September 10, 1930 – September 19, 2019
Jake Strecker went to a heavenly home in God’s presence on September 19, 2019 in White Rock, BC. He was 89. He will be held in loving memory by Irma (his wife of 65 years), children Tim & Barb (Joel & Audrey with Hanna, Jonathan, Karla), Tom & Doris, Harvey & Tracy (Jake, Nick), Grace & Matthias (Sophia, Rachel), Gladys & Marc (Alex, Stefan). Numerous relatives, Margaret, Sam & Benita, Karl & Karin, Rita, Horst and families will also miss his presence, as will many friends. Jake was predeceased by his brother Carl, parents Philipp and Elisabeth, brother Philipp & sister-in-law Elizabeth Strecker, brother-in-law Willi Kuss, brother-in-law Emil Wirzba.
Jake was born in the village of Beschania, Yugoslavia to his German parents Philipp and Elisabeth. His childhood included fond memories of his grandparents, the countryside, playing soccer and spending many days barefoot in the hot climate.
In 1944 during WW II, the family travelled for several months by train to find refuge in Germany. The postwar years were difficult times with the family working hard to survive and establish a new sense of home and wellbeing. From 1946-1951 the family settled in Braunschweig, during which time they became part of a church community and God awakened their faith. Jake began a welding apprenticeship during this time. In April 1951, five members of the Strecker family set sail for a new life in Canada arriving in Coaldale, Alberta to fulfill a 2 year contract of working on a sugar beet farm. Although work was hard, they enjoyed local hospitality and shared many experiences with other German immigrant families at their Lethbridge church. Jake met Irma during this time and his gentlemanly nature prompted a responsive heart. The wedding took place in Lethbridge, November 1953.
In April 1954 the young couple moved to Calgary in order for Jake to pursue various welding opportunities. He was able to gain more skills and earn respect for the precision of his work. Their five children were born into a loving home and together they enjoyed rich and satisfying family life. With his family, Jake particularly enjoyed stimulating conversations, Hockey Night in Canada, delicious meals, family vacations and hearing his children practice their musical instruments. Throughout his life he was drawn to tasks that required physical exertion: shovelling snow, chopping trees and digging trenches. He was equally adept at sharpening knives and carving meat. He frequently sought a nap on the floor in late afternoon and particularly savored basking in the hot summer sun. Even this past summer he stretched out on the warm lawn at the seniors home, causing alarm for passing staff members.
Jake’s church home for many years was Thornhill Baptist. Here he established many good relationships, grew in faith and served in numerous ways. With joy and eagerness he contributed in committees, played volleyball and led campfire songs. Jake’s presence often brought foresight, helpfulness, hospitality and a smile.
In 1994 Jake retired as a welder and the following year he and Irma moved to White Rock, BC. Together they shared many hours exploring , enjoying the natural surroundings, reading the newspaper, walking, making new friends and participating at their church. Retirement became a happy journey of new discoveries. Treasured moments were shared with their family members nearby: projects with the grandkids, gardening, sharing many holidays and occasions together – including the arrival of their first great granddaughter. Visits with family and friends from Alberta were also cherished. Jake and Irma’s pace of life slowed in recent years as they lived with Irma’s Alzheimer’s condition. In the summer of 2016 they moved to the Evergreen Manor Retirement Home in White Rock. During these last years Jake devoted himself fully and sacrificially to Irma and the challenges of her health. God continued to be his constant guide and comfort. Only when his own health became fragile in November 2018, was he agreeable to having Irma placed in the care of others. His energy for life was not the same thereafter.
In these last months, Jake became increasingly frail. He clearly missed being together with Irma and spoke yearningly of wanting to ‘go home’. On September 9th he was admitted to Peace Arch Hospital, had his 89th birthday the next day and slowly slipped away over the course of the week. Many family members were able to say goodbye to him in his last week of life.
Jake will be treasured by many for his warm personality and zest for life. He will be missed often by family and friends.
The family expresses thanks to the many relatives, friends, neighbors and others who have been of support to Jake over the years.
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
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October 3, 2019
Uncle Jake was a man of integrity who I looked up to. During my formative years I observed his commitment to God and leadership in the church. Jake played a big part in my personal development and values reflected in church engagement. He spent one on one time with me during an impressionable time in my life. I never did take time to tell him how much I valued that period of my life and his influence.
During his time at Thornhill, he was always faithful in prayer and committed to the direction and well being of the Church.
He was not only faithful to his immediate family, but also to the greater Strecker/Wirzba clan by participating in regular gatherings. Those times were important to me since my immediate family was small.
God Bless you all during this time of loss, but we have much to be thankful for and to celebrate. Till we meet again with all those that have gone before us.
Karl & Karin Strecker and Family