Janzen, Tienne (Elias)

Tienne (Elias) Janzen

1909 - 2002

Tienne Elias Janzen was born in the parental farm home near Winkler on December 5, 1909. She was the fifth child of John M. and Maria (Braun) Elias. She was proud of the fact that she learned to write with her right hand even though she ate, sewed and cut with her left hand. Elementary and high school were completed in Winkler, followed by Normal School in Winnipeg. Her teaching career began in 1929 at a two-room school in Chortitz, where she taught the upper grades. This made her the “principal”, but in those days, with the help of the children, she was also the chief janitor and custodian. These five years were of great importance to her. Many students have continued to respect her. She always recognized them and cherished these special relationships and friendships.  .

In 1934 she married John J. Janzen, also a teacher, and together they moved to the Meath School District. Kleefeld School District came next, and numerous rural school districts in southern Manitoba followed in hiring her husband as the teacher. Even though she was not formally teaching in the classroom, her work with the girls in sewing and the women of the community in various ways added greatly to their effectiveness as educators.

The Winkler M.B. Church was her spiritual home throughout her life. Here she was baptized upon confession of faith, and here she began teaching Sunday School at the age of 16. Church involvement and attendance were a high priority, even when they taught in schools farther away from Winkler. In 1958, Tienne was elected to serve as a reporter for the Winkler M.B. Church to the Mennonitische Rundshau, which she continued for over thirty years. Later she had the opportunity to practice her love of teaching by leading the Bible studies for the senior sisters of the church.

Reading, writing, reciting, teaching and public speaking were activities that she enjoyed. Many a wedding has been graced by her recitations, as have numerous anniversaries and gatherings. Her faith was the basis for her poetry writing and her teaching.

Her three sons were her pride and joy, and when the daughters came along through her sons’ marriages, they were all given a special place in her heart. Mother found it easy to be generous, and this helped her adjust to the numerous moves that she experienced as they moved from school to school. Teachers’ residences were often a challenge, but she always managed to create a home for her family.

Her versatility in the honey house or in the garden, as well as her expectations that her sons would help with household chores, helped them grow up without strong stereotypes regarding different roles that had to be filled in the home….except for milking the cow. Somehow, Mother was the only one who could really milk the family cow.

Our mother and grandmother lived a full life. The moves in later life from the “farm” to 3rd Street and then on to Salem, were handled with dignity and grace. However, there were times in her life when she suffered bouts of depression. She would tell her family that she was “not well” and she relied heavily on the support of Doctor Funk and others at Eden during these times. We thank the many at Eden who helped her recover and return to her own place again. We also thank the staff at Salem Home for providing her with quality care and taking a personal interest in Mom for the past year.

The Lord saw fit to take her home with little suffering and we rejoice in the knowledge that her faith has found a resting place. Her prayers in this regard have also been answered. We, however, know that we have lost a strong prayer warrior, but bless the memories that are stored up in our hearts.

She was predeceased by her husband, John J. Janzen, daughter in law, Loretta (Neufeld) Janzen, a brother and a sister in infancy, sisters Mary and Ann, and leaves to mourn her passing her brother John Elias and wife Esther, her sister Beth (Kenora)  her sons and daughters in law: Alan and Esther, John and Ruth, James and Walli; grandchildren: Mark and Shana Janzen (great grandchildren Brad and Trevor), Rachel Meadows and Dann Koller, Michelle Janzen and James Kornelson (great grandchildren Maya and Solace), Michael Janzen, Matthew Janzen,  Andrew and Aimee Janzen, Aaron Janzen and Steffen Janzen., along with numerous other friends and relatives,

Funeral service was held on Monday August 19, 2002 at the Winkler M.B. Church at 2:30 p.m. with Pastor Ted Goossen and Pastor Brad Huebert officiating.  Interment followed at the Winkler Cemetery.

If friends so desire memorial donations can be made to The Eden Foundation Box 129 Winkler, Mb R6W 4A4.

We recall her mentioning her father’s motto: Lehre mich bedenken dass ich sterben muss, auf dass ich klug werde. Psalm 90 v12. (Teach us to number our days, that we may apply ourselves unto wisdom.)  Another favourite verse at her 90th birthday celebration was Psalm 13:6 “I will sing unto the Lord because he hath dealt bountifully with me.” May we remember her life as an example to guide our path.

Think of –
Stepping on shore, and finding it heaven!
Of taking hold of a hand, and finding it God’s hand,
Of breathing new air, and finding it celestial air,
Of feeling invigorated, and finding it immortality,
Of passing from storm and tempest to an unbroken calm,
Of waking up, and finding it Home.
-Author unknown

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