December 28, 1925 – February 21, 2021
To write an obituary is to tell a story of a person who lived and died. The story obviously begins at birth and so my dad Henry Janzen was born in Neu Halbstadt. Ukraine on Dec 28, 1925. The years following were filled with good extended family times, as well as hard times...times of starvation and loss, times of fleeing, times of fear, times of relief, times of gratitude and quiet faith. My dad lived through the world history of Stalin and Hitler and then off to the promised land, arriving in Canada in 1949.
After working two years on their sponsor family’s farm, Dad was free to pursue his love of cars and started working at a service station in Winnipeg. The family arrived in Yarrow in 1952. His new friends had a beautiful sister and soon dad asked Martha Isaak to marry him. Dad continued working as a farmer, driving milk truck and working as a mechanic to support his growing family. They endured losing a son together, after which their faith in each other and God grew stronger. They also found a therapeutic love for fishing thanks to some caring friends.
After caring for mom during the final six years of her life, dad sub sequentially married two more times, continuing on being a faithful, kind, and caring husband. He enjoyed gardening, walking, travelling, seeing the world from luxury cruise ships and road trips with his wives all the while remaining a man of simple wants and needs. He willingly cared for Katie and Raini in their declining health as well and loved them until their last breath. Dad and Raini were able to maintain their own home in Vancouver until April 2020 when the threat of Covid-19 and failing physical and mental health made it too difficult. Dad moved in with Darrell and Ruth and Raini was hospitalized and eventually lived and passed away in Menno home (November 2020). In dad’s latter years he also lost a second son (Alan), brother (Frank) sister (Anna) and two grandchildren (Miranda and Trevor) and many other relatives and friends.
As always, dad adapted well to his situation and found joy in the little things. Being surrounded by extended family, the energy of great grandchildren, beautiful nature and an expanded view of the world gave dad a renewed sense of purpose and the strength he needed. This last year was one of change, strengthened family bonds, physical challenges and loss but never one of defeat. After a series of falls, dizzy episodes, heart and kidney issues, dad suffered a broken neck injury on Jan19, 2021.
He bravely fought to get well enough to come home to the life he loved, but God had other plans and again dad adapted and accepted what was to be. His last words were of his love for his family, naming them one by one. As well, in the words of Christ, that we need to forgive each other and accept our differences, to be patient because things take time, and to always love one another.
An obituary is a story of a person we love, who lived and died. A story generally has a beginning and an end, but how can the story of this quiet little man with so much wisdom, love and strength end? The truth is that it doesn’t end in physical death, though it does change. Dad’s story lives on in his example and in the hearts of his family. This humble man leaves a legacy and a love that never dies. In the time between now and our grand reunion we will try to follow his example of being kind, humble, grateful, caring, faithful and loving despite the difficulties along the way.
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February 25, 2021
To Janzen family I feel your loss. Henry was a great guy, and offered me an appreticeship when they were hard to find. Regret not contacting Henry over the last year or so Praying for comfort and peace tp you all....Walt Letkeman
February 23, 2021
Dear Ruth & Darrell,
We cherish getting to know your dad, Ruth, as a friendly, outgoing man. He was willing to be on our Missions trip, active and fun to visit with. As former Yarrowites we have memories of his mechanic days at Central Motors.
He is rejoicing in glory. Our sincere condolences,
John & Elsie Giesbrecht