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Funeral service will be held at 2:00PM on Friday May 13, 2022 at Christian Life Centre, Morden with interment to follow at Westridge Memorial Gardens, Winkler. Viewing will be from 1PM-6PM on Thursday at Wiebe Funeral Home, Winkler and at the church prior to the service. Donations may be made in Johnny's memory to Adult & Teen Challenge.
Johan (Johnny) Wall
1966 ~ 2022

 

Johnny Wall, aged 55, passed away at the Boundary Trails Health Centre on Monday, May 9, 2022 at 10:35 AM, with his children and brother, Dave by his side. He was born to his parents, Aron and Helena in Mexico on May 26, 1966, and was the second of eight children. Johnny was predeceased by his dad exactly one month earlier and his sister, Helen in 2012. He will be lovingly remembered by his children, Celina & Axel, and Jeremiah & Mackenzie, his mom, Helena, brothers, Dave & Nita, Aron & Lena, Pete & Lisa, and sisters, Lisa & Jake, Mary & Neil and Anna & John along with all their families.

Dad was raised in Mexico up until the age of 15 when they made the move to Canada. In childhood he was your typical, active boy who loved to tussle with his brothers but his sisters only remember him as ever being kind and compassionate. He was definitely more of a protector; he looked out for them.

As a teenager dad loved racing, listening to Johnny Cash, and hanging out with friends while cruising around Main Street. This is where he met our mom, Susie Redekop and they were married from August of 1988 till late 1999.

Dad taught us to work for our money; you didn’t just wait around for it to fall into your lap, you earned it. This was not a conversation, but was demonstrated in the way he did life. He knew how to work HARD, and he took pride in doing it right.

He had an eye for quality, and after having learned some of the up-and-coming concrete specialty works when they lived in BC for six years, the idea of bringing it to our area came up. Dad and uncle Neil were the cofounders of New Style Concrete, and started this business up in Winkler in 1998.  At some point uncle Jake replaced uncle Neil and the business continued to grow; but eventually dad became the sole owner. Even now, 24 years later, John from New Style Concrete was still known as the guy to call - if you wanted stamped or exposed aggregate work done. He was well liked and respected by local contractors and was known by his customers to go “above and beyond” to make sure they were happy.

Dad was a people person who had formed many strong friendships, but he was cautious when it came to showing, and sharing his own heart. He would rather listen than talk and his gentle spirit just naturally made people feel like they mattered. Because they did. He not only heard you… he took it to heart.

Dad was a big ole teddy bear, but he also had “grit and determination” when he would set his mind to something. Because he never went to school in Canada, he was unable to read or write in English. Somehow, he managed to learn this too, while living in BC. During the day he was working and learning all there was to know about concrete and in the evenings he was being coached by Susie, as he learned by reading the Bible and writing letters to some of the family back home. Book-learning was not his favorite thing to do, but slowly his persistence paid off.

Another example of his “never-give-up” mentality was demonstrated when he bought his Mach 1 Mustang in BC and drove this dream car back home to Manitoba. There was NO heater in the car and this trip happened in the coldest month of winter! For hours on end he had to scrape ice off the inside of the windshield as he drove just so he could see. Maybe that scraping was a bit of a blessing though? Because all that moving surely kept him somewhat warm. 😊

We are really going to miss this guy. He always looked out for us and we knew he had our best interest at heart NO MATTER WHAT! Dad had a way of seeing the good in others, but he didn’t give himself the same grace. He was super generous and quick to offer his help, but struggled to believe that he was worthy of getting the same in return. He never wanted to be a bother… didn’t want anyone to go out their way for him. When they did however, he would never forget to express his gratitude at least a few times. His heart was always intent on not hurting others, and while this was a beautiful trait, it also cost him (and us) much.

Life doesn’t always go as we had hoped right? It’s just a fact of life and we all know that. We all find the best way to cope. Sadly, our “best way” is not always the healthiest way, and this was dad’s downfall too. He never set out to become entangled in something that would take such a huge toll on his body, but soon enough he found himself on a path he never wanted to be on. 

He managed well enough till late 2014 when he had his first major health crisis; and he never fully recovered from that trauma. As his health continued to decline, we slowly lost the happy dad we once knew. It sure broke our hearts, and often left us feeling bewildered and helpless, but nothing we did could change that. It was HIS battle.

