Memorial service will be held at 11:30AM on Friday March 11, 2022 at the Winkler Bergthaler Mennonite Church with interment prior to the service at 10:30AM at Westridge Memorial Gardens. No public viewing.


Helen Janzen (nee Paetkau)
1929 ~ 2022

It is with sadness but also a sense of celebration that we announce the passing of Helen Janzen at age 92. She was a woman of strong character and determination which she exhibited to the end.

She was predeceased by her husband, Jake Janzen who passed away on October 16, 1964 and by her sister, Agnes Elliason and husband, Howard, brother, Henry Paetkau and wife, Mary, brother, Abe Petkau and wife, Jane and sister, Marianne Clarke as well as two brothers-in-law and two sisters-in-law and their spouses on the Janzen side of her family. She is survived by her brother-in-law, Ed Clarke and many nieces and nephews and their children.

Helen was brought up on a farm in Lowe Farm in a home where education was stressed. Many neighbours did not send their children to school because it was too far away but her parents insisted they all had to go. School was three miles away and it took her an hour to walk or half an hour if she ran. After high school at the age of 18 she taught 41 students in grades 1-6 at the Eli Waldeheim Hutterite Colony for one year. She then went to Normal School for a year and received her teaching permit. She taught in Neuhorst for three years and Rosetown for one year. Helen and Jake spent 11 wonderful years together working on their farm in Neuhorst. Helen took great joy in her gardens and canning and baking. When the pasture was no longer needed after Jake died it became a park with her loving persistent care. Following her husband’s death, she took a typing course and taught typing at the Garden Valley Collegiate in Winkler for one year and then become the school secretary in 1967.  She loved her job as secretary of the school.  It suited her organizational skills and attention to detail. She was the secretary for 25 years and worked for seven principals during that time. She always said she had the best job in Winkler and it was a pleasure to help staff and students. In those days when the schools were closed because of stormy weather only the secretary had to go to school to answer the phones. She lived many miles away from the school and often wondered how they expected her to get there but she always did of course. The teachers and students organized an appreciation tea for her when she retired in 1991 and presented her with a silver tea service. Helen was a faithful member of the Blumenort Mennonite Church in Rosetown. She was the Sunday School treasurer for 30 years and a grade one Sunday School teacher. We would like to thank the church for faithfully sending her the church bulletins for many years when she was unable to attend. In her later years at Bethania, they were read to her and then filed away in her drawer in chronological order. During the last few years Helen was confined to a wheelchair and often commented that she hated being pushed around. Her spirit was never diminished however, and she held firm to the principles that guided her life. Her strong faith sustained her through the difficult years. She was an encouraging person who blessed many with her smile, her sense of humour and her firm opinions. We all loved her dearly.

We would like to thank Sarah Froese for looking after Helen’s condo in Winkler for 16 years. What a generous gift of time and dedication you gave to your Tante Helen. We would like to thank the many staff at Bethania Personal Care Home in Winnipeg for their loving care. We appreciate it.

A memorial service at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, March 11, 2022 at the Winkler Bergthaler Mennonite Church with interment prior at Westridge Memorial Gardens. Donations in memory of Helen Janzen may be made to Mennonite Central Committee.

Wiebe Funeral Home, Winkler

In care of arrangements

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