OBITUARY

Anton "Tony" Driedger

27 June, 193629 August, 2020

“Grace covers it all.”

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tony Driedger at the age of 84. He passed away peacefully at the St. Boniface Hospital surrounded by family.

He leaves to mourn his loving wife of 62 years Marie (nee Derksen); children Valerie (Gerry), Keith (Antonine), Birdena, and Karl (Brenda); grandchildren Danielle (Rob), David (Jessica), Karine (Kyle), Kristina (Brandon), Justin, Jordan (Ally), and Jonathan; and four great-granddaughters Kaydance, Melodee, Ariana, and Cloé.

Tony also leaves to mourn his brothers and sisters; Abe (Hilda), Cornelius (Elsie), Bernie (Irene), Henrietta (Marvin), sister-in-law Katherina (Katie) as well as other in-laws, nieces, and nephews who were dear to him.

Tony was predeceased by parents Helena and Abram, sisters Helen and Cornelia (Nellie), and brother Erdman (Eddie).

Tony was born in Gretna Manitoba on June 27, 1936 to Helena and Abram Driedger. He spent his early years working on the family farm. Dad attended high school at MCI in Gretna. He was influenced by his teacher Miss Klassen, and at one time thought that he might like to be a politician; however, that was not be. Upon graduation he applied for a job at DW Friesen (which he did not get), and that led him to his next choice of going to “Normal” school and becoming a teacher.

Dad met Mom while in grade 12. He and Peter Geisbrecht had been driving around Altona and he had noticed Mom on the street. Mom agreed to go out with Dad and on their first date Dad had her home by midnight. I am sure that Grandpa Derksen was waiting at the door…. After their first date, many more followed, and eventually led to their marriage. Dad and Mom were married on June 21, 1958. Their first child Valerie was born on August 2, 1959 followed by Keith on December 30, 1960, Birdena on July 18, 1962 and Karl on March 7, 1966. When Dad started teaching, he had his grade 12 diploma and a “Normal” school certificate. Through summer and evening courses at the University of Manitoba, he earned his B.A. and B.ED. degrees. Dad began his teaching career in Plum Coulee with stops in Steinfeld, New Bergthal, Altona, Thompson, and Winnipeg where he finished his career in 1992 at Shamrock School.

Early on in our family life, we took many trips during the summer months whenever Dad was not taking courses at the University of Manitoba. We went to Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, Banff, Jasper, and B.C., among other places. We remember these trips with great fondness.

Following retirement, Dad enjoyed hiking with friends Allan Dueck, Gordon Kroeker, and Gordon Schellenburg. They took extended trips to the Rockies and came back with many interesting photos and stories. These friendships were extremely important to Dad.

Dad was very involved with Braeside EMC church, where he formed many meaningful friendships. He was a Sunday School teacher, a Sunday School Superintendent, and a church Deacon. He was on the committee that helped bring Laotian refugees to Manitoba through the EMC. He was an active member of the Keenagers Choir and enjoyed performing with the group.

Tony will be fondly remembered by his family and many close friends.

Due to the current safety practices with COVID-19, a private service will be held on Friday September 4th at Braeside Evangelical Church, Pastor Dan Cormie officiating. Guests by invitation only.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Mennonite Central Committee, or any charity of your choice. The family would like to thank the doctors and staff at the St. Boniface Hospital (5E) for their care and kindness during this difficult time.

  • DONATIONS

  • The Heart and Stroke Foundation
  • Mennonite Central Committee

Services

Memories

Anton "Tony" Driedger

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Jodi Murphy

5 September 2020

My sincerest condolences to his family and friends.
I was incredibly fortunate to have “Mr. Driedger” as a teacher in grades 5 and 6 in 1982-83 and 1983-84, at Shamrock Elementary.
Mr. Driedger was a very enthusiastic, caring, and dedicated teacher, and many of his lessons were distinctly memorable and impactful to this day. He didn’t teach only facts and knowledge, but explicitly taught us how to think critically, creatively, flexibly, imaginatively – valuable skills to be taught at a young age – they became as engrained as reading and writing.
He read us Narnia and Tolkien, challenging works but rewarding and imaginative, and took us camping – where we had to plan and prepare our own meals in small groups.
The two years in Mr. Driedger’s class were real standouts, hugely formative, for which I’ve never forgotten to be very grateful.
As a child we don’t often wonder about what our teachers do besides teach; I’m glad to know that Mr. Driedger enjoyed a life-long marriage, big family, friends, and a long retirement. Wishing everybody peace and comfort.

Linda Thorlakson

5 September 2020

Mr. Driedger changed my life as my grade 5 and 6 teacher. He taught me how to learn and find the joy in each day. His creative way at looking at the world still influences me as I bring up my children. It is with great sadness that I learned the news of his passing. The world is less with his loss.

Ruth & Ron Penner

5 September 2020

We. Were saddened to hear of Tony’s passing and sorry we could not attend the service although did watch it online. Tony was a good man and as Birdena shared, one who loved God, the church and his family . Blessings and prayers to you Marie.

Gary Driedger

3 September 2020

Dear Taunte Marie
I remember visiting in Thompson when I was just a boy. Getting a tour of the school where Uncle Tony was the principal was exciting. I think for him too. It was always fun to visit in your home and always looked forward to it.
Lisa and I are praying for you and the family. Isn’t it wonderful that the God of all grace and comfort sees Uncle Tony’s passing into His presence as precious. Psalm 116:1-15
Uncle Tony is with his Lord and Saviour.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised.

Gordon Schellenberg

3 September 2020

Have many great memories hiking with Tony. He was an example to me of strength both spiritual and physical. Diana and I want to send our condolences and let you know that we are praying for the family.

Wayne Park

2 September 2020

Well Uncle Tony, you have left us. I have so few memories of you growing up, but have one to share. You brought me to your classroom, a single room school in the middle of an open field somewhere? The room was empty, you walked around your desk to the blackboard with me in tow, picked up the erasers, gave them to me and said ‘go outside and clean them’. And I did something than I normally wouldn’t do, I complied. Goodbye Tony, we will meet again, and I will bring my erasers.

Cameron Driedger

1 September 2020

I remember as a child walking into the living room of uncle Ed’s in Killarney, all the men gathered around. Uncle Tony had the floor, and was going on about some politician (I don’t remember who) doing nothing but something for his own ambition. He spoke with contempt for the politician, and passion for the subject, and let a couple of questionable phrases slip out while at it. Someone chided him that small ears were present, and motioned to me. Uncle Tony picked me up in his lap, gave me a hug and said, “that’s fine. Cameron knows right from wrong, and he knows I’m right! Right Cameron?” I love Uncle Tony because he was thoughtful, didn’t talk down to children, and gave hugs. I’ll miss you Uncle Tony.

Bev Werner

1 September 2020

Dear Aunt Marie & family,
I hope to reach across the miles and offer some small comfort. And I'm aware that I am going to gain some comfort by reaching out. It's been good to read the stories cousins posted on FB over the weekend about Uncle Toni. I remember a visit Uncle Toni made to our home in Steinbach, sometime in 1985/1986. He attended a meeting in town and stopped for a while; another time he brought Valerie & Danielle. I don't remember anything very specific except the ease of visiting in our living room, and his warm smile. I might have been a little nervous, not sure I could keep a conversation going, but that turned out to be no problem! And the last time I visited with both of you will have been in Winkler in 2014 at a birthday party for my parents. The smile was still there, and I have good memories of a brief time together. I hope your time together these days is full of memories and laughter, though tears will flow too. Sending many hugs!

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