November 26, 1932 – June 11, 2020
Werner (Vern) Dirks was born in Oak Lake, Manitoba, on November 26, 1932, to Jacob and Maria Dirks. In 1935, the family moved to seek better opportunities in the Mennonite community of Black Creek, Vancouver Island. Vern met Gertraud Scheffler in the early 1950’s, when she travelled from Ritzville, Washington, to visit her parents in Black Creek, where they were pastoring. Vern and Gertraud were married in July 1956.
Dad joined his brother, Harry, to operate Dirks Brothers Construction and continued managing the company after Harry’s untimely death. Dad and Mom raised their family of four children in Black Creek and were active in several churches. Dad was involved in leadership with Camp Homewood and Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship. He was an enthusiastic donor to a variety of ministries and charities. Dad was creative and a problem solver. As a young adult, he took a sign-painting course, and used the skill to paint the company name on their trucks. He was frugal and pragmatic. Dad read the Financial Post and carefully invested his savings. He loved flowers, and enjoyed nurturing hollyhocks, geraniums, petunias, lavatera, and Canterbury bells. Dad was a meat, potatoes and gravy man, and loved apple pie with whipped cream.
In 1998, Dad and Mom retired to an apartment in Abbotsford. Dad continued to enjoy woodworking and produced many colourful cars and trucks, which he happily handed out to his doctors, nurses, family, friends and the Christmas Bureau. When Mom became ill, Dad took on a caring role until she died in 2014. Finding himself alone, Dad seemed to discover renewed energy, and for a number of years enjoyed an independent life of going to church, going for coffee with friends, cooking for himself and occasionally serving lunch to visitors. More recently, Vern’s health declined and his life was limited to his home, where he received care. He was tired and ready to meet his Saviour. He passed away, resting on his couch, on June 11, 2020.
Dad was predeceased by his wife, Gertraud, and is survived by hischildren; Chris (Heather) Dirks, Will (Sylvia) Dirks, Renata (Howie) Adan, Sue Dirks-Hantske, seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Due to current restrictions, a Memorial Service will be held at a later date.
Online condolences to the family may be made to www.wiebeandjeskefh.com.
Wiebe & Jeske – 604.859.5885Obituary
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