May 27, 1941 – January 25, 2021
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Rudy Thiessen on January 25, 2021, while under the kind, compassionate, and loving care of his immediate family.
Rudy Thiessen was born May 27, 1941 in Einlage, Ukraine. During WW2, through a series of circumstances, the family fled Russia to West Germany, however, his father was taken to a Siberian prison camp. Through the help of MCC and the Red Cross, the family emigrated to Abbotsford, BC in 1948. Rudy and his siblings all attended MEI. Rudy was an athlete and enjoyed sports.
After high school, Rudy worked in Terrace on the tug boats before learning the electrical trade in Vancouver. Rudy married his high school sweetheart, Lois Warkentin on August 3, 1962. While earning his BA at Fresno Pacific, in California, Rudy was a goalie for the soccer team which had a chance to play at the San Quentin prison.
Rudy completed his teacher’s training at SFU and began his career at Aldergrove Secondary. Two years later, he was hired at MEI, where he taught the boy’s PE classes and coached many sports.
Rudy was active in Butler MB in CA; Killarney MB; Bakerview and Northview churches. The couple and their family also served in Paraguay for two years. Rudy impacted many students through his years of teaching, influencing and helping to build character in his students and those on the teams he coached.
Rudy retired from MEI in 2000 after teaching there for about 30 years. His strong faith and love for Jesus was the theme of his life and motivated him to a life of service. Missions trips took them to Bolivia, Fiji, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Russia. Through the MDS branch of MCC, Rudy worked in practical ways to “Respond, Rebuild, Restore” in California, Louisiana, and New York City after natural disasters.
The couple volunteered eleven times at Haggai International in Maui and spent countless ongoing hours volunteering at the MCC Centre Thrift in Abbotsford until January 12, 2021.
After a short battle with cancer, Rudy graduated to his heavenly home on January 25, 2021. The family gave him loving care, at his home, in his last days. Rudy is survived by his wife, Lois, of nearly 59 years; by his siblings, Hank (Olwyn) Thiessen, Al (Anita) Thiessen, Elise (Ben) Wiebe, Leni (Dietrich) Willer; by three children, Debbie (Matt) Born, Keith (Denise) Thiessen, Rodney (Leila) Thiessen; 10 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.
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