Bernard Groening

1917 - 2015


Ben GroeningOur husband and father, Bernard Groening, went to be with his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on Monday, May 4th at 8:24 pm at Salem Home with his wife, Betty and three children by his bedside.

“I have fought a good fight.  I have finished my course.  I have the faith.  Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that last day, and not to me only, but unto all of them.  Also that love his appearing.”  2 Timothy 4:7 and 8.

Dad was born to Jacob and Katerina Groening at home at the family farm at Lowe Farm, Manitoba.  He was baptized upon confession of his faith at Bergthaler Church in Lowe Farm.  He married Elizabeth (Betty) Thiessen, following a three month whirlwind courtship at her family’s farm at Plum Coulee. Dad grew up on the family farm, worked alongside his father and brothers there, worked for other farmers as a farm laborer, was a lumber jack, operated a garage at Mather and did upholstery.  Dad could fix anything, be it electrical, plumbing, carpentry, appliances and on and on even with his failing eyesight. His ethic was, “I’d rather work myself to death than rot to death.”  A work ethic his children inherited.

We were so privileged to have had parents who were very concerned about our spiritual upbringing as well.  As small children we were privileged to be taught of the love of Jesus and our need to make a decision for Christ in order to ensure our future home in eternity. Up until a week before he passed away, he prayed for each and every one of us, by name daily.  Oh how we will miss dad’s prayer at family gatherings. We, the children and our families were so very, very blessed to have mom and dad as our parents.  We were never wealthy in this world’s standards, but oh the love our parents shared with us.  There were hard times, but we never went without.  Their nearly 70 year marriage was an example of how marriage should be.

Ben is survived by his wife and soulmate, Elizabeth; daughter, Esther Little (Larry) of Beausejour, their children, Sherry Meilleur (Wayne), Cathie Markus, Curtis Little and Suzane Bouchard (Phil); son, Gerald (Bonny) of Winnipeg, their child, Michael (Michelle); James ( Susie) of Burnaby, BC, their children, Matthew, Amanda and Rachel; daughter-in-law, Irene Groening of Starbuck, her children, Kristy Smith (Kris), Scott and Lucas (Kayla), fifteen great grandchildren and seven great-great grandchildren, forty nine foster children including especially Sandra, Beverly, Roberta and Agnes; sisters-in-law, Tina Groening, Elsie Groening, Mary Groening, Barbara Martens, Margaret Thiessen, Mary Thiessen and brother-in-law, Ben Bergen; many nieces and nephews and friends.

He was predeceased by his parents, Jacob and Katerina Groening; three sons, Andrew Arthur Groening in 1966, Walter Elmer Groening in 1972 , Donald David Groening in 2002; granddaughter, Jenny Groening in 1987; great-great granddaughter, Mia Mackie; brothers, Jacob, Frank, Herman and Dave; sisters, Tina Gerbrandt, Nettie Hoeppner, Mary Born, Margaret Brignall and Helen Heinrichs and many in-laws.  Ben was the last surviving member of his family.

Funeral service at 1:00 p.m. on Friday May 8, 2015 at Winkler Sommerfeld Mennonite Church with interment at Clearwater Cemetery. If friends so desire, donations may be made in Ben’s memory to the Salem Foundation Inc.

Wiebe Funeral Home, Winkler

In care of arrangements

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