Mary Barwich died Feb. 25, 2010. She was born Apr. 22, 1923 in Russia to David and Maria Schapansky. When Mary was 6, her father died. She accepted Jesus as Saviour at 9. During her youth, Mary suffered many years of illness. Pastor Neustaetter read James 5, prayed over her, and she was healed, and soon after baptized in the Dneiper River at 18. In 1943, Mary left Russia, arriving in Canada in 1948. Mary and her mother did housework in Saskatchewan, then moved to Abbotsford, B.C., where they worked on berry farms, eventually buying their own small property. Mary joined South Abbotsford MB Church where she taught Sunday school for many years. She was devoted to the care of her mother. In 1972, Mary married John Barwich, a widower. They served as deacons at King Road MB Church, where Mary also participated in ladies group. She volunteered at the MCC store and at the community centre. Predeceased by John, an infant brother, stepson Werner, 1 stepson-in-law; Mary is mourned by stepchildren Jake (Erna), Elsa Bublitz, Anneliese (Ben) Jeske, Magdalene (Conrad) Vanderkamp, Wendy; 21 grandchildren; 39 great-grandchildren.
Karla is a writer for Mennonite World Conference who lives in Winnipeg.