Katharina (Janzen) (Banaschek) Banman
Katie passed away January 9, 2017 at the age of 97, one month shy of 98. Born February 9, 1919 in Gruenfeld, Siberia, Russia to Julius and Anna (Janzen) Janzen. She was the oldest of 5 children. Katie’s life reads like a novel before, during and after World War II. Her first husband, Adolph a veterinarian was lost and caught behind the Russian line to the will of the advancing army and was never heard from or seen again. Stories like running to board the very last train with her two small children and several young orphaned children (who were too small to make the trek over the mountains in the wagons) in the very last minute as it was moving from the station minutes before the advancing Russian army. Katie did what she had to do, took chances, worked hard and made it to Germany through everything that a war and it’s aftermath can bring. With her ability to speak several languages fluently, she and her 2 children survived. After much letter writing to relatives, she immigrated to Canada in 1948 with her young children, Leo and Frieda. She arrived in Yarrow, worked the fields and canneries and settled in Clearbrook. Katie raised her children, married a second time, blended two families and raised more children. She and second husband Jacob Banman along with the two sides of the blended family went their separate ways in 1970. (She remained unmarried after that.) Katie was a care aide at the Menno Hospital for numerous years. Mom bought her home and property on Peardonville Road in 1950 and stayed there till 1990 before moving up the street to a condo 200 yards away where she remained until just four years ago. In total, Mom lived on Peardonville Road for more than 62 years. She loved the huge garden and trees on her first property, enjoyed growing and preserving her fruits and vegetables, her sewing projects, needlework, reading, travelling and good friends. When she was no longer able to travel, she learned to use a computer and filled her hours documenting her life story and her family’s genealogical history. If Mom could have had it her way, she would have been a full-time student her whole life. She loved to research and enjoyed her independence and solitude. Mom was a moral woman who had a great spirit, was pragmatic and was never afraid of what lay ahead in the ‘great beyond’. Thanks for that Mom. Predeceased by her parents, her sisters Helena, Frieda, Anna and Selma, first husband Adolph Banaschek, second husband Jacob Banman, dear friend Chester Hall and her daughter Frieda. She is survived by Hans (Frieda’s husband), her sons Leo, Dan (Janice), Paul (Debby), and grandchildren Frey, Dorian, Katrina and great grandchild Isla, along with step daughters Lydia (Pete), Alice (Louie), Elvira, Frieda (Harold), Maria and Louise (Ron) and all of their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. The immediate family would like to sincerely thank the staff at Sherwood Crescent Care Home for their care and compassion over the past three years. Katie wished to be cremated with no service or ceremony.