William (Bill) Klassen passed away suddenly on Monday July 24, 2023, at the age of 75 years.
Bill was born to Jacob and Katherine Klassen of Blumenfeld, Manitoba on July 29, 1947 and was the oldest of eight kids: six boys and two girls. He grew up on the farm and it instilled a life-long love of the land and the farming lifestyle. The Klassen family was faithful to the Mennonite Christian faith and Bill and his siblings grew up with a reverence for God and helping their fellow man, in a loving, and hard-working home. Bill was a faithful servant of the Lord, and he gave his life to God and was baptized in 1967 in Bethel Bergthaler Mennonite Church. Bill’s upbringing was the foundation of his approach to life, his positive and easy-going nature, and his rock-solid faith. Bill’s objective in life was to work off the land and auction on the side to support his love of farming. Bill had his first auction for a local dairy farmer a few days before his 21st birthday on July 23, 1968 and another that Fall. He decided to attend auction school and graduated from Missouri Auction School in Kansas City on December 13, 1968. While the first few years were difficult, Bill was given opportunities by local farmers and other auctioneers and soon established himself as a bonafide auctioneer of the people as his client list and staff grew. He attributed his success to his clients and those who gave him a chance, as well as the wonderful people that worked for him and with him, whom he respected and appreciated. Bill met Karen Zacharias in 1969. They began dating a year after Karen began teaching in Blumenfeld. He knew that Karen was the one when she asked him out to the Sadie Hawkins event. They were married three years later on October 16, 1971. Together, Bill and Karen built a life and family of love, centered around their Saviour, Jesus Christ. Bill was a devoted husband and father to his children, Carlene, Leighton, Dwight, Lowell and Randy John. Having purchased his own farm in 1967 in Jordan, MB, Bill started Quin-K farms with his brothers. He also registered his Class 1 driver’s license and became a middle-distance trucker to earn money for the family. On August 3, 1999, Bill and Karen’s son, Dwight, was tragically killed in a vehicle accident at the age of 17. This was a devastating loss to the entire family. It was Bill and Karen’s faith in God that sustained them knowing that they would one day see him again. Dwight’s death impacted Bill’s energy for farming, and he shifted more of his focus to auctioning but continued to enjoy being on the field with his brothers. To say Bill was a social butterfly would be an understatement. He enjoyed being with people and meeting new ones. His positive nature and friendly demeanor drew others to him, and many knew him by his warm greetings or waves from his truck. He was always willing to have a conversation and would always answer his phone. Bill was a devoted Christian and a selfless human being. He was active in church in various positions, including roles in the Missions Committee and as Sunday School Superintendent. He dedicated his life to helping those in need in his community as well as those in need around the world. His generosity and goodwill for supporting people and organizations spreading the word of God and helping those less-fortunate stemmed from the faith that he and Karen shared for helping their fellowman. Bill will forever be remembered for his dedication to his family, his unwavering faith, and his compassionate and giving heart. His life cannot be summed up in these few words, but his legacy will live on in the hearts of all who knew him.
Bill was predeceased by his son, Dwight, his parents, Jacob D and Katherine Klassen. Bill is survived by his wife, Karen, daughter, Carlene (Bryan), son, Leighton (Dorothy), son, Lowell (Amanda), son, Randy (Alex), grandchildren, Madison (Taylor), Tana (Wesley), Samuel, Kadia, Myla, Marek, Ethan, Mason and Rohen, and great-grandchild, Nora as well as numerous relatives and friends.
A celebration of Bill’s life was held at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday July 30, 2023 at the Bethel Bergthaler Mennonite Church with a private family interment prior at the Winkler Cemetery. Donations may be made in Bill's memory to the Church of Believer's (Kenya). Cheques must be made out to Bill Klassen Auctions Ltd. and etransfers with "memorial donation" may be made to
Wiebe Funeral Home, Winkler
In care of arrangements