Claude Schlabach was born October 15, 1917 at Robsart, Sask. and has crossed the bar to be with his Savior whom he faithfully served since childhood.  He died peacefully with his wife Ruth beside him, on Sept. 17, 2006 in the Christine Morrison Hospice, Mission B.C. after a lengthy illness.

From Robsart, the family moved to Guernsey where Claude’s father began farming.  In 1943 Claude married Myrtle Weber. Later, they established their own farm upon which they raised their family.  He loved his family, neighbors and friends.  He was very involved in the Sharon Mennonite Church serving in many capacities: ushering, singing in the choir, Sunday School Superintendent, Cemetery Committee, etc.  He also served on the Mennonite Central Committee and Full Gospel Business Men’s Club.  He was involved in his com­munity and encouraged his family to contribute their talents and time to do likewise.  The presence of his blue Chevy truck on the roads usually meant that some parched cistern in the country was about to receive a load of water.

Claude had a heart for kids always taking time to ­acknowledge and encourage them.  The Schlabach home was often the scene of hospitality around the large dining room table.  Claude enjoyed a bit of carpentry with many a com­munity and family home benefiting from the clap of his hammer and the slap-scrape of his mudding trowels.  As the need arose Claude would dabble in mechanics fixing his own farm machinery.  In 1985 Claude ­married Ruth Hooley. Retirement years found Claude and his wife Ruth enjoying voluntary service in such institutions as:  children’s camps in Alberta and Saskatchewan; a Care Home and Western Mennonite High School both in Oregon.   When Claude had the option to choose between shoveling snow or swinging a golf club, he chose the latter.  He and Ruth spent 14 winters in Phoenix enjoying the mild ­weather along with lifelong and many new friends.

In 1987 Claude and Ruth moved from the farm to Strasbourg, Sask. near his daughter Gloria (Ray) and then in 1996 to Edmonton  near daughter Evonne (Doug) and son Larry (Twila) and then the last 4 years in Abbotsford near son Larry (Twila) closer to stepdaughters Bev (Dick) and Evie (Steve) in Oregon.  Claude and Ruth enjoyed their new home in Cascade Court.  Claude loved the mild weather and the view of the mountains from the living room window.  The aroma wafting from the many dairy farms in the Fraser Valley frequently gave Claude a deja-vue of his own dairy farming days.  Cascade Court’s woodworking shop gave him many hours of tinkering pleasure socializing while building gifts for children and grandchildren.

As a community of family and friends we deeply miss him.  However, today we celebrate the fact that we knew his love, grew under his mentorship, laughed at his humor, relegated with his poetry and cherish scenes of him interacting with his grandchildren.  We commend his spirit to his Heavenly Father who said, “I go to prepare a place for you”.

He is survived by his loving wife Ruth (Hooley, Jantzi), 4 children:  Larry (Twila) Schlabach of Abbotsford, BC; Merlin (Lucinda) Schlabach of Harrisonburg, VA; Gloria (Ray) Willms of Portage la Prairie, MB; and Evonne(Doug) Stauffer of Edmonton, AB;  3 stepchildren: Bev Stutzman of Albany, OR; Lyle (Gloria) Hooley of Kanoke, Hawaii, and Evie (Steve) Cox of Albany, OR;  9 grand­children, 12 step-grand­children, 5 great grandchildren and 16 step-great grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his ­parents:  Rev. Daniel Schlabach (1982) and Annie (Schultz) Schlabach (1941); brothers Robert (2001), twins Forest (1942) and Beland (2006) and sister Mavis Pinhorn (2004), also his former wife of 39-1/2 years, Myrtle (Weber) 1983; his step-son-in-law Dick Stutzman (2004) one step great grand child Nolani Hooley (2005).

Visitation will occur in the Fotheringham Funeral Home, Fri. Sept. 22, 7-9 pm. Memorial service for Claude will be held in the Philadelphia Mennonite Church, near Watrous, Sask. at 2 pm Saturday, Sept. 23, 2006. Donations may be made to the Mennonite Central Committee.

A private committal service will occur in the Sharon Mennonite Church cemetery near Guernsey, Sask. prior to the memorial service. Special “thanks” to the staff of the Christine Morrison Hospice; homecare nurses; Dr. Brown; and staff of Worthington Pavilion at MSA Hospital.

Henderson’s Funeral Home


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