Janzen, Jacob J.

Jacob J

Jacob J. Janzen

1903 – 2007

Janzen, Jake.jpgJacob J. Janzen was born on September 15, 1903, in the village of Niederchortitza on the banks of the Dnieper River in the Ukraine. His parents were the proprietors of the village dry goods and grocery store.

In 1917, the Russian Revolution and Civil War ended the orderly tranquil life of the Mennonites.  In their wake came famine and pestilence. Roving criminal gangs preyed upon the villages. Lice brought the red-spotted fever known as typhus. The family store began to fail under staggering inflation.  In 1920, the family house with its thatched straw roof burned to the ground.  The next year, in 1921, the promise of spring shrivelled under the searing winds of summer. The harvest yielded only half seed that had been put in the ground.  That winter, 25 people in the village of 1,000 died from the combined effects of malnutrition and typhus.

In the spring of 1923, the family fled Russia with little more than the clothes on their backs and immigrated to Canada.  Father’s parents settled at Eichenfeld, near Haskett. On July 1, 1939, Father married Eva Janzen, a school teacher.  Four children were born to them, Katherine (Paul Regier), Justina (John T. Wiens), Fred (Gloria), and Jake (Judi).

Eva Janzen died in 1966. Father continued farming at Edenburg near Gretna until he retired at the age of 82 and moved to Winkler.  There he joined Emmanuel Mennonite Church, a young church with many children.  He made friends with child after child. Emmanuel responded with a warmth and generosity that has greatly enriched his old age.  Our family would like to take this opportunity to thank Emmanuel for all its love and kindness.

On November 14, 2005, Father was admitted to Boundary Trails Health Centre, and in September, 2006, he moved into Salem Home.   Beside his desk, we placed his glass-doored book case filled with his favourite books.  He now felt content and at home.

On March 12, 2007, Father died the way he had lived, with quiet dignity, integrity and courage. He has been a gentle, uncomplaining, loving father, grandfather, and great grandfather. We will miss him dearly.

He leaves to mourn his passing 2 daughters, Katherine (Paul) Regier of Haven, Kansas, Justina (John) Wiens of La Salle, MB; 2 sons, Fred (Gloria) Janzen of London, ON, Jake (Judi) Janzen of Brandon, MB; 8 grandchildren and 1 great grandson.

He was predeceased by his beloved wife, Eva (nee Janzen) in 1966 as well as 3 sisters and 2 brothers.

Funeral service was held on Saturday, March 17, 2007 at 2:30 pm at Emmanuel Mennonite Church with Rev. John Klassen officiating.  Interment took place at Gretna Cemetery.

Donations may be made in Jacob’s memory to the MCC Box 1774 Winkler, MB R6W 4B6.

Wiebe Funeral Home, Winkler in care of arrangements.

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