Mary Wiebe

Mary Wiebe

1933 - 2022

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Obituary of Mary Wiebe

The funeral service will be held on Monday, December 12, 2022, at 1:30 p.m. at Birchwood Funeral Chapel, Steinbach, MB, with interment to follow at Blumenort Community Church Cemetery, Blumenort, MB. To join the family via livestream please click HERE shortly before the time of the service.


Mary Wiebe (nee Penner) aged 89, passed away peacefully into her Heavenly Father’s presence, at the Heritage Life Personal Care Home in Niverville on Saturday, December 3, 2022. Her devotion to God gave her much joy and peace.

Mary was born to Abram K. Penner and Maria Penner on July 29, 1933, in Blumenhof. She grew up in the Blumenort area on a farm with five brothers and two sisters: Levi, who passed away at age seven, Violet, Abe, Melvin, Alair, Ernie, and Clarice.

As a young child she made paper dolls using the catalogues and learned how to sew, knit and crochet. This became a passion of hers over the years as we could often see her bent over the sewing machine focused on her latest creation from dresses to jackets, pleated drapes and the simple or fancy. She knit many sweaters for the family over the years and mittens too, even puppet mittens, for the grandkids. Each child and grandchild also received a crocheted blanket lovingly made by her. Many quilts and blankets were donated to MCC. This gave her so much joy.

Mom had a very strong faith in God and as a teen was baptised and became a member of the Blumenort Evangelical Mennonite Church. As a child, mom memorised passages of the Bible as a program for attending Gimli Bible Camp.  

Two of her favourite verses that held great meaning are: 

Romans 8:38-39  And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.  Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow - not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.  No power in the sky above or in the earth below - indeed nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and future.

Growing up on the farm, she did her share of tending to the fields, hoeing beets, working in the garden, canning, and helping in the kitchen. She enjoyed skating and this is where she met the love of her life, Pete, at the age of 17. Their best dates were skating while holding hands and simple things like going for a coke and chocolate bar. She also loved cheering for him when he played hockey and baseball.  

Before they married, mom took her LPN nurses training in Winnipeg and then worked at the tuberculosis sanitarium in Ninette, Brandon, and Bethesda Hospital in Steinbach. After they married, she worked at the Ste. Anne hospital, and many years later, enjoyed caring for people in their homes as a home care aid, especially those in their final stages of life. She was thrilled to be using her nursing skills again!

At the age of 21, they were “mendich” (considered an adult, eligible to marry, and no longer responsible to send money home to the family.) On October 24th, 1954, mom and dad got married at the Blumenort Church. Sara Loeppky, a nursing friend, and Alaire Penner, mom’s brother, stood up for them at the ceremony. They moved into an upstairs suite for $15 per month.  

After they married, mom worked at the Ste. Anne hospital and dad as a Fire Warden at the Natural Resources branch of the government. This entailed building fire guard roads, lookout towers and fighting forest fires. He also assisted his father-in-law and brothers-in-law with the start up of the family business A.K. Penner and Sons.  

As the children came along, she stayed at home and devoted her time to assisting dad, caring for the family and home and sharing her love for God together with dad in ministry in their church, community, and abroad.  

Mom and dad were in their 30’s when they helped start a church outreach in Anola. Later they were camp directors together with John Dueck at Camp Jubilee and at Beaver Creek Bible Camp. They were also involved with the White Dog reserve Bible Camp and outreach.

Mom loved socializing and connecting with people, and we were often waiting in the car for her after the church service. As a deacon couple, they served actively for many years. She led Coffee House Bible Studies in her neighbourhood when we lived in Steinbach. She volunteered at the MCC Thrift Store for many years, sometimes taking her grandson with her. Mom also taught Sunday School for years together with the women in her age group, taking turns. She was very organized, preparing questions for the class and wanting it prepared by Tuesday for Sunday’s lesson. She faithfully wrote letters to missionaries sharing local news and encouragement and loved to connect personally with them when they were home on furlough. She had compassion for the widows and would call them to see how they were doing and drop off meals. Mom and dad supported children in other countries, and mom would shop and fill shoe boxes for Christmas. 

Mom and Dad were also heavily involved in helping the Vietnamese Boat people and later the Afghani refugees come to Blumenort. Dad did their immigration paperwork and there were many trips and phone calls for housing, school, employment, doctor visits, and grocery shopping that needed tending to.

