John Derksen

 John Derksen

December 19, 1936 - August 11, 2009

DerksenJohnSQ.jpgOn Tuesday morning, August 11, 2009 our Heavenly Father called our loving husband, dear father, and grandfather home to his eternal rest.

John Derksen was born December 19, 1936, the youngest of 15 brothers and sisters.  The first baby boy born in the new Bethel Hospital.

Dad was baptized June 9, 1957 by Bishop J. M. Pauls and joined the Winkler Bergthaler Mennonite Church.  On August 14, 1960 he was married to MaryAnne Kehler.  The Lord granted them 3 days shy of 49 years together. 

They shared many joys and sorrows.  One of the difficult times was when he started drinking.  By the grace of God he found his way to sobriety, and God in his wisdom sent help by the way of his brother  Abe and Dr. C. W. Wiebe.  Dad and Isaac Krahn started an AA chapter in Winkler.  God used him to help many find sobriety as well.  In his later years, due to his health he was unable to attend meetings, but his door was always open.

Dad always enjoyed trucking.  One of his first jobs was hauling gravel.  Later he moved on to hauling fuel for B/A (later known as Gulf).  Dad spent 2 1/2 years at Triangle Farms as a manager.  But his greatest passion was working with handicapped people.  Dad started at Valley Rehab (Gateway) in 1971 as a supervisor.  In 1978 he became the manager till his retirement in 1996.  Dad came out of retirement to drive the bus for Gateway for another 11 years.  During his years at Valley Rehab he was instrumental in starting the recycling program we have today.

Dad had a great sense of humor and was a practical joker.  He was a patient man, slow to anger, it was rare to see him angry.  He never complained about his painful neck, back and hip problems, diabetes and his deteriorating eye sight  No one ever knew how much pain he was in, only Mom knew how to read him.  Even with all his health issues he was always a content, happy,  positive man.  He did occasionally get frustrated that he couldn't help Mom and others as much as he would have liked.  We all had to learn patience when we asked Dad for advice as he was a slow thinker, and we had to wait for his well thought out advice.  He will be greatly missed.

Left  to cherish his memory are his loving wife MaryAnne (nee Kehler) of Winkler; 1 daughter Luci and Marv Klaassen, their children Danielle and Kris Giesbrecht, and Nathan; 1 son Loni and Evelyn and their children Teya and Reese. He is survived by 1 brother, 4 sisters and their spouses, 3 sister-in-laws and many nieces and nephews

If friends so desire, donations may be made in John/Dad's memory to MCC.

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