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Memorial service will be held at 2:00PM on Wednesday December 27, 2017 at Winkler Bergthaler Mennonite Church. Viewing will be from 4PM-8PM on Tuesday at Wiebe Funeral Home, Winkler. Private family interment prior to the service at Westridge Memorial Gardens.

Abe (Abram) Hiebert
November 14, 1927 – December 21, 2017

Dad, Abe (Abram) Hiebert came into this world at home in Reinfeld, Manitoba on November 13, 1927.  He was born to Frank and Margaretha Hiebert (nee Banman) as a middle child of a family of 13.  Although his “official” birthdate was listed as November 14, 1927, his mother who birthed him reminded everyone that his actual birthday was November 13th.  Dad passed away on the morning of December 21, 2017.  He was pre-deceased by his siblings Jake, Frank, Susan, John, Henry and Ike.  He is survived by his sisters Margaret Doell and Anne Wiens and brothers Neil and Peter.  Abe Hiebert leaves to mourn his wife Helen (Hildebrand), children Ken (Diane), Sharon (James) and Laurie (Garry), six grandchildren (Chris, Jolene, Trevor, Jonathan, Andrew, Bradyn) and four great grandchildren (Jacob, Abbigail, Sophia, Elora Lynn).

Dad recalled meeting mom for the first time when he accompanied his dad at the Hildebrand farm to help harvest sunflower heads by hand.  This was labour intensive and dad, just 2 weeks before he passed away shared that it was more the beautiful Helen he was interested in than the money for doing the work.

Their first official date, according to mom (and she knows all things…) was at the wedding of John L and Anne Friesen on November 16, 1947.  A couple of weeks before dad passed away, he recalled vividly their wedding day on November 23, 1950 in the Winkler Bergthaler Mennonite Church where they were baptized members.  It was an average late fall/early, overcast winter day that got colder as it progressed.  He recalled standing in front of the congregation and as the vows were read, a shaft of light broke through the cloud and streamed directly on to Helen and him.  This clearly was seen by Abe as an expression of God’s favour and he carried that precious memory all his life.

Their first few years together involved working as farmhand and nanny and included moves to Crystal City and back to Reinfeld and the Winkler area.  Their early life together involved hard work but their love for each other grew and blossomed.  Dad’s work moved from farmhand to work at the Winkler Creamery where he became the manager of the milk department which he held for 17 years.

It was during this time that mom and dad had their first child, Ken, born May 16, 1952.  Three years later, a daughter Sharon appeared on December 18, 1955.  Their last child, Laurie was born to them on May 17, 1959.  Life was good and while mom kept the home fires burning, dad was an excellent provider for their young family.  Dad took a job with Triple E where he worked as an electrician on the travel trailer line for many years.  His hard work ethic resulted in applying his acquired skills toward his home-based refrigeration repair service, moonlighting at first and eventually making it a fulltime pursuit.  It was through this work that he left a positive and lasting impression on so many people.

Summers would see cousins spending time and enjoying summer holidays at mom and dad’s home.  The family took time to enjoy road trips every year to either Detroit Lakes or British Columbia where connecting with relatives was a key objective and usually involved water sports including water skiing.  The kids all remember a close call in Detroit Lakes where the house boat with aunts, uncles and cousins dropped the anchor while under power and only dad’s quick thinking and action saved the day.  Dad was known for his acts of kindness, often quietly helping friends and strangers with financial assistance or finding other very practical ways of supporting. 

Dad’s expression of his faith was a quiet one, preferring actions to words.  He never left any doubt in our minds as to his values and beliefs.  In quiet moments toward the end, he was able to share personally of his assurance that God and he had things in order.

Many will miss dad.  Most of all his wife of 67 years, Helen and all of us kids, grandkids and great grandkids.  Additionally, dad amazed us with all the acquaintances and friends he made over his many years.  His honest and trustworthy reputation built a wonderful community of folks that enjoyed each others’ company.  Even after his long career as the best refrigerator repair guy around, dad enjoyed and contributed his work ethic to the local MCC thrift store in Winkler.  Here, he repaired major appliances and other needed tasks for about 20 years.  He missed his work routine there toward the end, his wonderful work colleagues and of course his mandatory coffee breaks at McDonalds mid morning, every morning.  The vital contribution that the thrift store provided for needy families motivated dad’s work there.

Dad lived a life of integrity and stubborn resolve, with the best interests of Helen and his family in mind.  Despite an early heart scare in 1994, dad lived a long and contributing life, reaching his 90th birthday on November 13 and 14. In true Abe Hiebert fashion, he used everything up including his tired body.  He leaves us with his shining example and wonderful, loving memories and we know he has joined the angels as he shared with us days before he passed on.

The family wishes to thank Dr. Basson and the committed health care team who provided outstanding and compassionate care over the last several months.  Pastor, Jake Doell and all the caring visits from the Bergthaler Church and the homecare staff that became part of the family.  We as family recognized that dad’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs were being addressed.  We also would like to recognize all the community members, neighbours and volunteer colleagues who have helped make mom and dad’s life so rich.  Thank you for being that community of support in the past and moving forward. 

Based on dad’s wishes, donations in Abe Hiebert’s memory are encouraged toward MCC.

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