They enjoyed visiting and encouraging missionaries on numerous trips including Bolivia (where mom helped deliver babies), Paraguay, Venezuela, Haiti, and in the USA, often lending a helping hand as they could.

They also helped with construction of a church in Leamington, Ontario. Dad installed insulation and did other odd jobs and mom cleaned up after the construction crew, not afraid of getting her hands dirty.

Dad and mom always had a big heart for the work of their nephew, Stan, who served with ministries in Haiti and Raleigh, North Carolina. In Raleigh, Building Together Ministries had a Pride for Parents Thrift Store and Mom and dad loved going to Raleigh to visit Stan and his family and help out in the store, especially at Christmas time. Toys were donated for parents to buy at half price for their children so they could receive toys from their parents instead of strangers. Mom loved working in the Raleigh Christmas store! The money from the store went back into after school programs for the neighbourhood children.  

Dad and mom loved the work of Hearts and Hands for Haiti, faithfully supporting the ministry over the years. They were able to visit Haiti once in 1985, which gave them both much joy to experience what God was doing through the ministry first hand.

They were also quick to financially support anyone who went on missions trips, whether it was children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, or people from the church.  

One year, mom hopped on a Teen Missions bus to Florida and was a Missions Fest nurse for a week where she also got to spend time with her daughter, Debby.

She didn’t see any of this as a duty, but enjoyed being around people and serving in this way. It was a social outlet for her too. Along with this, she had a very active prayer life and as children growing up, we would often see her in her rocking chair praying for her kids, grandkids, missionaries, and friends. She read her Bible regularly and had a steadfast faith in God.  

Family was always important to her with camping trips, trips across the border for weekends, crazy Easter Egg hunts, and Christmas gatherings. Her face lit up each time she saw her grandkids and they were recipients of her creative endeavours too, from knitted puppets and crocheted blankets to sweaters and toys. She would have a huge smile on her face as she gifted these to the grandkids and great grandkids.

Another, maybe more unknown passion of hers, was watching sports. She kept up with hockey, baseball, and football knowing the players names and statistics. She watched sports in her later years until that too was no longer possible.

In their mid fifties, mom and dad retired and started a business selling used golf cars, scooters, power wheelchairs, and trailers on their property. Mom enjoyed being a part of this business too, going on trips with dad across North America and socializing with the customers on the yard. Dad would do minor repairs on the trailers and mom would spruce up the interiors.  

As they got older and could no longer maintain their property, they moved into Bridgepark Manor in Steinbach. They loved the community that surrounded them there.  

Dad passed away in 2017 and mom remained there for a year and a half, after she was no longer able to remain in her own home after a stroke. Mom moved into Heritage Life Personal Care Home in Niverville in January 2019 and enjoyed the community life there until she was no longer able to participate in the various activities. The joy of the latter years was spending time with her family and she revelled in their presence and gifts of chocolate, coke, and coffee treats.

When Graham passed away in 2007 at the age of nine years old, every person at his funeral received a salvation bracelet. This bracelet keepsake was important to mom and will be buried with her. The black bead represents the sin in our life, the red bead, the blood of Jesus shed on the cross, white the purity of Jesus cleansing us, green the growing in our faith, and yellow the streets of gold in heaven.  

Mom is survived by her family: Terry and Erna Wiebe, Don and Brandi Wiebe, Debby and Craig Will, Sandy and Mark Plett, Sherri and Wes Siemens, Merle and Kyle Plett, 27 grandchildren, and 17 great grandchildren; sister Clarice Peters, and sister-in-law Linda Penner.

She was predeceased by her parents; Abram K. and Maria Penner; husband Pete, grandsons Graham and Colton, brothers, Levi, Abe, Melvin, Alair, and Ernie, sister Violet, and numerous brothers and sisters-in-law.

The funeral service will be held on Monday, December 12, 2022, at 1:30 p.m. at Birchwood Funeral Chapel, Steinbach, MB, with interment to follow at Blumenort Community Church Cemetery, Blumenort, MB. To join the family via livestream please click HERE shortly before the time of the service.


Funeral Service

1:30 pm
Monday, December 12, 2022
Birchwood Funeral Chapel
162 PTH 52 W
Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada
(204) 346-1030


Blumenort Community Church Cemetery
HWY 311
Blumenort, Manitoba, Canada