Mary Wood Fehr (nee Wiebe)

1934 - 2015

Mary FehrMary Wood Fehr of Morden, MB formerly of Roland, went to her eternal home on Saturday, November 12th 2015 at Boundary Trails Health Centre following a struggle with heart failure and cancer. Her nine children and sister were by her side.  She was predeceased by her parents, John and Mary Wiebe, her first husband of 42 years, Arthur Wood, her second husband of 18 years, Jake Fehr, grandson, Bradley Wood, stepson, John Fehr and sister-in-law, Helen Wiebe.

She leaves to mourn, son, Dennis Wood and his wife, Rosalyn of Arborg, daughter, Sharon Kole of Morden, daughter, Debbie Miller and her husband, Ben of Grand Pointe, son, Larry Wood and his wife Kim of Libau, son, Brian Wood and his wife Cheryl of Osoyoos, BC, daughter, Barbara Wood and her partner, Mike Rashidi of Calgary, daughter, Myrna Unrau and her husband, Ron of Morden, son, Murray Wood and his wife, Helen of Niverville, son, Stephen Wood and his partner, Donna Harde of Roland as well as her siblings, Pete Wiebe of Winkler, John and Jeanette Wiebe of Niverville, Ben and Jan Wiebe of Stonewall, Abe and Justina Wiebe of Niverville, Henry and Marilynn Wiebe of Darlingford, Marge and Dave Wall of Reinland, stepchildren, Susan and Nick Pharaoh of La Riviere, Lena and John Friesen of Winkler, Marge Purves of Edmonton, Mary Anne and Ross Bursey of Carman, Jake and Elaine Fehr of Winkler. She also leaves 13 grandchildren, Jeff Wood, Lisa O’Neil, Paul Miller, Melanie Morrissette, Karen Golas, Tanis Wood, Ryan Brodenhagen-Wood, Jason Wood, Michael Wood, Nicole Schroeder, Matthew Wood, Krista Unrau, and Amy Unrau and many great grandchildren and stepgrandchildren.

Mary was the first child of John and Mary Wiebe of Osterwick, Manitoba, born on May 10, 1934, her birthday often falling on Mother’s Day. She was the oldest of seven children. Her siblings, Pete, John, Ben, Abe, Henry and Marge are all still living in Manitoba.  She saw them often and the Wiebe Family met several times a year, at Christmas, a summer BBQ and various faspas throughout the year. They are a close family that have maintained a caring relationship over the years. All were a great joy to Mary and they were always in her thoughts and prayers.

Mary went to school in Osterwick until Grade 8. She was her mom’s biggest helper around the house and helping to care for her siblings. At 16 years old, she went to Beamsville, Ontario for over a year and lived with her grandma. She and her cousin, Sadie worked in a fruit processing factory and also in a basket factory. When she returned home, she went to work on a farm near Darlingford during harvest.  That is where she met Arthur Wood, known as Art. They married the following February 10, 1951. They started married life in Roland, working for a farmer. Son, Dennis was born there. Then they moved to Grenfel, SK where daughter, Sharon was born. They moved back to Manitoba, living in Darlingford where daughter, Debbie was born. Her brother, Abe remembers staying at their place in Darlingford and eating fresh bought bread with peanut butter and jam. He says they didn’t get bought bread at home and thought it was the best thing.  This was followed by a brief residence in Winkler. We believe this is where Art met Jake Fehr. Jake was single then and told Art that he would have given him a run for his money if he had met Mary first, though Mary had actually known Jake already from Osterwick days.

Then they moved to the family farm west of Miami; land that Art’s parents, William and Violet Wood had homesteaded and they still lived in a small house on the farmyard. Larry, Brian and Barbara were born there.  Mary not only looked after five small children during that time, but was often caring for farm animals and helping in the field.  But there was still time for fun and the older children have fond memories of the farm.

In October 1959, the family moved to Roland. Art eventually started a scrap iron business which he ran for the rest of his life. Twins, Murray and Myrna and last son, Stephen were born while they lived in Roland; a total of nine children. With nine children and few conveniences, life for Mary was very busy and sometimes hard. She helped Art with his business, keeping the books and seeing customers when he was away.

She was involved with her children, getting them to school and Sunday School. She was a woman of faith and taught her children about Jesus. Mary would sing children’s songs and hymns with her children before bed, and hear their prayers. People in town said that Mary and Art’s kids always looked clean and well dressed and cared for. Her kids remember the weekly baths in a tub in front of the stove.  There was always alot to do with cooking, cleaning, laundry and a big garden. Mary is well remembered by anyone who has eaten at her table as a marvellous cook and baker. Son, Murray remembers entries at Roland Fair with many first place ribbons.  He says that often the item didn’t even look like it was tasted; they just knew it was Mary’s so it was good.  She fed many people, aside from her family over the years.  She always fed the young guys that worked for Dad. They still have good memories of her breakfasts. She was very hospitable and very welcoming to her many visitors, young or old, it didn’t matter.  I remember her delicious molasses cake.  A Wiebe family gathering wouldn’t be complete without her cottage cheese tarts and I don’t think she was allowed to come without them.

