Obituary of Eva Catherine Neufeld
January 5, 1934 - March 16, 2021
Eva was firstborn to Abram & Eva (Sawatzky) Wiebe, in Nipawin, SK. Her parents were homesteading in Lost River, SK.
Eva married Peter Neufeld, April 28, 1951, and they moved into Peter’s parents’ home. They were baptized into the Mennonite Church early in their marriage by Rev. Ernest Wiebe, near MacGregor. Several years later they moved to Winnipeg and then settled in Niverville in 1957.They built their lives together and reared their family of 8 children. In 1969 they moved to an acreage south of Niverville and in 1986 they returned to Niverville.
Mom loved her work at St. Adolphe Nursing Home where she enjoyed the responsibility and connection she had with residents. Working there was her privilege, not her job. She enjoyed gardening, cooking, baking, attending social events, visiting and driving friends and family far and wide. Her mind was an encyclopedic treasure trove of obscure familial names, addresses, dates, and other history. Whenever we might want to know something about someone, she was our go-to person.
Grandchildren and great-grandchildren brought her significant delight. She delighted in playing peek-a-boo with them and to hear their gleeful giggles in response to her antics. She shared her love of gardening with her grandchildren and everyone else who was interested. She enjoyed harvesting and canning and was able to turn spring sucker fish into our own canned salmon. She learned to cook and bake after they were married and excelled at it. Some of her recipes live on in the Mennonite Treasury. We remember her tasty Napoleon’s torte, uniquely caramelized onions, holopshi, perogies, (aka gloms verenijke), and that little piece of toast she added to her morning dollop of peanut butter. Generations of youth have described her cooking as some of the “best ever”.
She enjoyed sewing, from wedding dresses to mundane patching and darning, well, ok, maybe not the darning but it was heartwarming to see her darning our woolen socks, teaching us how to place a short piece of split spruce/pine, polished shiny over the years, or later, an incandescent light bulb inside the sock, to create a backboard for the darning needle.
One nephew remarked, “Your mom … left behind a great deal of collateral beauty!”
Eva could be fiercely defensive and loyally empathic with people who suffered injustices, or who experienced social biases because of handicaps she recognized. She experienced joy in helping others and sometimes found it difficult to receive help.
Our mother’s saving grace rested not on her own perfection or performances but on the promise of salvation as described in the following Bible verse: “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Phil. 1:21
Hymns she loved included Going Down the Valley One by One, How Great Thou Art, and My Jesus I Love Thee.
Eva was predeceased by her husband Peter Neufeld, father Abram Wiebe, step-father Bernhard Dyck, mother Eva (Wiebe) Dyck, sisters Helen Wiebe, Janis Boles, and step-sisters Elma (Norm) Unrau, Margaret (Clive) Unrau, Sarah (Marvin) Rempel, and Betty Neustaeter.. She was also predeceased by her brother Dick Wiebe and step-brother Murray Dyck, son-in-law Paul Kwiatkowski, and grandchildren Russ Neufeld and Lena Woodmass.
She leaves to mourn her children Clare (Bev) Neufeld, Lynn (Don) Parkes, Pat (Larry) Rempel, Leona Woodmass, Ed (Jacquie) Neufeld, Al (Judy) Neufeld, Val (Glen) Hunter, Garry (Shawna Nagler) Neufeld, 21 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren, many nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews.
She also leaves to mourn her sisters Ann Lion, step-sisters Helen (Jake) Neustater, Lois (Brian) Scarrow and in-laws Glen Neustaeter, Elisabeth & John Kasdorf, Anna Funk, Susan & Cornie Funk, Mary Neufeld, Cathy Neufeld, and Bernie & Mary Hildebrand.
A come and go viewing will take place on Friday, March 19, 2021 from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Grace Mennonite Church, Steinbach, MB.
A private family service will be held with the burial on Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. at Austin, Cemetery, Austin, MB.
The graveside service will be livestreamed. Register at anytime to receive the livestream at the following link: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYodeyrrDMuEtLVIr_wLO-RwPiszozbKTnk.
Donations in memory of Eva may be made to the Niverville Health and Community Foundation Inc.