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Memorial service will be held at 2:30PM on Friday, September 22, 2017 at Grace Mennonite Church, Winkler.   Viewing will be from 1PM-6PM on Thursday at Wiebe Funeral Home, Winkler.  Private interment prior to the service at Rose Farm Cemetery.  If friends so desire, donations may be made in Hannah's memory to World Vision Canada.


Susan Hannah Marie Penner (nee Brown)

1927 – 2017 

Let me tell you about the dash in between those dates...

Hannah was an early Christmas present for the Isaac and Gertrude Brown family. Her six older siblings were at the Rose Farm school program December 23 while she was delivered at home to the family that eventually totaled nine. They had enough kids to form a baseball team on which she played second base and it's not an exaggeration to say that the Brown team was one to be reckoned with. They had a reputation of being the toughest kids around - feeling no pain and fearing no one. Hannah was a cheerful girl and a good student – good enough to skip a grade and add up numbers as fast as a calculator and she earned two weeks at summer camp by memorizing a total of 800 Bible verses, but she found academics (especially history classes) boring and left school after grade eight. She always enjoyed learning though, taking various courses throughout the years. The family's love of music stayed with Mom all her life as she played both the guitar and piano. She was the local piano teacher, church, choir, and quartet pianist, and later on, volunteered in that role at the Salem Home and Eden Health facilities. 

Ed, the only son of a farmer down the road, whose passions of education, music, organization, and neatness entered this rough and tumble crowd when he and Hannah married in 1947. They set up their own household on the second floor of Ed's parents' house for the first number of years. Their vows of “for richer or poorer” were tested immediately as their wedding presents were lost in a fire which destroyed the Isaac Brown home after the wedding. Five children joined this family over a period of 20 years starting in 1949 when Ken was born, followed by Carole, Curtis, Cyndy and finally Crystal completed the family in 1969. The Gospel of James and the virtuous woman described in Proverbs 31 could be illustrated by Mom's life. After her salvation, she became baptized in 1943 and from then on became a “doer of the Word”. She has always had a “get 'r done” attitude long before it became a catchphrase. Feeding family, friends, missionaries, strangers or perhaps even “angels unawares” at her kitchen table with fresh buns and garden produce was a regular occurrence. This hospitality included taking in a niece when Mom's sister died after childbirth. Her church family in Rose Farm, then Lowe Farm and then finally in Winkler was consistently supported in word and deed. Our clothes were sewn (and later repaired) by Mom. Other pursuits included paper tole, cross stitch, quilting and embroidery – to name a few. When she was persuaded to enter some of her amazing handiwork in the Winkler Harvest Festival competition in 1999, she won 4 firsts, 1 second and 1 third. Her willingness to take charge and tackle projects extended out of doors as well. She could (and did) operate anything faster than anyone else. Whether it was driving a vehicle, farm machinery, a motorcycle, going for an airplane ride, milking a cow or planting her garden, completion of the task at hand quickly was paramount. Knowing how to do something was not necessarily a barrier to stop it from getting done. When something needed doing right now, she was the person to put on the job. When asked if she wanted to go fast or slow, the answer invariably was 'as fast as possible”. She had a competitive nature, whether it was in arm wrestling or a table game and she was always looking for an edge, whether sanctioned by the rules or not. 

When Mom and Dad moved off the farm in 1987 to make room for the next generation, Mom's energy and talent found its outlet with a myriad of community volunteer efforts. The MCC store benefited from her “get 'r done” attitude when she attacked the donation pile. Things literally flew to the shelves. Salem and Eden residents enjoyed her talents on the piano each week. The produce from her amazing garden delighted everyone around. Winkler Bible Camp was another beneficiary. It wasn't just the local community that got things done. When Mom and Dad traveled, it was not to look for a beach but rather, to make a difference. Whether it was to Mali to help build a church, to Texas to help at the Wycliffe facilities, to the Holy Land to understand their Bible studies better or to Europe to see how farming was done there – idle leisure was never the purpose. Even when visiting the children, there was invariably a pile of clothing that was mended or help given on some other project. When Parkinson's was first diagnosed in 2008, she accepted this with her usual mix of good grace and taking on a challenge. Her exercise routine included walking and bicycling – as fast as possible! As the disease slowly took away her physical and mental abilities, her grace and good manners remained. “Thank you” and “I love you” were phrases that stayed in active use as long as she had speech. Home Care, Boundary Trails Health Centre, Rock Lake Health Centre and Salem Home all provided excellent, kind and considerate care and the family would like to thank you all. Family, friends and church support has been invaluable and we appreciate your love. 

Mom was finally given her new body and healthy mind on September 18, 2017. She is survived by Ed, her husband of 70 years, her children, Ken (Els), Carole, Curtis (Beverly), Cyndy (Gareth), Crystal (Calvin) along with 11 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. She was predeceased by her son-in-law, Gary Pollard, her parents, Isaac and Gertrude Brown, five brothers and one sister. We are sad to say goodbye, but are rejoicing that in the hope of seeing her again; celebrating with her in her new home in heaven.

The Family 

Memorial service at 2:30 p.m. on Friday September 22, 2017 at Grace Mennonite Church with a private interment prior to the service at Rose Farm Cemetery. If friends so desire, donations may be made in Hannah’s memory to World Vision Canada. 

Wiebe Funeral Home, Winkler

In care of arrangements


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