Elias, George

George Elias

George Elias

1911 - 2004

George Elias.jpgGeorge Elias, our dad, Grandpa and Great-grandpa, passed away on Sunday, January 11 at Salem Home. Grandpa was born to Jacob and Elisabeth Wiebe Elias on June 12, 1911 at Morse Saskatchewan. After his father’s death in 1912, Elisabeth and her two sons, John and George, moved to Winkler. Here Grandpa spent the next few years until his mother married John Worms and they purchased a farm in the Blumstein School District.

On September 25, 1932 Grandpa married Erna Walkof, our Grandma, and in 1933 they moved to their own farm where Grandpa and Grandma spent the next 43 years farming.

In 1936 their daughter, Hester Elizabeth, was born. She actively helped with the work on the farm but was encouraged to continue her education since Grandpa did not have this opportunity. However, farming was Grandpa’s joy and through decades, despite some hardships and many changes in farming methods, he continued to farm taking pride in his horses, his straight furrows, his machinery and his farmyard. Over the years many admired not only his meticulous farm but also his dedicated and humble approach to farming and the ups and downs that came with it.

In 1957 Grandpa was baptized upon the confession of his faith and became a member of the Winkler Mennonite Brethren Church. Here he was involved in the work of the church, many years as a senior usher. He was a faithful attender until health did not allow. Even in his last year at Salem, Grandpa regularly took part in the daily worship services, until he was no longer physically able to attend.

Grandpa’s Christian values, however, were not only evident on Sunday, but throughout the week in whatever he was doing, be it business or pleasure. During his shopping trips to town, he always had time for friendly conversations with whomever he would meet, which sometimes were too long for Brenda and me. He had a very strong sense of fairness which he instilled in all of us. Taking time to pray was important to Grandpa. We know that he prayed daily for us, and he always led us in prayer at our family gatherings.

One of the happiest and most longed for moments of Grandpa’s life occurred in 1965 when he was reunited with his brother, John Elias, whom he had not seen for 41 years. This led to many summer visits in Sudbury or in Winkler, where they were able to catch up on all they had missed over the years.

Grandpa and Grandma were fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to places like California, Mexico, Sudbury, and Ontario Amish country. In 1982 he was able to fulfill his dream of traveling to Alaska. In his later years, he enjoyed traveling with his cousin John Elias to various spots in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Some of our happiest childhood days were spent with Grandpa, and without boasting too much, I think we can say they were also some of his happiest days. It seemed Grandpa was always waiting to spend time with us. The three of us will be especially remember fondly the harvest season when we could ride on the combine with Grandpa or, when we waited back a the house to see the combine lights coming down the road, knowing that Grandpa, with his face completely black with dust, would come in to share a late evening meal.

In 1999, Grandpa was blessed with the birth of his first Great-grandson, followed by the birth of three more Great-grandsons. Although he was unable to play with them as he had with us, he longed to hold each child and delighted in their energy and playfulness, even when they wanted to turn his walker into a car.

Grandpa’s presence at our family gatherings will be missed. He always showed a real concern for all the details of our lives, asking not only about us, but also about our friends, mentioning them by name. He loved to engage in conversation, being current on a wide variety of topics and always able to see the good and the positive in whatever we discussed.

Grandpa was predeceased by his wife, Erna; his son-in-law, Ike; his brother, John, and his wife, Laura; his Worms brothers Jake, John and Ike; brother-in-law Jake Reimer; brother-in-law Paul Janzen, and wife, Nellie; and sister-in-law Ruth Wiebe.

He leaves to mourn, his daughter Hester, his Grandchildren, Bev, Brenda and husband, Georg and children, Georg and Alexander and Gerald and wife, Kim and children, Griffin and Kyle as well as siblings and many nieces and nephews. As well as in the Worms brothers Albert, Harold, Walter, Frank, Abe, and spouses, and sister-in-law Anne Worms.

On one of Grandpa’s trips to the hospital, he quoted the following verse of a hymn to mom, Jesus, They blood and righteousness my beauty are, my glorious dress; midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed, with joy shall I lift up my head. We know that our Grandpa’s prayer has been answered and that he is now with God. We will miss him but know that he is in a better place.

Funeral service was held on Friday, January 16, 2004 at 2:00pm at the Winkler Mennonite Brethren Church with Rev. David Friesen and James Peters officiating. Interment followed at the Winkler Cemetery. Donations were made available to The Canadian Food Grains Bank.

We would like to express our thanks for the calls, visits, cards, flowers and food on the passing of our Dad, Grandfather and Opa.

Thanks to Joey and the rest of the staff of Wiebe Funeral Home for their thoughtfulness and assistance.

Hester Dyck and Family

Wiebe Funeral Home, Winkler in care of arrangements.

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