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Peter Penner

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Deaths_PPennerPeter Penner died Sept. 30, 2011 of cancer. He was born Aug. 11, 1929 in Konteniusfeld, Ukraine to Peter and Susanna Penner. When Peter was 9, his father was arrested for listening to a foreign religious radio broadcast; he never returned. By 12, Peter was working full days on the farm. In 1943, as part of a German military retreat, Peter’s family fled via Poland to Germany. At 14, Peter was conscripted into a Hitler Youth camp. As Peter approached an official for a discharge to do farm labour, a man entered requesting help on his farm, and Peter was freed. In 1948, he was reunited with his family and immigrated to Canada with MCC’s help. The Penners moved to Coaldale, Alta., and hoed sugar beets to pay their travel debt. Peter jumped from Grade 4 in Ukraine to Grade 11 in Alberta, later completing a BEd and theological studies. He taught at Rock Lake Hutterite Colony, Alta. Peter met Margaret Warkentin at Lindbrook MB Church. They married Nov. 11, 1956. For three decades starting in 1960, Peter pastored Crooked Creek (Alta.) MB Church, taught at Ridgevalley School, and farmed near DeBolt. He created a house-building project for high school students, one of whom, Steve Sommerville, became part of the family. After retirement, Peter lived with bipolar disorder; although it remained a “deep ache,” it also connected this encourager to hurting people. Peter also worked with Burden Bearers of Canada, and pastored Wembley (Alta.) Baptist Church. He was a Peace River Bible Institute board member, Grande Prairie Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship member, and Sturgeon Lake Bible Camp supporter. Peter is mourned by Margaret; children Vic, James, Dave, Klara, Phil; 16 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; 4 siblings.

  • Birth: August 11, 1929
  • Birthplace:
    Konteniusfeld, Ukraine
  • Death: September 30, 2011
  • Parents:
    Peter & Susanna Penner
  • Married:
    Margaret Warkentin, Nov. 11, 1956
  • Family:
    Margaret; children Vic, James, Dave, Klara, Phil; 16 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; 4 siblings