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Miriam Mary Jantzen

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Miriam was born in her parents’ farmhouse in Brotherfield, near Waldheim, Sask., July 12, 1927. She was baptized in the North Saskatchewan River and joined the Brotherfield MB Church Aug. 3, 1941. During her teen years, she was the accompanist for the Brotherfield church choir that her father Peter H. Jantzen directed. After graduation, Miriam attended Saskatoon Normal School and taught in country schools in Saskatchewan for 3 years. In 1950, Miriam moved to Winnipeg to study at a school recognized for its strong music program: MB Bible College. During her 5 years there, she was a member of the Gospel Light Hour radio choir. She became an accomplished musician with the ability to simultaneously conduct and accompany a choir. Upon completion of her studies, she taught music at Rosthern School and Bethany Bible Institute in Hepburn, supplementing her income with private instruction. In 1961, Miriam became a missionary to Paraguay with the Board of Mission of the MB Church (now Multiply). For 5.5 years, she taught music at Asunción Christian Academy, taught music and English privately, led music programs in local churches, and supported the efforts of her co-workers. In 1966, it was her great joy to participate in the annual 5-week teacher training course for Indigenous people in the Paraguayan Chaco when, at their request, music was included in the curriculum for the first time. Her report on that experience in the MB Herald (March 11, 1966) states: “I have never had a pleasanter teaching experience.” In both 1973 and 1974, Mariam spent the summer in Panama, teaching voice and melodica lessons to those who requested music education for their indigenized churches in the jungle province of Darién. She said, they would sing together “1 to 2 hours every evening in church. Then they would come to our house to continue.” Miriam also served as the Mennonite chaplain at St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon from 1991 to 2002. Miriam died peacefully at Langham (Sask.) Care Home Jan. 13, 2023 at 95. She was the last family member of her generation, predeceased by siblings Luella, Elizabeth, Edward (Sara Berg), Hanna (Wilfrid Plett), Daniel, Vernon (Dorothy-Jean Fehr), Eva, Bertha.

  • Birth: July 12, 1927
  • Birthplace:
    Brotherfield, Sask.
  • Death: January 13, 2023
  • Parents:
    Peter H. & Maria (Harms) Jantzen
  • Family:
    nieces & nephews Archie (Erna), Teresa Forest, Ruth (Thor) Skafte, Geri Yee, Gladys Neufeld (Clayton Beish), Jane Epp, Evanne (Glynn) Linnard, Joyce Janzen, Dan (Christine)
  • Church:
    Brotherfield (Sask.) MB; Waldheim (Sask.) MB; Nutana Park Mennonite, Saskatoon