Groening, Maria

Memorial service will be held at 2:00PM on Friday May 10, 2019 at Bethel Bergthaler Mennonite Church, Hochfeld. Viewing will be from 1PM-7PM on Thursday at Wiebe Funeral Home, Winkler. Interment prior to the service at 1PM at the Winkler Cemetery. Memorial gifts may be made to Baptist Mission Society of Latin America (BMSLA) (designated to the Christian Education Centre, San Carlos, Mexico).

Maria (Mary) Groening (nee Dueck)
1935 – 2019

On Sunday May 5, 2019 at her residence in Winkler, Maria (Mary) Groening aged 84, formerly of Altona went to her eternal rest.

This is our tribute to our mom who was: a loving wife, encouraging mother, compassionate grandmother, accepting and faithful friend of all generations, faithful friend, and caring sister.  She always had a listening ear, a warm sense of humour, and fun-loving spirit.

Mom was born March 13, 1935 at the family homestead outside of Altona, Manitoba. She was predeceased by her father Jacob Dueck and mother Margaretha (nee Toews), along with sister Margaretha, brother Diedrich, sister Helen, and brother Jacob. Mom was also predeceased by her loving husband of fifty one years, Detray Groening.

She leaves to mourn her daughter Cyndie and husband Tim Wiebe with their children Josiah and wife Katie Wiebe and their daughter Lainey, Annika and husband Martin Bshouty, and Emily and husband Justin Peters, together with son Kevin and wife Lisa, with their children Joshua and Olivia. Mom is also survived by her siblings John and his wife Ann, Peter, Susan and her husband Bill, Ben and his wife Brenda, and many nieces and nephews.

Born in the middle of the Great Depression she learned the virtues of resourcefulness, hard work and collaboration. To assist the family, she moved to Winnipeg to work as a nanny at the age of sixteen. These traits of “doing what needed to be done with whatever you had whether it was time, effort or attitude defined how she did things.  She would compost, reduce, reuse and recycle, before it was even a thing.  

A green thumb like no other, Mom could make a stick grow into a tree. She had a knack for gardening in a way that made any weed afraid and could continue growing plants indoors that most others would have given up on. The precision and patience defined her work in her creativity with sewing, knitting, crocheting, and quilting demonstrated her feeling that everything could be made into something wonderful, and this core belief was also how she saw people as well.

Mom believed wholeheartedly that age was not a restriction for relationships.  This was evident in her marriage to dad regardless of their 20-year age difference.  She became lifelong friends as a cradle roll mom, connecting with children, teens, young moms, and encourage elderly friends that were ill and housebound.

Working together and supporting others was always a part of Mom’s personality, and these traits would continue to be appreciated by everyone she connected with.

Every relationship was important to Mom, but she also sought to maximize what she could do while she was able. Whether it was in her role as the primary home caregiver in the later years for Dad, or her role as a volunteer at church, MCC, or on a Mexico mission trip, she made sure to do what she could while she could do it. This also included the traveling she did with her good friend Marge Suderman to tour Israel, Europe, and Mexico, as well as taking all of her children’s families to a resort in Mexico for a New Year’s celebration. Doing these trips at just the right time and with the right people to share the experience; this was her way to do things.

Mom had a high fun factor.  She could make dismal tasks into a good time with her jokes and easy laugh.  Her stories would often be accompanied with a wink, a touch on the knee and of course her cute little “quotation signals”. Some also know of her competitive floor curling career, and her desire to play games, catch as many baseball, curling, or hockey games as possible, particularly those played by her grandchildren.

We are all so grateful to have shared our lives with Mom, and to have been recipients of her love and joy for life. We are also so thankful to those who made this last difficult year of Mom’s so rich in caring and thoughtfulness: her wonderful group of Wednesday Night Game Night girls, her supportive church family and care group, her loving group of close friends, and the extended family who shared moments with Mom that will always be cherished.

Here are just a few of the thoughts that were shared the night before…..

From Mom’s journal entry on her birthday last March 13, she writes: “We run together in the race of faith - our goal is not to “finish first” in the race of faith, but to reach out in tangible ways of encouragement by setting an example and lending a helping hand along the way. The day will come when we complete our life on earth, until then, let’s spur each other on, be ready to help, and keep pulling together every day. May I be faithful to that end.”

Memorial service at 2:00 p.m. on Friday May 10, 2019 at the Bethel Bergthaler Mennonite Church in Hochfeld with a private family interment prior at the Winkler Cemetery. Donations may be made in Mary’s memory to Baptist Mission Society of Latin America (BMSLA) designated to the Christian Education Centre in San Carlos, Mexico.
Wiebe Funeral Home, Winkler
In care of arrangements


#1 Glenn 2019-05-06 22:51
Kevin I’m so sorry for your loss, and for your kids to lose their grandma. Sending lots of love and strength your way.
#2 Chris Nickel 2019-05-07 22:12
I was so sad to hear of Aunt Mary's passing. She looked so much like my Mom and acted like her as well. She was a fun loving and wise person. After my Mom passed away I used to find it difficult to see her. She was so much like my Mom. She was a wonderful and accepting person. I know you will miss her very much but know that she was loved by many
#3 Dave Kehler 2019-05-09 06:01
So sorry. I was just talking about aunt Mary. She looked and sounded like my mom--as Chris said.
She called me this last year, just to chat, just so I could hear her voice, that sounded so much like my Mom. Now they are together forever. A truly special lady.
Ps. 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD
Is the death of His godly ones.
#4 Frank & Kathy Letkeman 2019-05-09 15:02
Kevin, Lisa, Josh & Olivia deepest sympathy on the loss of your Mom & Grandma. Our prayers are with you at this hard time. Memories last a lifetime.
#5 Cindy 2019-05-10 10:25
I was deeply saddened to hear of Mary's passing. She was such a gentle & kind lady. She has a special place in my heart. My condolences to the family.
#6 Leona & Dennis 2019-05-24 08:31
Our condolences to you all. She was my cradle roll mother for my boys. And I loved her in my life. She was always kind and loving and a sweet friend.

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