Katherine Martens passed peacefully into the presence of her Lord in the early evening hours of Easter Sunday, April 12th, 2009, at the Menno Home in Abbotsford where she had resided for the past 17 years.
Mom was born in Neuendorf, South Russia on April 11th, 1914, to Peter and Anna (Thiessen) Hildebrandt and was the middle of three children. Her father passed away in her very early years, and her mother and siblings emigrated to Canada arriving in Montreal in August of 1923. Shortly after that they moved to Herbert SK where they set down roots and made many lasting friendships.
After high school Mom entered the Providence Hospital in Moose Jaw to train as a nurse. She worked in Herbert, Winnipeg and Winkler, and in 1941 married her long-time sweetheart Leander Martens. They began married life in Sudbury ON, later moving to various Saskatchewan towns where they began a family. In the summer of 1948 they moved to Bradner where she lived until her move to the Menno Home. Gardening was her special joy and even though she became blind in middle age, she did not let that keep her from weeding, knitting, canning, baking, weaving, and many other household tasks. She also was president of the Abbotsford CNIB and worked diligently encouraging others who were going through the trauma of blindness.
Mom was predeceased by her parents, Peter and Anna Hildebrandt, sister Rose, husband Leander, son John, daughter-in-law Dorothy, and two infant great granddaughters, Flannery and Mercy Collins.
Surviving her are her brother Peter, her children Janice (Dennis) Friesen, daughter-in-law Patricia Martens, Kent Martens, David (Beverly) Martens, 16 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren along with relatives in the Fraser Valley, Red Deer AB, Regina, and Swift Current SK, Germany and Russia.
Our mother had a strong faith in her God. She relied on Him to give her the strength she needed when the tasks at hand seemed daunting. She never complained but chose rather to trust God and rejoice in her circumstances. Often she told us that she would rather be blind than deaf.
The memorial service will be held at the church Mom and Dad attended for many years, Ross Road Community Church, Abbotsford, on Monday, April 20th, 2009, at 10:30 AM. Pastors Rudy Willms and Ingrid Schultz will officiate.
A very special thank you goes to the staff at the Menno Home who so lovingly and carefully cared for Mom during those 17 years there.
Now you can see, Mom!