendar to remind her. Predeceased by Jacob, son Jake and his wife Frieda, 1 son-in-law, 1 grandchild, 1 great-grandchild; Justina is mourned by children Elizabeth (George) Schmidt, Rudy (Elsie) Siemens, Sara (John) Klassen, Elvira Pain, Bill (Marg) Siemens, Elsie (Neil) Bargen, 24 grandchildren, 46-great-grandchildren, 11 great-great-grandchildren.
Karla is a writer for Mennonite World Conference who lives in Winnipeg.