Through it all, his love for his kids and his family  never waivered, but he was pretty rough on himself. He was always forgiving of others, but he struggled to forgive himself for some of the choices he made, that affected his life and others. He only saw the shame in having gone from being an active church member who was passionate for the Lord, to slowly drawing away from so many people who truly cared for him.

Dad had many hospital stays these last few years, but no matter how sick he was, he never made it about himself. He was always more concerned for the ones who were there to support him, and he especially had a HUGE soft spot in his heart for his dear momma. Oh how it crushed him to see her hurting.

Despite all his trials, his faith in who God was… never waivered; though he DID lose sight of how precious he was in Father Gods eyes. Through it all, and especially this last while, he would often ask us “are you saved?” He was concerned about people’s salvation, and wanted everyone to know Jesus and be in relationship with Him.

God does not make mistakes, yet still… it feels like dad’s life was taken too soon. Especially because he had just made all the arrangements and was committed to attending Teen Challenge for an entire year; to regain mental, physical and spiritual health. We were all so proud of him and excited for him to go, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be.  While we were rushing around taking care of life’s tiny details to send him on his way, our Master Healer was preparing Dad’s heart to receive new life, but in a very different way. The countdown to ‘FREEDOM’ had begun.

Dads last two weeks were spent in the hospital. On the morning of Mothers Day, auntie Nita received a call from the nurses asking the three of us to come in. We were told there was nothing left they could do for dad except keep him comfortable, and some adjustments were quickly made so we could stay with him through this time.

On that sunny Sunday morning, while the birds happily chirped in the trees, and a curious little bunny kept coming over to the window to investigate; we were enjoying Gods supernatural blessings in room 12 as we got two hours of uninterrupted time with dad. Much to everyone’s surprise, dad had become responsive once more and was more alert, smiling, and even being a bit of a goofball. We will forever cherish the precious memories from that morning as we made the most of the time we had left. His mind wasn’t entirely clear but the meaning of his words was. Three times he told us “I want to go home”. Twice he said “See you later”. He watched our faces as intently as we watched his.

At one point he caught Auntie Nita looking, and he locked eyes with her for a bit, then he got this goofy grin on his face and said “what are you lookin’ at?” and all four of us cracked up and had a good laugh. Another phrase he used a lot that morning was “that’s a good idea”. I’m pretty sure those words will always bring a smile to our faces from now on when we hear someone say them.

As he faded and his words became harder to understand, we prayed with him. There was no sound, but his lips formed the words as we said the Lords prayer together one last time. Then he turned his head to look at Jeremiah and with all the breath he could muster, he said “I love you”. Those were some of the last words we heard him say, and they pierced the three hearts that heard them.

How precious time is… and how for-granted we take it. How little we value the power of our words and the impact they will have on others; till we see the sands in the hourglass of life suddenly dwindling. In those moments it seemed as though all our senses were heightened and our awareness had become super SHARP. He was on his last sleep and we were more awake than ever before.

We rarely divide time by single minutes or measure life based on a single day… till death leaves a mark on our mental calendar in one brief moment that we’ll never forget. In the span of one breath that escaped and didn’t make it’s way back… and one heart that lost it’s earthly beat… so many lives were changed.

These next thoughts were shared by auntie Nita (aka “nurse Goof”) who was dad's medical “sidekick” and had spent much time helping dad get through all his hospital stays. She said "If your dad could bring one last message to us all, here’s what I believe he would want anyone who struggles to know. He’d say 'I can finally see myself for who I am and for who God always tried to tell me I was!'"

Friends, we are NOT defined by addictions or any sin we’ve committed! When God looks at us, He doesn’t judge us by using the same labels the world has attached to us. No…when He looks at us He sees a dearly beloved child. A child who is already TOTALLY set free by the blood of Jesus Christ, if we accept His gift of freedom through salvation. She also said “Your dad loved the Lord, but he thought that he could not witness to people because he had a problem. And THAT is the same lie the enemy has always used to try to bind believers so they will become ineffective”.

Let’s honor Johnny’s memory by giving GLORY TO GOD that we are set free. Let’s stop judging people for how we perceive them to be and instead let’s love them as Jesus taught us to do.

And I’m quite sure dad would say “That’s a good idea!”

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