December 6, 1941 – February 13, 2021
Date: December 6, 1941 – In loving memory of Liese Unruh (nee Kroeker) February 13, 2021 It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that the family of Liese Unruh announces her passing at the age of 79 years on February 13, 2021 at 12:45 am at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital from cancer. This amazing woman shall be greatly missed by her husband (Werner Unruh) of 58 years, her 4 children- Theresa Chevalier (Chris), Loni Tone (Marcel), Ferdinand Unruh (Kim) & Marcela Unruh, 8 grandchildren – Marcus Wiebe (Dzenita), Michael Wiebe, Dezirae Klich (Adrian), Lindsay Fedorak (Eric), Jerocko Harder, Kayleah Harder (Kodiak), Raylene Tone, Sierra Unruh, and 5 great grandchildren – Valerie, Monica, Zackary, Kohen and Kaeson and her surviving 8 siblings(spouses).
Liese began feeling ill approximately 2 weeks prior to being admitted to hospital on February 10, 2021 and went to be with the Lord on February 13, 2021. Due to restrictions in place, family was unable to be with her at the time of death (nurses & doctor were with her); yet, her family has great comfort in knowing she was not alone because her loving Saviour Jesus was with her.
Liese was born on December 6, 1941 in Gnadenheim in Fernheim, Chaco, Paraguay to Nikolai and Anna Kroeker (nee Gross). She was the 6th child of 14 children. Her parents moved around a lot and she loved all the new people she would meet; especially, if they had children close to her age to socialize with. Her dad was a preacher and a brickmaker – many times as a child the family would madly scramble to get the bricks to safety before they could be destroyed by the coming rains. By the time she was 6 years old her mother had already lost 2 of her siblings – 1 to diphtheria at the age of 1 and another 45 minutes after birth. She lived in hard times where families worked hard to survive and children were expected to help with chores and the care of the younger siblings. One of her favorite chores was being in charge of the family’s laundry – she would pack up the wagon and drive the horse and buggy down to the river where she would build a fire to boil the water for the laundry. She relished these times of solitude and the beauty around her.
This precious lady was a quiet and strong woman. A fighter. As a child she survived losing her pinky finger, blood poisoning in her leg, bone tuberculosis at 8 years old and once again at 13 years old, appendicitis at 10 years old and now in her later years she chose to keep her breast cancer to herself. She never let on these last few years that she had cancer and for what we consider to be a complete miracle of God she did not suffer pain until the last few weeks and was still able to travel and live her life to the fullest all these years. We can only surmise that she didn’t want any of us worrying about her. Her strong faith in God was the pillar that helped her through the ups and downs of life.
Liese gave her life to the Lord in her teens and shortly after her 18th birthday she was baptized in February of 1960. She loved being part of the church choir where her love of music could blossom. Soon after this she met her husband, Werner. Under the shade of a mango tree, he proposed to his love. After a very short engagement they were married @ 3:00 pm on Saturday, March 24, 1962. It was a wonderful, huge celebration (500 Invites) where everyone worked together to prepare for their wedding day – imagine – dad brought her to the wedding chapel on his bicycle! The bride and groom sat through 3 reception meals and then the day progressed into a fun evening of music and bonsch (Mennonite dancing). Such fun!!!
Shortly after their marriage and with their first child, Werner and Liese immigrated to Bolivia. A few years later, with their 3 children, they embarked on another huge adventure when they made the decision to move to Canada and arrived in Vancouver, B.C. on December 21, 1970 one day before dad’s 29th birthday. In those early years she helped out with the family finances by cleaning homes for builders. In 1974 she was blessed with her 4th child which she considered a complete miracle since doctors had told her she wouldn’t be able to have any more children. She cherished being a wife and mother above all else.
As kids, we would come home to the sound of our mom’s beautiful clear voice ringing through the house as she hummed or sang songs while performing her daily tasks for her family. We have memories of her letting us kids play our music on the upstairs stereo. She often listened to her German or Spanish music and even sometimes to our music, bands like Abba for example. Her son fondly remembers playing Elvis Presley 45’s and singing along to the music with her while he pretended to play the drums. After school we loved coming home to fresh baked cookies or warm buns fresh out of the oven. Christmas Eve always consisted of the whole family gathering in the living room singing hymns and carols. Mom often prayed with us at night and we can still remember hearing mom and dad’s whispered prayers at night as they knelt together by their bed. Mom instilled wonderful values in all us kids and for that we are thankful. We all have our separate experiences and memories of her, but what we can all agree on is how much she loved her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was always there for all of us. She was our biggest cheerleader and wanted all her children to succeed in whatever endeavors they chose to follow. She was always so helpful and somehow made each of us a priority. She always made the time to call and check in on us. Mom was always there for all of us – whether we required help with a move, or cleaning, or picking up her grandkids from school, or babysitting so we could go to work or simply just to give us a break. She took time to sit on the floor and play with her grandkids or read stories with them or simply snuggle with them and watch a movie with them. She would sit and color with them or play games or cards with them. She was beyond thrilled to be a great grandmother. She made it her intention to attend all their birthdays, performances, graduations and weddings. Her family was her joy. Mom would often surprise us with her sense of humour and could often crack a joke and have us all laughing. She loved to joke and tease with her sons-in-law. We all have our own story of fun times with her.
Werner has the fond memory of having travelled back to South America together with his sweetheart to see family and friends and to visit their previous homestead and they also had the wonderful opportunity of travelling to Germany to reunite with family. One of the highlights of their excursions was travelling to Oregon. They also enjoyed years of travelling to Penticton and their many camping trips together. The grandkids have fond memories of camping and/or fishing with them. Mom loved travelling and really enjoyed all her visits to Red Deer, and Penticton and even the mini outings that she went on with her kids around the Lower Mainland. Dad will greatly miss their daily morning routine of reading the Bible, drinking Matte, and sharing their thoughts and plans with each other. His best friend and love of 58 years will be deeply missed.
God first, family second was Liese’s mindset. Her deepest desire was for all her family to know the Lord. Two of her favorite scriptures were: Psalm 42:1 As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God and John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Her autobiography “Travels Through Life” will be greatly treasured by her family. Thank you so much Dear Precious Mom for this beautiful gift to us.
Dear Beloved Mom and Wife to our Dad, you will be so deeply missed by family, siblings, and friends and memories of you will forever remain in our hearts. You were a beautiful rose that bloomed and left us much too soon. You have fought the good fight, you have finished the race, you have kept the faith. This ache in our hearts will not go away until that glorious day when we meet again.
Werner Unruh and his children wish to thank all our friends and family for their heartfelt condolences and concern on the passing of this beautiful soul.
A small funeral service will be attended by immediate family to honor the life of Liese Unruh at 1:00 pm on February 22, 2021 at the Maclure Road Mennonite Cemetery in Abbotsford, B.C.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
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