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Susie Alice (Giesbrecht) Derksen

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In a Russian village, Susie experienced war, revolution, and homelessness early in life. Her family’s flight from Russia started in 1924 when they immigrated to Mexico, and ended in 1928 when they settled in Yarrow, B.C. Susie and husband Jake made Yarrow their lifelong home. They both had entrepreneurial personalities and made their living in a variety of ways. They became raspberry farmers and landlords, active community volunteers and leaders. Since 2013, when Susie needed too much assistance to live on her own, she was cared for by Cascade Lodge staff and regularly visited by many family and friends. Susie and Jake lived vibrant, compassionate lives, which came to include 4 children, a foster son, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. The seeds of love they planted in their offspring continue to grow in new generations. Theirs is a rich legacy of love, faith, and cooperation. “To lend each other a hand when we’re falling…. Perhaps that’s the only work that matters in the end” (F. Buechner). Predeceased by 9 siblings, Susie was loved to the end by her 2 remaining brothers and many Giesbrecht nephews and nieces. Yarrow MB was Susie’s home church since 1928. After almost 101 years of courageous living, Susie died peacefully in Chilliwack, B.C. She was buried in Yarrow Cemetery, which she and others renovated after Jake died in 1994.

  • Birth: December 6, 1916
  • Birthplace:
    Wohldemfuerst, Kuban, Russia
  • Death: November 4, 2017
  • Parents:
    Peter P. Giesbrecht & Elisabeth Wittenberg Giesbrecht
  • Married:
    Jacob (Jake) G. Derksen, 1938 [d. 1994]
  • Family:
    children Jack (Jenny), Ed (Dianna), Caroline (Juan Vila), Susan (Alan DeLong); 8 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; 2 brothers
  • Baptism:
    Yarrow (B.C.) MB, 1935