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Katie Penner

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On Katie’s third birthday, soldiers took her father. When WWII began, her family fled with 2 horses and a wagon. After months of hunger, they arrived in a refugee camp in Poznan, Poland, staying 2 years in Litzmannstadt. When the Russians came, the family fled on foot. In Lauenburg an der Elbe, Germany, they lived in a barn because no houses remained, until English soldiers brought them to a house with 13 other families. In 1950, they sailed to Halifax, and took a train to Grimsby, Ont. Uncle Janzen rented them a house next to the basket factory where they worked. The first 2 years were lonely. Katie, her brother, and mother were baptized. After 3 years, they moved to St. Catharines, Ont., where Katie and her mother worked at the Boese canning factory, earning enough to buy a house. Soon afterward, Katie’s spine collapsed due to malnutrition and hard labour. She endured surgery and 4 months in hospital at 19, promising God many things if he would make her well. She wore a cast for a year. Katie worked in Bethesda’s kitchen with her mother. After attending Columbia Bible School, Abbotsford, B.C., she returned to St. Catharines to work as a nurse’s aide. Katie met Jake at a family picnic in 1959. They dated 6 weeks before becoming engaged. She joined Jake’s church, St. Catharines United Mennonite. Katie had many operations, but God always gave her courage. He taught her to trust him completely (Proverbs 3:5–6).

  • Birth: December 4, 1934
  • Birthplace:
  • Death: May 22, 2018
  • Parents:
    Peter & Helen Teske
  • Married:
    Jakob Penner, Dec. 5, 1959 [d.]
  • Family:
    children Rita (Don) Wall, Tina (Ignazio) Boccia, Peter (Cheryl); 13 grandchildren including Arlynne [d.]; 4 great-grandchildren
  • Church:
    Grantham MB, St. Catharines, Ont.
  • Baptism:
    Grimsby, Ont.