March 24, 1927 – September 16, 2020
Lena was born March 24, 1927 in McMahon, Saskatchewan to Henry and Anna Pauls. She died September 16, 2020 in Vancouver, BC at the age of 93.
She was predeceased by her husband, Peter G. Dueck in 2012 and her daughter, Elaine (Jim) Tessaro in 2006. She is survived by five of her children, Karen (Noel) Low Ah Kee, Ken (Kathy) Dueck, Bev (Rick) Durvin, Warren (Lynne) Dueck and Rob (Sharon) Dueck.
Lena was blessed with nineteen grandchildren and her blessings were multiplied with twelve great-grandchildren. Lena’s family included her nephews, Larry (Dee) and Ed Ewert. She had nine siblings and is survived by Elsie Peters, Winn Dueck, Henry (Mollie) and Vic (Marlene) Pauls.
Lena’s parents immigrated to Saskatchewan from Ukraine shortly before her birth. Life on the prairies was filled with farm chores, school, singing and sports. She saw the bright side of life even when it was tempered by the Depression and bitterly cold prairie winters.
The Pauls’ family re-settled in Abbotsford on their Gladwin Road farm in 1943. Lena graduated from Philip Sheffield High School and was baptized at South Abbotsford Mennonite Brethren Church in 1946.
She loved to play softball on the boys’ team with her brother. Her throw was fast and accurate throughout her life whether it was on the field or a dish rag at home. She trained as a teacher and began teaching at a one-room school in Clayburn. She married Peter G. Dueck in 1949.
Lena raised a family of six active children, four of whom were born in 2½ years. She encouraged them in their schoolwork, piano, figure-skating, baseball and other activities but let them decide what they loved to do most. She once played in her son’s elementary school softball game. After she cranked two home runs out of the park, his embarrassment turned to pride.
For Lena, nothing in life was too big for God. She prayed for her children and loved them enough to know when they needed her guidance. She made sure they would be on their best behaviour regardless of where they were.
When Mom started laughing at the dinner table, it was contagious. She encouraged them to dream big, “hitch your wagon to a star and you’ll go far”. She also knew that each of them needed Jesus.
Lena was an active participant in the churches she attended including Central Heights Church, First Baptist Church (Vancouver), Willingdon Church (Burnaby) and Bakerview Church. She led the Pioneer Girls program for pre-teen girls, Open Door for single mothers and Alpha for new believers.
She also participated and led diverse groups like Toastmasters, Christian Women’s Club and Campus Crusade for Christ among others.
Lena was an inspiration to everyone she met. She was an adept organizer, a talented speaker and leader, a competitor on the field, a loving wife and a caring mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and a faithful follower of Christ.
She cheered on her children and their children too, loved them and never stopped praying for them. She knew that “His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me”. Lena was a woman of God.
There will be a viewing at Woodlawn Funeral Home, 2310 Clearbrook Road, Abbotsford on October 1 (6-8 pm) and 2nd (12-1 pm) and a private graveside service for the family. They will host a celebration of her life in 2021 when larger gatherings are allowed. In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the charity of your choice.
Woodlawn Funeral Home – 604-853-2643.
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