Maria Martens was born February 13, 1900 in Sagradowka, Ukraine. She was the third daughter and fourth child of Franz and Katharina (Zacharias) Martens. She attended school for six years, like most girls at the time. At 13 she was in charge of the household while her mother and older sister travelled in search of medical therapy. She accepted the Lord at age 17 and was baptized by immersion in the Inguletz River.
There was much unrest in the country from 1914 onward. The revolution following the war brought anarchy and terror to their region. On November 29, 1919 her only brother Wilhelm, two uncles and 14 cousins were massacred. The Martens family then immigrated to Saskatchewan in July, 1924.
In 1928 Maria married widower Johann Klassen who had a little daughter, Mary. From 1929 – 1943 they had three daughters and two sons. They taught Sunday School and hosted relatives and missionaries.
From 1929 to 1947 they farmed in Blumenort, Saskatchewan. Soon after their move to Matsqui, BC their farm was flooded.
They were both active in Matsqui Church and their five children were baptized there. In 1960 Johann Klassen died of strokes and Maria moved to Clearbrook after selling the farm. She took in Bible School students and for six years blind Helene Giesbrecht lived with her. Maria read to her for one hour daily.
In 1972 she married Jacob Loepp, who had two adult sons. When his health failed in 1987 they moved to Sherwood Home. After Jacob’s death in 1991 she moved to the Menno Home. Each year she made new friends here and enjoyed her daily visitors. Especially cherished were the weekly Clearbrook Church bulletins, tapes and the monthly “Bridge” paper which kept her in touch with the church.
She was an avid reader and kept busy sending letters, cards and poems to encourage friends and relatives around the world. When she reached the age of 100 her eyesight failed, she still memorized Scripture. She liked to recite poems that she learned in her youth. “The story of Naaman” was her favorite. Two weeks ago she recited “Jesus talks with His Mother Mary during Easter Holy Week.”
She was predeceased by her husbands Johann Klassen in 1960 an by Jacob Loepp in 1991. her son-in-law, Henry Wiens died in 1990. Three of her children, daughter Tena Teichrob and both her sons, John and Frank Klassen. As well as great grandsons Kurt Brag and Kaden Reemeyer. She is survived by daughters mary Wiens, Hilda (Jake) Born and Lore (John) Reemeyer; son-in-law Jake Teichrob; stepsons Jake (Helen) Loepp and Henry (Sue) Loepp; daughters-in-law Pat Klassen, Mary Ellen Klassen and Emilie Lyons.
Memorial service will be held at 11:00 am, Saturday, March 12, 2005 at Clearbrook MB Church, 2719 Clearbrook Rd., Abbotsford, BC. Pastors Heinz Ratzlaff and Walter Wiens officiating.
Wiebe & Jeske
in care of arrangements