Obituary of Harvey Leonard Klassen
It is with the greatest sadness that we announce the passing of our husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and friend, Harvey Klassen, at the age of 87, on Tuesday, June 14, 2022.
He will continue to live in the hearts of his loving wife of 67 years, Tillie; his daughters: Pat (Bob) Kroeker and Nancy Klassen; Harv felt so blessed by each of his grandchildren, he was Grandpa to: Joel (Laura) Kroeker, Stefan (Stacey Paton) Kroeker and Chelsea (Calvin Eisner) Kroeker; he was ‘Opa’ to his great-grandson, James. Harv will be lovingly remembered by his sister: Shirley (Ken) Reimer; as well as two nephews: Matthew & Greg and their families; and two nieces: Dana & Kristi and their families.
He was predeceased by his parents Jacob U. & Sophie Klassen; and his brother and sister-in-law, Dennis and Cleone Klassen.
Dad grew up on the family farm on Twin Creek Road near Steinbach. After their marriage in 1955, Mom & Dad lived in Winnipeg for many years, as well as five years in Edmonton. Dad had a life-long love of everything associated with country life, and eventually he & Mom moved to an acreage on Bush Farm Road, where they especially enjoyed their beautiful Norwegian Fjord horses.
Harv spent a number of years at Penner Tire, Harkema Forwarders & Willmar Windows. His last job as curator for the Mennonite Heritage Village Museum was particularly enjoyable for him.
Harv & Tillie loved to travel – they explored so many places together…Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Europe, and South America. Dad went on a couple of trips on his own – a missions trip to El Salvador, and a trip to Russia & Ukraine to explore his mother’s history.
Dad loved the outdoors, and was an avid hunter and fisherman. He also had a keen interest in steam engines, which led to many volunteer hours as a Steam Club member at the Mennonite Heritage Museum. He had an extensive collection of stationary engines, and for many years attended the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion in Rollag, Minnesota.
Harv simply just loved people. He was interested in just about everyone, and could engage in conversation with good friends & strangers alike. He loved adventure…and adventures made him the BEST storyteller you could imagine. His community was important to him - he served on countless boards and committees. If you were fortunate enough to have Harv as a friend, you were blessed indeed!
Harv so completely loved his best friend, Tillie. Both of them had significant health challenges in the last number of years, and Harv was her strong advocate & supporter for as long as he could. He loved his family with a fierce love – always willing to step in as a problem-solver and advice-giver. He was incredibly generous with his time and his money.
And Harv loved Jesus. His faith was so important to him, and that was very evident to everyone who knew him. He was a faithful & active church member, and served his Lord in countless ways over the years.
Dad’s health issues increased quickly over this past year, the main one being his Parkinson’s. His quality of life had deteriorated to the point of all of us coming to the acceptance that Heaven would be a better place for Grandpa. We want to thank Dr. Minnaar & staff at Bethesda Regional Health Centre, who looked after Dad in his final hours, and the caring Maplewood family, who looked after Dad with such dignity and kindness these last months.
You will be missed, Dad – rest in the arms of Jesus, and enjoy all the adventures of Heaven!
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, June 23, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. at Birchwood Funeral Chapel, Steinbach, MB.