Balzer, Marie. Our beloved Mother and Granny, Marie Balzer, passed peacefully into her eternal home on Dec. 4. She was born in Puchova, southern Russia on May 18, 1913, to Gerhard and Maria (nee Wiens) Poetker who co-owned a flour mill there. They were forced to flee when the Communists confiscated their mill. Her family then went to the Kuban where they joined other family members. Political unrest increased, so in 1924 they emigrated to Canada, landing in Quebec in mid October. Her family settled in Colonsay, Saskatchewan, where they homesteaded. It was here that she gave her life to her Saviour, Jesus Christ, and at age 18 was baptized into the Mennonite Brethren church. It was also where she met John Balzer, whom she later married in 1933. After some difficult economic years, they moved to B.C. where they eventually bought a dairy farm in Arnold, BC. There they became charter members of the Arnold MB church, where they were very involved for many years, particularly in the area of music. Mom worked hard, cooking and sewing, keeping herlarge family fed and clothed. She had always loved to read. Particularly in her last years, she spent much time reading her Bible. She had a wonderful sense of humour and also knew how to keep us all busy. Everyone had to help and there was always much to do. Mom loved life on the farm. She found it hard to leave, because Dad had developed heart problems. They moved to Clearbrook in 1966. In April of 1998, Dad passed away, leaving Mom alone. When she could no longer manage on her own, she moved to Tabor Home, where she passed away at age 98. Mom was predeceased by her husband, John, 1 daughter, Betty, a daughter-in-law, Margarita, 2 grandsons, Bob Schellenberg and Matthew Giesbrecht, and all her siblings except one sister, Emily. She is survived by her remaining 7 children Erika (Arnold) Schellenberg, John (Doreen) Balzer, Edith (Jerry) Neufeldt, Dorothy (Wes) Giesbrecht, Ed (Ev) Balzer, Ruth (Dave) Ratzlaff, and Gordon Balzer, 23 grandchildren, 36 great grandchildren, and 7 great-great grandchildren. The family is very grateful for the excellent care Marie received in her last years at Tabor Home. There will be a viewing at Woodlawn Funeral Home on Clearbrook Road, on Mon. Dec. 12 from 7 to 9 pm. Interment will be at the Maclure Mennonite Cemetery on Dec.12 at 9:30 am. The memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. in the Clearbrook MB Church, 2719 Clearbrook Rd. Online condolences may be given at

Woodlawn Funeral Home 604-853-2643

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