Ewald is predeceased by his parents, Jacob & Helena Wiebe, sister, Marichen (Willie) Koop, and brothers Jacob (Marichen), Ervin (Hilda), Hermann (Irma) and Ernst (Erika). Gone before him are also his parents in law, Jacob & Catarina Kasdorf, and brother-in-law, Arnie Kasdorf.
He is survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Anelise; his brothers, Bruno (Anneliese), Hans (Serena), and Heiny; his children and grandchildren, Evelyn & JP, Abbie, Ethan and Caelan Friesen, and Angela and Rob, Kim, Ryan and Adam Schroeder. Also left to mourn are his large extended family, and so many friends, who Ewald considered to be his family as well.
In 2012, Ewald was diagnosed with Lewy-Dementia Alzheimer’s. As the disease progressed he moved into care first to the Royal Columbian Hospital and then into the care of the Salvation Army Buchanan Lodge. All through this journey Dad held to his faith and joy in life. He was surrounded with family and friends as he took his last breath and left his broken body to be with his Lord and Savior.
We would like to thank the nurses and doctors for their patient, gentle and loving care in these last months. Their knowledge and genuine kindness are sincerely appreciated.
“But the time is coming – in fact, it is here – when you will be scattered, each one returning to his own home, leaving me alone. Yet I will not be alone, for the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you will have peace of heart and mind. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows; but cheer up, for I have overcome the world” John 16:32-33
Ewaldo Wiebe was born on May 7, 1945. He was the youngest of nine siblings – one sister and 7 brothers, born to Jacob & Helena Wiebe. Dad’s joke was always – that they were 8 brothers, each with one sister. Dad grew up in and around the city of Curitiba, Brasil, and with a strong commitment to and belief in the Christian faith. At a very young age, he was expected to work hard and help contribute an income for the family.
In his teen years he developed a love and passion for the game of volleyball. He enjoyed playing the sport with his friends even into his adult years. After a time, he gave up playing, but still always enjoyed watching others skill at the game.
After dating for six months Ewald proposed and on May 6, 1967, mom and dad were married. Since then they have walked together and have experienced many blessings. They have been married 48 years.
Dad was baptised in 1968 and became an active member in church.
One year later, together with mom’s Kasdorf family, our parents moved from Brasil to Winnipeg, Manitoba. There dad worked as a painter and he was proud and loved every project he worked on. On his days off Dad could be found with his brother in law Rudy, learning English – not in a class, but on the couch watching Sesame street, while of course, their wives were at work! In our parents first years in Winnipeg, dad became involved in their new home church, Springfield Heights where he taught Sunday school. Dad was also at times called to share introductions and thoughts for the beginnings of meetings or services. One Christmas Eve, Dad began the evening sharing his belief that, “every person has something good in them.” These words are remembered and treasured, even to this day, by many who were there.
In the 1970-somethings, life changed for dad and mom forever. After waiting several years, they welcomed the most lovely baby girl into their lives. Since those first years together were so peaceful and perfect, they wished for their family to grow. For them, this meant waiting for another little masterpiece especially chosen for them to arrive. Four years later, when the snow finally melted, they brought me my baby sister.
In January 1980 – after 10 years in Winterpeg, our little family immigrated to Canada – or Vancouver, BC. (Because after 10 arctic winters, Dad realized that Winnipeg was indeed, NOT the promised land) For our first year and a half in this new city we lived with Onkel Helmut, Tante Marlene, Jason, Sylvia and Nancy. All I remember is fun, fun, fun for the kids. But, who knows how the adults survived. Here in Vancouver, dad worked as a cabinet installer, and painter, but he quickly found his way back into his real life passion of trucking.
Dad’s love of long distance trucking began even before he was driving when he was on the road with his brothers Jacob & Ervine. When dad started trucking again after his years in other professions, he really looked forward to getting back on the road for every trip he made. (or maybe he was just happy to escape a house with three girls? – a few hours of reprieve!) Day or night – Dad was always ready to go – whenever the boss called or a load was ready to go.
In Vancouver, Sherbrooke Mennonite became our church. Dad also taught Sunday school here, and then later took on the job of Sunday school superintendant. Stories have been told that may or may not be true – that some busy little guys who had trouble sitting and listening to their teachers were fearfully sent to see, “Mr Wiebe” for some encouragement. I think that’s what you said, right James?
It was the opposite at home – Angela and I were nothing but joy for dad. It was mom & the “holz loffel” who kept us in line. Dad was happy to have us watch hockey with him (though probably with more complaints then than now in these later years!), and he always happily drove us to the many activities we found ourselves in – church youth group, music lessons, sports, school activities or work. All of these meant travelling at all hours and sometimes across the city in opposite directions. He never complained.
We have so many memories of times together with family and friends – sharing meals and laughter sometimes in church, sometimes in each of your homes. Sometimes the gatherings were large, sometimes just a few. We grew up in a community that is our family. We enjoyed our childhood where our times together with you included camping and road trips, where we made so many memories that we hold dear in our hearts today.. And, occasionally when time allowed, dad even got the chance to play a few bad games of golf with some of you, but I don’t think that there was never a bad fishing trip.
By 1997 Dad had his girls married off and just when life should have slowed and quieted, Opa’s house was made busy with 6 grandchildren – Kim, Abbie, Ryan, Ethan, Adam & Caelan. The kids loved their time with Opa and Opa looked forward to his time with them. Watching the grand kids play sports, going for ice cream, burgers, Boston Pizza, travelling and camping, some fishing and mini golf (which, by the way, he was much better at or maybe it just seemed that way since he was now competing with children opposed to peers!) But best of all was waffles with Opa because he knew how to serve the whip. Huge, generous servings of whip!
In 2012 Dad was diagnosed with Lewy-Dementia, which is a terrible form of Alzheimers that specifically attacks areas in the brain that involve thinking and movement. Memory and language loss, the ability to reason or keep a train of thought, as well as visual hallucinations are only a part of this quickly progressing disease. Even through these difficult years dad held steadfast to his faith and joy in life.
To all of you here, and to the many who could not be here with us today, we would like to extend our most heartfelt thanks for your prayers and thoughtful encouragement. Thank you for walking this journey with us – this time would have been heartbreaking and unbearable without you.