John J. Rempel died at home on April 2, 2005, after a six-month battle with cancer. The family is grateful for the palliative care he was given by two daughters-in-law, Laura and Chris, under the direction of Dr. Koberski and the home care nurses.
Born April 22, 1923 in Sagradovka, Ukraine, he was the eldest child of Johann and Aganetha (nee Loewen) Rempel. Leaving Russia in 1926, the family settled in Foxwarren, Man. In 1941 the family moved to BC, first to Yarrow, and then settling in Arnold in 1942. Here John met and married Mary Toews in 1950. Remaining in Arnold, they raised a family, farmed, and served in the community for nearly 55 years.
After a time on the Perigrow, Beck and Hougan dairy farms, John began a life-time career in 1950 with the Public Works Dept. of Sumas and Abbotsford. Integrity and hard work earned him promotions, retiring in 1988 from the Assistant Superintendent position.
Beside his demanding day job, John ran a 21-acre dairy farm, keeping his growing family busy. Church life was a priority, and he served in many capacities, from maintenance to lay pastor. At 80, he was still teaching a weekly Sunday school class. A regular conference attendee, John also served for years on the MEI and Tabor Home boards. Still, he took time for individuals in need.
Retiring at 65, John took up golfing, often completing 18 holes a day, 6 days a week. Tim Horton’s was a daily social activity. Hedges, lawns, and orchard were kept neat and tidy. Mary’s needs were attended to. Grandchildren were always welcomed, and he enjoyed lending a hand to each of his grown children. A practical man, John could fix most anything. He will be remembered as a loving grandfather, a helpful father, a caring husband, and above all, a faithful man of God.
John was predeceased by two siblings, Henry and Peter. John is mourned by his devoted wife Mary, of 54 years; their 10 children and their spouses: David (Christina), Vangie (Jerry Truex), Dan (Evelyn), Carol (Rudi Thiessen), Rose (Bill Wiedman), Ben (Laura), Harv (Diane), Ron (Elsie), Rick and Al (Linda); and 20 grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held on April 8, 2005 in the Bakerview Church on Clearbrook Road at 1:30 pm with Pastor Rob Dyck officiating, Reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to MCC or MBMSI.
Henderson’s Funeral Home 604-854-5534