Obituary of Kenneth Wiebe
There are few of us who live in only one place our entire life, but Ken, as per his unique, individualistic way did just that. He was the youngest and fourth child born to Frank and Elizabeth Wiebe on April 1, 1947. His parents brought him to the family home, a half mile north of the town of Kleefeld, where he first met his brother Glenn and sisters Evelyn and Nancy. This farmstead was first established by Ken's grandparents, Jacob and Margaret Wiebe 109 years ago in 1914, with the house having been built 97 years ago in 1926. Although the house has transitioned through a number of renovations, it has retained the simplicity and authenticity of its beginnings almost a century ago. Ken became the proprietor of this home when his parents moved into Kleefeld in 1978. He lived on his own until February 4, 1989, when he married Elena Rempel. Together, they lovingly and proudly maintained this beautiful property which continues to hold so many happy memories for the descendants of Jacob and Margaret Wiebe.
Ken bought his first motorcycle at age 16, avidly pursuing this passion for 40 years until declining health required him to permanently adopt the use of four-wheeled vehicles, rather than two. One of his Harley's in particular was compared to a Christmas tree as he continued to add chrome attachments and lights, until there simply was no space left for even the tiniest accessory. Those who knew him best, remember him fondly for the joy he found in riding Harley’s.
Ken's working life was primarily in the agriculture sector although the last 15 years were spent as a truck driver. Following retirement, he enjoyed gardening, paying special attention to the varieties of potatoes and corn he planted. He meticulously tended his garden through the summer following which he and Elena froze, canned and pickled the yields each fall.
Connecting with friends and family was of great importance to Ken. He was known to be the first one at the coffee shop in Kleefeld every morning where he spent many happy hours discussing everything from toasters to politics. It is safe to say, that many of his coffee buddies have been subjected to one of his favorite questions, “are you bragging, complaining or advertising?” Ken did not adopt technology, but preferred to keep his life simple and uncomplicated. He took this same approach to his relationships. If he liked you, you just knew it. His and Elena's home was a welcoming one, where guests would be met with a hearty hello at the door and the inevitable wave from the dining room window upon leaving.
Essentially, Ken was a Kleefeld fixture, as steady and reliable as the sunrise. His jovial laugh, old red pickup, consistent friendship, unique approach to life, his belief that a good toaster is the most important appliance in the house and last but not least his ability to be that loyal, dependable husband, brother, uncle and friend to so many will be missed immensely by those he has left behind.
Ken left us early on the morning of Sunday, May 14, 2023, right around the time he would normally head out for coffee. He leaves to mourn his passing, wife Elena, sisters Evelyn and Nancy, and nephew Brad Pries along with his wife Annette and their children Joshua (Nadia), Jazz and Lexi. Additionally, he will be greatly missed by the Rempel family, the Wiebe and Dueck cousins, his many friends in Kleefeld, former employers and co-workers.
Ken was predeceased by his parents Frank and Elizabeth Wiebe, brother Glenn and his wife Laura and one brother-in-law Jake Pries.
Elena thanks the Bethesda Regional Health Centre doctors and nurses for the care provided to Ken during his stay.
The funeral will be held on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at Birchwood Funeral Chapel, Steinbach, MB, with viewing prior to the service. Lunch will be served followed by interment at the Church of God in Christ Cemetery in Kleefeld, MB.