Mary and Art had good friends that they socialized with. Neighbours, Mrs Zacharias and Mrs Miller often watched over the kids while Mary went grocery shopping and their kids played with her kids.  Mrs Zacharias had a Bible study on Wednesday nights that Mary never wanted to miss. Art’s brother, Clare and Mable were frequent visitors as well as Mary’s brother, Pete and Helen and kids. Leonard remembers they were always happy to visit them in Roland. When the Kobb family moved to Roland, Mary and Art became friends with them. Many happy and noisy evenings were enjoyed at each other’s house with so many kids from both families. After the kids were older, Mary would often go on the road with Art, to various parts of Manitoba picking up metal and often to the States as well. She also went on other trips. Mary and Debbie travelled to Toronto to see Sharon and also went to Niagara Falls and the CN Tower. Another time she went on a trip with Sharon, her mom, Mary Wiebe and mother-in-law, Violet Wood to Edmonton and Calgary. Mary also went with Debbie and her Mom to Calgary to visit Barb. Another time Mary and Art went on a trip to Calgary, picked up Barb and went on to Vancouver, both seeing the ocean for the first time. Her grandkids often came to stay, especially in summer and have fond memories of their time at Grandma and Grandpa’s.

Mary and Art lived in Roland together and raised their family and ran the business until April 16, 1992, when Art passed away from a sudden heart attack at the age of 62. They had been married for 42 years and Mary was lost without him.  She continued to live in Roland with her son, Stephen but often stayed with Myrna and Ron in Morden. She visited her other children as well. Many who knew her during those years would say she had lost the zest for life.  But it was also during this time that she found a renewed strength from her faith in God.  She was baptized in the church in Roland. After her Dad passed away May 6, 1985, Mary and I spent a lot of time with our Mom, both in Osterwick in her apartment in Winkler, at BTHC and Salem.

Then Jake called one day. Mary had known Jake since the 1950’s. They would sometimes run into each other at the mall and find themselves standing and talking for a long time. Jake says it took a while for him to work up the nerve to call her and ask her out for coffee. But one day he did. Sharon remembers Mary calling her in Vancouver and asking if she could use some of the perfume she had left behind when she had last visited.  Love was in the air. A couple of months later, he went to see Mary’s mother and asked for her hand in marriage. Our Mom got quite a kick out of that, which is why Jake did it; a man with a sense of humour. Many say Mary was like a young girl with a new lease on life. They were so happy with each other. They married on December15, 1996. Debbie remembers shopping with her for a wedding dress. I felt honoured when she asked me to be her matron of honour. Neither Mary nor Jake wanted to live in the other’s house, so they got a house together and moved to Morden where they lived for 12 years. Jake had six children of his own and with her nine plus grandchildren and great grandchildren, Jake and Mary had a busy life.  They shared a common faith and attended the Sommerfelder church in Morden, where they made friends and became part of the community. They enjoyed Bible studies and the senior’s faspa. Mary became good friends with Jake’s sisters, Tina, Margaret and Sarah and their husbands and spent many good times with them. They moved to the Buhler building in 2008 due to Jake’s failing health.  There, they made more friends and became part of a coffee group of friends. They looked forward to their daily outings. Jake passed away in February of this year.  They had 18 good years of marriage and he is sorely missed.

Mary had enjoyed fairly good health most of her life, but her health started to fail almost immediately after Jake’s passing. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and struggled with heart failure, with many weeks in hospital. Mary moved to Homestead South assisted living for a short time but when it became clear that she could not manage on her own, she moved in with her daughter, Sharon.  She was admitted to Boundary Trails on December 7 and passed away on December 12. My best memories were the times Mary and I had coffee together and just visited and shared with one another.  Especially seeing that time was precious and might be short. Mary was a wonderful sister to me and like a sister we didn’t always agree on things, but I loved her dearly and always will and all of us will miss her very much.

The funeral service at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 17, 2015 at the Sommerfeld Church in Winkler with Pastor John Friesen presiding and interment at the Fairview Cemetery in Roland.

Morden Sommerfeld ladies served the lunch.  Thank you for looking after so many details for us.  Also thank you to the pianist, ushers and caretaking. The family would like to express their gratitude to the many who touched Mary’s life in a special way this past year.

  • Her friends at Buhler Building.
  • Homestead for trying to make it work for her there.
  • Rana for the many deliveries of oxygen and for your kind words.
  • The drivers at Morden Handi-Van – it was the only way she travelled in her last months and their kindness is so much appreciated.
  • Home Care workers – they came faithfully to care for her needs and she couldn’t have managed at home without them.  Your many acts of kindness were a blessing to her.
  • Dr Woelk at BTHC CancerCare
  • Dr Kevin Earl of Agassiz Medical Centre – thank you for walking with her through this final journey.  Your words were always kind and compassionate.
  • BTHC – the many nurses, aides and staff who cared for Mary at various times this year and especially during her last week.  Thank you for doing that so well and with such kindness and caring.


Thank-you to Reverend John Friesen for his kindness to us, the Morden Sommerfeld Church Ladies for serving the lunch, to the ushers, and the pianist for their service. The family also wants to thank Wiebe Funeral Home for their kind and compassionate and efficient care. Also many thanks to all of you who have come to share in our sorrow at this time.  May the Lord bless you for it.

Wiebe Funeral Home, Winkler

In care of arrangements

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