Klassen, Evelyn

Evelyn Marjorie Klassen (nee DeFehr)

1944 - 2016

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On Wednesday December 14, 2016, Evelyn Klassen of Winkler, MB died peacefully at her residence. Mom was baptized upon confession of her faith in Jesus Christ in May 24, 1964 by Bishop John A. Friesen at Winkler Sommerfeld Mennonite Church. Dad and mom were united in marriage on September 17, 1961 in Winnipeg, MB.

Mom was born to Annie and Isaac DeFehr in the district of Grahamdale.  It wasn’t long after, that the family moved to Osterwick, Mb, where she attended elementary school and eventually moving to Winkler where she attended high school.

In 1958, mom met dad, the love of her life.  Two years later in 1960, she moved to Wpg. where she worked at the Concordia hospital in the dietary department.  Then, in 1961, mom and dad were united in marriage.  After her job at the hospital, she was employed at the creamery for a period of time.  Shirley and I remember this time very well, because many times mom would come home with a box of fudgesicles.  We always looked forward to those special treats. 

Soon after, mom had her third child, Brian.  Mom and dad then decided they wanted to raise their children in the country.  And so it was, at this time that they moved to Gnadenthal where they resided for over 30 years and where all their children were raised.

After moving to Gnadenthal, mom and dad sacrificed a second income so that mom could stay at home to raise their children.  Because of this sacrifice, mom became very creative in meal preparation and to us children it was a comfort to know that she would be there when we got home from school.

Mom loved to sing.  She loved those old familiar gospel hymns which she sang repeatedly as she worked tirelessly around the house.  Whether we could see her or not, we always knew she was near, by the sound of her voice ringing from somewhere in the house.  Looking back, we didn’t truly comprehend the significance of that gift during those formative years.  But, the rich theology of those precious hymns, were etched deep in our hearts.

Colossians 3: 16 states …let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord…

To this day we can recall many of those hymns by memory.  Mom was truly grateful to God for the salvation of her soul and her heart spilled over with praise to Him for His great love for her. 

Both mom and dad taught us the significance of hard work.   Our summers were spent working together on the yard, mowing lawn, weeding the vegetable garden, tending to the numerous flower beds that mom would plant each spring.  Every year, we would earn a little extra money by beet weeding for a local farmer.  Here too, mom demonstrated her work ethic by putting in long hours in the field. Working from early morning, till sundown. 

When dad decided to make a basement under our existing home, this too became a joint effort for the whole family.  The project required participation from every member of our family and with one wheel barrow at a time we managed to complete our project and had a full basement within a few years. 

Looking back those were precious times of togetherness and bonding for all of us.  Even to the very end, through sickness and pain mom struggled to continue to perform daily household chores. 

Another lesson mom taught her children by example was her submission, respect and faithfulness to dad.  Their love for one another grew as the years went by.   Even after mom became sick, we would catch a glimpse of that love as we saw them holding hands through the rails of the hospital bed and the times that dad would sit with her, hour after hour. 

Mom had a generous and compassionate heart.  I can recall one particular Christmas, when mom’s heart was burdened for someone she had met in town.  Through chatting with this individual, mom found out that this person would not be having Christmas dinner that year.  Mom’s heart was heavily burdened for this person and she decided to do something.  She immediately organized a huge Christmas feast, which she then served to the entire apartment block where this individual was living.  Romans 12:13 says…”distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.”  Her generosity touched many lives.

Another example of mom’s love was when Darlene became a foster mother to Natasha.  The bond that developed with Natasha’s biological family still continues to this day.  Mom always considered them family.

Family was precious to mom and she loved to be surrounded by her children.  Sundays became a day we all looked forward to being together.  When it was time to leave, mom always made a point to stand at the window and wave to each of their children till they disappeared into the distance. 

Mom also loved to go out for coffee and for meals to McDonalds and Chicken Chef with friends on a regular basis. 

Another favorite pastime of hers was shopping.  Any kind of shopping was a joy for mom.  Even grocery shopping was a high-light for her.  She would call me numerous times a week with any excuse to go shopping.  Despite her failing health, 4 weeks prior to her passing, mom insisted that she wanted to go on a shopping trip.  Even though I offered to get it for her, she was determined to do this herself.   So, while I was pushing her in the wheel chair, she pushed the grocery cart.  And that’s how we got our shopping done.

In August of this year mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  One of her final wishes was that she be allowed to die at home.  God granted her wish, as Drs. and nurses made this possible for her.  In particular, Dr. Kroeker, Dr. Woelk, Karen Shack and Claudia Penner.  House calls with the medical team were arranged and family organized shifts to care for her around the clock.  What a precious gift God gave us to allow us to express our love for her in such a tender way. 

Another wish of mom’s was that she be granted the opportunity to see the birth of her youngest grandchild. This too, God honored  and on November 15th, mom was able to hold Jase Liam in her arms. 

Mom also had a deep concern for dad and longed to know that he would be cared for after she was gone. Many times we had to reassure her that all would be well. 

She also expressed on numerous occasions that she wanted her children to continue to walk with the Lord and to continue in the faith. This was extremely important to her.

God has blessed our family in so many ways and so much more than we deserve.   Mom has been an example to all of us as to what Godly living should look like.  She lived her faith. 

Although we will miss her so much, we are also so grateful to God for giving us this beautiful woman we called -  mother…

 Proverbs 31:28 says….

        “Her children arise up, and call her blessed;

          her husband also, and he praiseth her.”

She leaves to mourn her passing her loving husband, Jake and their eight children: Sandra, Shirley (Rick), Brian (Helen), Brenda (Dave), John (Kathy), Linda (Shawn), Lori (Cornie), Darlene (Darryl), 15 grandchildren and two great grandchildren. She is also survived by three sisters, two brothers and their families. She was predeceased by her parents, Isaac and Annie (nee Martens) DeFehr, one brother and one sister.

Funeral service at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday December 20, 2016 at Winkler Sommerfeld Mennonite Church with interment at Westridge Memorial Gardens.

Wiebe Funeral Home, Winkler

In care of arrangements