Goosen, Jacob



1912 – 2010 

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God put his arm around your shoulders and said, ‘You look tired, my son. Come home.’ Jacob Goossen died peacefully in Winkler, Manitoba on March 24, 2010. 

Jake was born in the village of Sparau in Russia on October 28, 1912. He had very few memories of his birth family but knew that his mother passed away when he was barely a toddler. His father was unable to keep the family together, and he was adopted by Peter and Maria Goossen. His childhood was marked by tremendous political unrest and war and the Goossen family, like so many families in that place and time, lost their home and lived through the ‘starvation years.’ In 1926, Jacob emigrated to Canada with his parents and his sister Justina, spending a little time in Alberta and Saskatchewan and eventually settling in Fork River, Manitoba in 1932, where Jacob met and married the love of his life, Adeline Goertzen. They raised a family, farmed successfully, and were very active volunteers in the Nordheim Church and in the community until their retirement in 1984, at which time they moved to Morden. At the still young age of 65, Jake was coaxed by friends in Winnipegosis to try golfing and curling, and these two games became a favorite of his, participating in both until close to his 90th year. He loved singing in choirs and spent his whole adult life sharing his deep bass voice. Travelling with Adeline and with friends became a regular activity and much to his children’s surprise, he took up writing low German poetry. He was a man of deep and quiet faith, and was a member of the Winkler Bergthaler Mennonite Church. 

Jacob was predeceased by his wife of 58 years, Adeline, in 2000, and by his son John in 2001. His memory will be cherished by his children, Anita (Klaus Lichti) of Germany; daughter-in-law, Doris of Ontario; Rudy (Marcy) of Idaho; George (Ione) of Fork River; Linda (Chris Gerrard-Pinker) of Winnipeg; and Laura (Curtis Nordman) of Winnipeg. He was loved by many grandchildren and their partners: Robert, Philipp (Steffi), Marion (Ole), Terry (Sharon), Angela (Rob), Elizabeth, Rachel, Lionel, Tyler, Michael, William, Sam, Trevor (Terri), Meghan (Hogan), Hannah, and great-grandchildren: Ali, Hayley, Kristen, Luis, Jakob, Leonie, Jacqueline and Wilton. During the past year as it became difficult for him to get around, he especially appreciated the visits, phone calls and letters from family and friends. He was also looking forward to meeting one of his newest great-grandchildren, and namesake, Jakob, in a few weeks. 

Jacob ( Dad) was very pleased to have lived to be 97 and he aged with grace and courage. He always appreciated living in a peaceful country and having enough to eat, and he encouraged his children and grandchildren to take advantage of opportunities for education and for work. We will miss him and we’re grateful we had him for as long as we did. 

The family would like to extend special thanks to the Lions Manor staff and the Home Care attendants in Winkler, whose support allowed Jake to live at home for as long as possible. Thanks also to Alison and the staff at Prairie View Lodge in Pilot Mound for their wonderful care, and to the staff at Salem Home for helping to make him comfortable during his last few days. 

Funeral service was held at the Winkler Bergthaler Mennonite Church in Winkler on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 2:30 p.m. with interment at Winkler Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Mennonite Central Committee, an organization Jacob credited for saving his family in Russia through their meal program: 134 Plaza Drive, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 5K9. 

Wiebe Funeral Home, Winkler in care of arrangements.