Wilfred Willard Demke

1922 – 2015

 

 

wILFRED dEMEKESQAt the age of 93, Wilfred Demke passed away quietly with his loving wife Mary at his side on Saturday, September 19, 2015 at the Boundary Trails Health Centre. 

Born February 28, 1922 to Peter and Augusta Demke, Wilf was the second of four children. His first school years were in the Rosenbach district, just north of Winkler, followed by several years at Burwalde School District where he finished Grade eight and then went on to complete Grade nine and ten by correspondence. He would have liked to continue his formal education, but he was needed on the farm. He was always a hard worker. At the age of ten, he had to miss school to help his Dad on the farm in spring, harrowing up to 40 acres in one day with his horses. These were an essential farm animal back then and Wilf developed a lifelong love of raising and training them. When he finally retired, the last thing he sold of his farm was the horses. But even then he couldn’t get them out of his blood and after a year or so, he started buying and raising miniature horses and donkeys. He built his own wagon and a cart for them so that he could continue to drive a team. Wilf loved farming and he loved to make a deal, a combination that lead to buying and selling farmland several times. In the 1940s, he bought his first land near Sperling, which he sold a year later. He then bought land near Miami and farmed it for several years before selling. This was followed by the purchase of a quarter of land north of Thornhill in 1950 and another one a few years later. This farm he kept for the rest of his life. During this time, he worked winters in Winnipeg at a service station for eight years as a mechanic, where he handled many towing jobs that no one else would take. OnJuly 27th, 1969 he married his soul mate, Mary Unrau at the Bergthaler Church in Lowe Farm. They worked together side by side in almost everything they did, raising a son and a daughter on the farm before moving into Morden in 1999. Wilf had an irrepressible sense of humour. He loved to tell a story and he couldn’t resist making a joke in any situation. He also loved hunting, playing cards, and going to auction sales where he would often bid just for the fun of it. In his retirement, he enjoyed building puzzles, games, furniture and other things out of metal and wood. He even learned to knit scarves with a knitting board and could turn them out on a daily basis. 

Wilf is survived by his wife, Mary, son, Jeff (Yvette), daughter, Angela (Joseph Brown), three treasured grandchildren, Connor and Morgan Demke and Lauren Brown, many special nieces and nephews and his brother. He was predeceased by one sister and one granddaughter. 

The funeral service  at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 24, 2015 at the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church with interment at Chapel Cemetery. 

The Demke family would like to thank the staff at Boundary Trails Health Centre for their kindness and care, as well as Pastor Alex Klages for his support and Wiebe Funeral Chapel for their kind and competent handling of the arrangements. Donations may be made in Wilf’s memory to the Boundary Trails Health Centre ICU or Palliative Care Unit.

Wiebe Funeral Chapel, Morden

In care of arrangements

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