Harry Elmer Dyck

Harry Elmer Dyck

1942 – 2008

Dyck, Harry.jpgSuddenly on Sunday, June 1, 2008 while traveling in the Ukraine on a Mennonite Central Committee learning tour, Harry Dyck, aged 65 years of Winkler, MB went to his eternal rest.

Dad was born on July 2, 1942 and spent most of his childhood on the family farm just North of Winkler. By the time he was 14, Dad had started taking road trips to the village of Schanzenfeld on his dad’s tractor where lifelong friendships were formed.  Dad and mom were married on June 7, 1964 in the Altona Bergthaler Mennonite Church.  They started their married life living in Winkler but moved out of town shortly thereafter to enjoy life in the country. 

Dad and Mom had three children in the first four years of marriage.  Family always came first and Dad and Mom made time to support their children.  Time was always found for family vacations and our tent trailer took us from coast to coast with many hours spent in the rumble seat of the station wagon.  Dad and Mom became Grandparents for the first time in December, 1993 and over the next 8 years they welcomed a total of eight wonderful grandchildren.  It was often said that “we have the best grandchildren in the world”.  The grandchildren have many fond memories of their Grandpa: sleeping over, camping, biking, fishing, boating, watching hockey, picking saskatoons, going for breakfast at Toppers, playing countless games of foosball, going for rides in the ice cream car and the list goes on. 

While working in the meat department at Economy Foods, Dad was given the opportunity to be involved in starting a new business and Winkler Wholesale Meats was established in 1965.  The business grew and expanded and later changed its name to Winkler Meats Ltd.  There were many challenges in running a business but one of Dad’s philosophies and one of the lessons we learned from him was that “If you’re going to do something, do it with all your heart”.  Dad felt privileged to be able to use the shop to benefit others and was blessed by relationships that developed through work but became like family. 

Dad had the ability to enjoy just about anything.  Throughout his life he was involved with many sports teams as both player and coach and Dad was looking forward to playing Senior Slow-pitch again this summer.  Besides sports, Dad enjoyed getting together with family and friends, going to concerts and plays, traveling the world, and of course going fishing.  His thought was that “You can’t worry and fish at the same time”.  It was not the number of fish that were caught, but the time spent with others on the water that was important. 

Church life has always played an important role in Dad’s life.  He was baptized on June 2, 1963 by Bishop D.D. Klassen in the Winkler Bergthaler Mennonite Church, which later became our family’s home church.  Dad was actively involved in the Church serving as Usher, Sunday School Teacher, Boys Brigade Leader, Deacon, Youth Sponsor and as a member on a number of Committees and Bible Study Groups.  Dad recognized the importance of service and gladly participated in many Church activities, but it was the relationships with both young and old that made this Church his home. 

Dad’s Christian walk was more about action than words.  When Wilf Unrau walked into the shop and said, “Harry, I have an interesting proposition for you,” it started a new chapter in Dad and Mom’s life.  Together they faced the many challenges of bringing the MCC Meat Canning Project to Manitoba.  Starting in 2002, the MCC Meat Canner was brought to Winkler Meats for one week a year.  Dad’s particular brand of ingenuity and hard work improved the efficiency of the project, resulting in many cans of meat being distributed to the hungry around the world.  A new friendship that developed during this time led to his active participation in 3 projects building sand dams and water cisterns in Kenya.  Not content to just send money Dad traveled to Kenya to shovel sand, mix cement, carry stones and haul water, creating connections around the world. 

Dad was inspired by people who faced their challenges head on while still maintaining a positive outlook on life.  Dad loved the phrase “Live well, love always, laugh often”.  He believed that there was nothing that exercise and healthy eating couldn’t fix, that life wasn’t worth living if you didn’t have friends, and that laughing was good for the soul.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”  Matthew 22:37, 39 

Left to remember him with love is his wife, Elaine (nee Heinrichs) of Winkler, and three children, Deb and Dwayne Regehr of Landmark, Warren and Laurie Dyck of Winkler, and Rhonda Pankratz of Winnipeg.  He will be missed by his 8 grandchildren, Dilan, Emily, Mitchell, Hannah, Andie, Nicole, Luke and Heather.  He is also survived by 2 brothers, 2 sisters and one stepsister. 

He was predeceased by his parents, Julius P. and Tina (nee Hiebert) Dyck, stepmother, Maria Dyck, two brothers-in-law and 2 nephews. 

Celebration of Harry’s life was held on Monday, June 9, 2008 at 2:00 pm at Winkler Bergthaler Mennonite Church with Rev. John Wiebe and John Klassen officiating.  Interment was held prior at Winkler Cemetery. 

We would like to express our sincere gratitude for the many expressions of love and support during this difficult time.  It is truly a blessing to live in a caring community.  Elaine Dyck and Family 

Wiebe Funeral Home, Winkler in care of arrangements.

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