December 18, 1934 – January 16, 2022
Erika went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Sunday, January 16, 2022. She was born on December 18, 1934, in Fernheim (Chaco) Paraguay. She was the firstborn of six children born to Heinrich and Liese Friesen who had recently come from Russia as refugees.
When she was 13 years old, her father died of complications from a well digging accident. Her mother married David Isaak and two more brothers were added to the family.
As a young adult, she heard about an opportunity to work in the kitchen for the MCC Home in Uruguay. This is where she met Peter Janzen and they were married on September 1,1956. All three children were born there, Anneliese, Helmut and Monika.
After a move to Brazil and a few happy years there, the family immigrated to Canada in 1967 and made their home in Vancouver, becoming part of a new church plant, Culloden MB church. She and Peter moved to Abbotsford in 1985 to be closer to grandchildren and joined Central Heights MB Church.
Erika’s life came to a sudden change when Peter had his disabling stroke in 1997. She cared for him alone for three years and then continued daily visits to the care home until he passed away in 2007.
Erika’s adventurous side came out in travels to Indonesia and then Paraguay with different granddaughters. Wherever she lived, she was known for her hospitality, her baking and her love for singing. Her love for her growing family was deeply felt through meals, cards and prayers.
In 2011 Erika married Abe Toews. They enjoyed a happy few years before Alzheimer’s robbed her of the joy of relating to the ones she loved. In January 2018 she willingly moved to Bevan Village to be cared for by nurses and care aides. Abe visited her almost daily until he passed away in the fall of that year.
She leaves to grieve, her children Anneliese (Herb) Friesen, Helmut Janzen, Monika (Bob) Thiessen, ten grandchildren and spouses and twenty six great-grandchildren – a family that feels immeasurably blessed to have been able to call her mom and Oma. She has been an example in her faith and witness for her Lord in all that she did.
A celebration of life is planned for Thursday, January 27 at 1 pm at King Road MB Church.
Online condolences to the family may be made to www.wiebeandjeskefh.com
Wiebe and Jeske Funeral Home
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