Obituary of Jac W. Peters
Jac W. Peters of Steinbach, Manitoba, passed away into the presence of his Lord on Thursday, July 21, 2022, at the age of 95.
He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Rose, and his children Jane (Ken Duerksen), Alan (Caroline Pon), and Jacqueline (Alex Peters). He is also survived by his youngest sister Ellen (Ed Penner), two stepsisters Leona and Luella, and sisters-in-law Linda (Henry), and Anne (Gil), as well as grandchildren Angela, John, Kirk, Rowan, Bronwyn, Kadri, Raina, Anya, and Hannah, and numerous nephews, nieces, and great-grandchildren.
Jac was predeceased by his parents Jacob H. and Maria Peters, stepmother Tina Peters, brothers Edmar, Henry, Ert (Shirley), and Gil, and sisters Annie (Albert Reimer), Tina (Elmer Reimer), Aurelia (Menno Kroeker), and Marie (Art Neufeld), and stepsister Irene.
Jac was the fifth of five generations of Jacobs. He was born in Steinbach on April 17, 1927. He grew up on their family farm between Steinbach and Mitchell. Jac was deemed to be sufficiently educated after completing grade eight so he started full-time work on the farm. Together with his siblings, he used horses to power the equipment and later noted how amazing technology was when they replaced the horses with a steel-wheeled tractor.
At age 21, having completed his tenure on the farm, Jac branched out into the world with a series of jobs that included stacking sugar bags at the sugar beet factory in Winnipeg, joining his cousins Johnny and Walter Kehler on Vancouver Island to stack lumber at a mill, driving taxi in both Steinbach and Winnipeg, and spending a winter cutting lumber in Mafeking, Manitoba, for his brother-in-law Ed Penner. The rest of his life he lived in Steinbach.
Jac had crossed paths with Rose Barkman a few times. While at an evening dance, dad’s buddy suggested they have company on their drive to Winnipeg the next day. On a whim they invited Rose and her friend to join them. This was a turning point. Jac and Rose were married on September 9, 1950, at Steinbach EMB church, where they also ended up being life-long members. Jac took his dedication to Christ seriously and served as a Sunday School teacher for years, as well as distributing bibles as a Gideon’s representative.
Career-wise, Jac began working for his brother-in-law Albert Reimer as a carpenter. That turned into a six-year job during which he learned much about the trade. Later on, dad would be proud that he completed his carpentry career with all 10 fingers intact. Mom and dad connected well with Albert and Annie and ended up taking a few cross-country trips with them.
While waiting for a haircut at Harold Unger’s barber shop, Jac was bantering with others when A. D. Penner noted his gift of the gab and suggested that Jac come sell cars for him. Dad claims he responded with “From where – a snowbank?”, knowing that A. D. did not have a dealership facility. A.D. had responded that within a year he would have the most modern facility. Selling cars for Penner Dodge (which eventually became Penner Chev) was dad’s lasting career right on up to his retirement. This career suited dad’s genuine interest in people and cars. He received a number of awards and prize trips for being a top salesman and he counted his subsequent bosses Jim Neustaedter, Charles Penner, and Levi Goertzen as friends.
Dad and mom enjoyed a mix of tenting, tent trailering, and resort stays. Destinations ranged from Falcon Lake to Detroit Lakes to Vancouver Island. They were both members at the Steinbach Fly-in Golf Club, and they played regularly. Cycling was a regular part of life for mom and dad. Weather permitting, dad rode Steinbach bike paths regularly until he was 91. In winter, he and mom had stationary bikes which they rode until last year. On road trips to BC, dad and mom brought their bikes to ride at their various destinations. In winter, dad and mom enjoyed downhill skiing at Falcon Lake and Sugar Hills, Minnesota.
In 1973, a new chapter started when dad bought a quarter section of land near Pansy. He and mom built a log cabin on it with some help from the kids. This opened up the winter recreation of snowmobiling for dad and cross-country skiing for mom. On weekends, dad would snowmobile in – often with his friend Clarence Fast - and mom would ski in to enjoy suppers there. The cabin also became the place to welcome family and friends for steak and bean meals. Dad also joined his brother Ert, Peter Guenther, Wes Plett, Herman Koop, Abe Loewen, and others for Sandilands snowmobile outings.
As work wound down, dad and mom spent a few winters at South Padre Island, Texas, but eventually stayed closer to home. Dad enjoyed the company of his siblings, in-laws, and his car dealership colleagues. He developed a habit of going for a bike ride around town, then joining his cronies at Tim Hortons, and in later years at McDonalds. He also became a member of the ROMEOs – Retired Old Men Eating Out. As one of the designated drivers, dad and his friends would drive to local communities for brunch and to work on solving the world’s problems.
In his last year, when failing memory and skin cancer in and around his ear became a challenge, dad didn’t complain much and he still enjoyed humorous commentary - often with Plauduetche phrases - on what he observed around him.
Dad was an anchor for our family and we will miss him greatly.
The family would like to thank Dr. Ilchyna, the staff at Bethesda Regional Health Centre, Brightwater at Linden Point, and Riverview Hospital for their care of dad over these last months.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Canadian Cancer Society.
The come & go viewing will be held on Thursday, August 18, 2022, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Birchwood Funeral Chapel, Steinbach, MB. All are welcome.
The celebration of life will be held on Friday, August 19, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. at Birchwood Funeral Chapel, Steinbach, MB., with the interment prior to the service at 11:00 a.m. at Heritage Cemetery, Steinbach, MB.
A light reception will be held following the service with a chance for people to share memories.