Peter Cornelius Penner died Oct. 11, 2009 at 101. He was born June 11, 1908 in the Crimea, South Russia to Cornelius and Elizabeth Penner. He was baptized June 8, 1924, upon the confession of his faith, and became a member of the Mennonite Brethren church. Peter and his family experienced the stormy years of anarchy, famine, and death during World War I, the Russian Revolution, and Stalin’s reign of terror. In 1929, Peter and his wife, Agenetha, left their village, to escape, via Moscow, to Canada. Early years in Manitoba, then Greendale, B.C., were difficult, with Peter at times riding his bicycle 15 miles to work, tending his farm and caring for his family. Son Ben drowned in 1959, at 14. Over the years, Peter was a Sunday school teacher, lay leader, and choir director in church. He was ordained in 1958, and pastored churches in Arnold, B.C.; Oliver, B.C.; Wels, Austria; and Abbotsford, B.C. For 10 years after the death of Agenetha, his wife of 59 years, he travelled, preached, and visited family. On Oct. 18, 1997, Peter married Margaret Hildebrand. His sons and daughters and their families are grateful for the example of the godly husband, father and grandfather he was, right to his old age. Peter is mourned by Margaret; children Peter (Nina), George (Edith), John (Florence), Helen (Victor Stobbe), Sam (Dora), Marie (Menno Wiebe), Ruth (Arnie Peters), Martha (Bert Loewen); grandchildren; great- and great-great-grandchildren.
Karla is a writer for Mennonite World Conference who lives in Winnipeg.