Mom was born on April 18, 1932, in Linden, Alta. She grew up on a small farm just north of the Linden church. She often recalled fond memories of her happy childhood. She gave her heart to Jesus at the age of 13 and was baptized into the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite, on Dec. 17, 1945. Mom’s Christian life was very important to her and always being ready to go to heaven was her goal.
Dad and Mom were married on June 12, 1955, in Linden, sharing almost 66 years together. They lived on the family farm with Dad’s parents and brother Ervie and family. In 1967, Dad and Mom moved to Pincher Creek, being the fifth family to help pioneer the new little congregation nestled close to the Rocky Mountains.
In 2002, they packed up and made a move to Norquay, Sask., where our sister Trudy and family live. This was a very enjoyable time and endeared them to that community. In 2013, they came back “home” to Pincher Creek, moving into a senior living facility, Whispering Winds Village. God blessed them with some beautiful golden years in both Norquay and Pincher Creek. Travelling to visit their children was always a highlight.
Mom had so hoped to have a few more years, but often asked for prayers to be resigned to God’s will through the last six months as she fought cancer. A very precious verse to her was “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
Mom keenly felt her inadequacy and often confessed her faults. It was common for Mom to say she had to pray that God would fill in the gaps. A difficult time for Mom was when her son Kenny was born in 1962 with a heart defect. He lived for only eight months.
Her loving heart reached out with an interest in everyone and she was no respecter of persons. Her friendship circle included all, young and old. We were amazed at her ability to remember what she had learned about those she met, and who was related to whom. Dad and Mom opened their home to many friends and neighbours.
Mom spent many hours in the kitchen, which was her haven. Cooking was a love of hers and they showed their hospitality to many. She loved to sing, honouring God with her beautiful voice. Mom had a knack when it came to colours, which also came through in her love of gardening and flowers even after her eyesight was failing.
Special note: Mom’s mother, Anna, came from Russia, escaping during the night after her husband was taken by soldiers. Grandma and her daughter, Mary, came across by ship to Canada in 1925. Grandma then married Samuel Jantz. Samuel and Anna, with their daughters, Mary, Vera and Helen, made their little family complete.
We are especially thankful to our sister Lin, who was able to be Mom’s full-time, loving caregiver during the final months of her life.
Those left to treasure her memory are her loving husband, Melvin; five children: Vyla and Merle Redger of Hardin, Mont., Jerry and Wendy Toews, Linda Toews, all of Pincher Creek, Trudy and Grant Penner of Norquay, Sask., Jennifer and Delbert Unruh of Hazelton, Idaho; 16 grandchildren with their spouses and 21 great-grandchildren; they all were very precious to Mom; one brother-in-law, Ed Reimer; two sisters-in-law, Selma Unruh and Marj and Jim Baerg.
Mom was predeceased by her infant son, Kenneth Samuel, and by her parents, parents-in-law, two sisters, three brothers-in-law, and one sister-in-law.
The family expresses heartfelt gratitude for all the prayers, cards, meals and expressions of sympathy received from family and friends. Also, the Toews family thanks the staff for their kindnesses from Whispering Winds Village, and the wonderful care from the home-care nurses and Dr. Tracy Burton and EMS.
A public visitation was held on Sunday, May 23, at Snodgrass Funeral Home, Pincher Creek. The graveside service took place on Monday, May 24, at the Fairview Cemetery. After the interment, a memorial service took place at Church of God in Christ, Mennonite (Pincher Creek).
Funeral arrangements entrusted to Snodgrass Funeral Homes