Obituary of Helen Schroeder
Helen Schroeder (89) of Niverville, Manitoba, formerly of Steinbach, passed away at Heritage Life Personal Care Home on Thursday, November 24, 2022. There is great relief and rejoicing in knowing she is now experiencing the glories of Heaven.
She will be lovingly remembered, and is survived by, her children: Stan, Wayne (Carol), Clarence (Shirley), Patty (Guy), Bev (Woody), Sandra (Terry), Glenn (Teressa), sixteen grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. She is also survived by former daughter-in-law Laurie Schroeder, numerous in-laws, nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her loving husband of 61 years, Wilhelm (Bill), son Richard, parents Abram and Elizabeth Doerksen, brothers John and David, sisters Tina, Annie, Betty, Mary and six siblings in infancy.
Helen was born on the family farm near Silberfeld, Manitoba. In 1948, at age 15, her family joined a large group of Mennonites that emigrated to Paraguay. Many tears were shed at being parted from friends, relatives and everything familiar in Canada. Her family only lived in the Mennonite settlement in Paraguay for a few months before they left the settlement and eventually settled in the village of Villarica. Glenn helped her compile the diaries of her time in Paraguay into a book called “Diary of Life – Trials and Triumphs in Paraguay”, a copy of which is in the library of Canadian Mennonite University.
Helen met and married her husband Bill in Paraguay and three of their sons were born there. They moved back to Canada in 1963 so this time the sad goodbyes were made to her parents and siblings.
She was baptized upon confession of her faith and that faith never wavered. It was an essential part of her life and she had a true servant’s heart. Even when times were hard, she found a way to share and give what she could. Her relationship with her Lord and Saviour was her source of strength on a daily basis. We were so blessed to have a praying mother!
Helen loved to sew and was a very talented seamstress. Every Christmas, we each received a special handmade gift, from matching jogging suits to beautiful quilts. She also did endless patching, mending, alterations and sewing for her family and for others.
Family was everything to Helen. Each of her grandchildren were very special to her and she was special to them. She never tired of seeing her children and grandchildren and prayed for us daily. She spent countless hours sewing, cooking and baking – her family’s needs always came before her own. She was known for her homemade buns, schmaund kuche and good old-fashioned Mennonite cooking. We have the recipes but it never tastes as good as hers.
Music played a big part in Helen’s life. Oh, how she loved to sing! She had a beautiful singing voice and could play almost any instrument by ear. She had an accordion that came out at every family gathering and entertained the grandchildren.
She missed Dad terribly when he moved into Rest Haven and even more so after he passed away in 2017. Soon after he was gone, she was officially diagnosed with Dementia. She had wonderful friends in Steinbach, (Abe and Susan Wiebe, Eric and Mary Rempel and her very dear friend Renate Kayser) who looked after her when her family couldn’t be there. In April of 2019 she moved into Heritage Life Personal Care Home in Niverville. Although she struggled to communicate and faced many challenges, we are thankful that she still knew her family, was able to enjoy music and visits, and share laughs right until the end. We are grateful to the dedicated staff at HL (Jonathan, Sabina, Jean, Carol, Karen, Angele, Sheri and so many more) for their tender loving care of our Mom.
The come and go viewing will be held on Thursday, December 1, 2022, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Birchwood Funeral Chapel, Steinbach, MB.
The funeral service will be held on Friday, December 2, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. at Steinbach Mennonite Church, 345 Loewen Blvd., Steinbach. Interment to take place at Heritage Cemetery, Steinbach, MB.