Thiessen (nee Braun), Nettie

Nettie Thiessen

Nettie Thiessen (nee Braun)

1920 – 2010 

Thiessen Nettie SQ.jpgWe are completely broken-hearted to say that Nettie Thiessen has passed away. She fell ill suddenly on March 27 and was surrounded by family in at Boundary Trails Health Centre until she passed peacefully on Thursday April 1, 2010. 

Nettie was born on October 23, 1920 in Plum Coulee. She married Abram D. Thiessen in 1944 and over the years they farmed at Myrtle, Killarney and Crystal City, with the exception of a ten month period in Paraguay. During their time in Paraguay, the Braun family homesteaded in the jungle, and they returned to Canada with many memories and stories. In 1973 they moved to Morden, and then to Winkler in 1997. In addition to farming and running the household, Nettie was employed sewing drapes for a number of years. 

Nettie loved her daughters, Leona and Edna, with all her heart. Tragically, Edna lost her life to cancer in 1996. Leona was Nettie's support system in her later years and they had a close relationship. Abe was sick for many years, having heart troubles, shingles and later ALS, and Nettie took care of her husband at home throughout. She was particularly proud of her granddaughters, Andrea and Ainslie Schroeder and treasured her relationship with them, as did they with her. She also held dear her son-in-law, Victor. Sister Elizabeth and Nettie were especially close. While they both lived in Crocus Manor, many saw them as an inseparable pair around town. Nettie and Abe took in a number of foster children, and enjoyed a lifelong relationship with Kathy St. Cyr and Derelda Uhlmann. She adored Derelda's daughter, Elizabeth. 

Close friends and family too numerous to mention, but all of whom she cherished dearly, were a vital part of her life. Nettie loved being visited and visiting others and had an active social life until the end. Cooking was one of her favourite past times and she was known far and wide by young and old for her wonderful food. 

A devout Christian, Nettie found great strength and comfort in her faith and in her Church community. Nettie was always both generous to those around her and an appreciative recipient of others' generosity. She was a constant joy to be around. An exceptionally gifted human being, the magnitude of Nettie's many skills was matched only by the generosity with which she shared them. She had firmly entrenched herself in her latter years in volunteerism. She sewed thousands of school kit bags for MCC to distribute to third world countries, knit countless mitts, did visitations and sang at Salem Home and took a Palliative Care course in her early 80s, to name a few of the ways in which she helped others. Nettie loved life and lived life to its fullest to the last moment, making seven dozen perogies single-handedly on the day before she fell ill. If her precious life could be encapsulated in a book, a fitting title would be "Living Kindly". 

She is survived by her daughter, Leona and Victor Schroeder and their daughters, Andrea and Ainslie, Kathy St Cyr, Derelda Uhlman and Guenther and their daughter, Elizabeth; her sisters Anne, Elizabeth, Eva, Gertrude and Agatha and their families. 

Nettie was predeceased by her husband, Abram in 1997, her daughter, Edna, her brothers, Isaac and John and her parents, John and Elizabeth (nee Neufeld) Braun. 

Funeral service was held on Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. at the Winkler Bergthaler Mennonite Church with interment at Hillside Cemetery in Morden. 

In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Nettie’s memory to the Mennonite Central Committee 134 Plaza Dr. Winnipeg, MB R3T 5K9.