Obituary of John Janzen
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of John (Johann) N. (Nickel) Janzen peacefully in his home on Thursday, July 20th, 2023, at the age of 87.
John is survived by his daughters Cheryl (Allan), Corinne (Lloyd), and Valerie (Lyle), his grandchildren Dawson (Shaelyn), Connor (Alisha) and Tielle Thiessen, Thomas and Hunter Reimer, his brother George, his sisters-in-law Margret, Eleanore and Karen, nieces and nephews, and countless dear relatives and friends.
He was predeceased by his wife Margaret (Marge), his sister Susan, his brother Jacob (Jake) and a brother in infancy.
John was the fifth child born to Jacob J. Janzen and Helena (nee Nickel) Janzen in Concordia Hospital on May 1st, 1936. When his father first saw him, he commented “aber ein dicker Bube” (what a chubby boy). John grew up on the farm along the Roseau River near Dominion City. During the extremely hot summers in the first years of life, he and his mother cherished time swimming and cooling off in the river. He attended Dominion City school from Grades one through eight and after four years at Mennonite Collegiate Institute (MCI), he graduated in May, 1953. In April 1951, while he and his brother Jake were attending MCI, their mother had a dual operation at the Concordia Hospital and passed away. After graduating, John worked on the family farm. July 19th, 1954, his father describes in his diary, “was an eventful day as our Father in Heaven sent his guardian angel to our Johnnie when he overturned the tractor and was pinned underneath”. John recovered quickly and was back on the same tractor mowing ditches in two weeks time. He enjoyed sports throughout his life, playing hockey and softball for MCI and later playing for the Arnaud baseball and hockey teams for many years. Later in life, it was golfing in summer and stick curling in winter with family and friends that he enjoyed.
John was married to Margaret Rose Bergen on May 2nd, 1964, and then took over the home place from his father. He farmed until 2006 after which he rented out their arable farmland. Over these years, John served his community in many capacities. He was a delegate to the Manitoba Hog producer’s marketing board for 25 years. John also served the Arnaud Mennonite Church as treasurer also for 25 years. He became a director on the local credit union board that underwent two amalgamations during his 20 year tenure.
John’s family, relatives and friends spent summers vacationing in Minnesota for many years. Following Marge’s MS diagnosis, the two continued travelling with cruises to Alaska, Hawaii and the Caribbean. Throughout Marge’s life, John remained a loving caregiver and provider in every respect. For many years after her passing, he enjoyed spending the coldest months down south. It was in Florida that, for years, he enjoyed visiting with his brother George and his wife Kathy who were also wintering there. John particularly enjoyed travelling to Germany to visit numerous cousins and friends. A highlight trip came in 2018 when he went on a Mennonite Heritage cruise in the Ukraine. Here, he visited the areas where his parents grew up. A visit to the area in Holland where Menno Simons was born, left the priesthood and joined the Anabaptist movement followed. John also saw the Menno Simons Monument (Denkmal), the contour church in Witmarsum, the hidden church in Pinjum and the coastal town Stavoren where an ancestor on his Grandmother Dick's side - Peter van Dycke had been a lumber merchant from 1656 to 1672.
Throughout life, John’s love of genealogy was deeply rooted in his strong sense of family and community. He rarely, if ever, missed his grandchildren’s sporting events, dramas or musicals. He attended every family event and supported us all John enjoyed socializing at senior's meals in Dominion City when he could, went for coffee at the Franklin Craft Club and the AMC Men`s coffee time, and joined fellow residents of Oak West Estates in Morden where he later moved every morning for coffee.
In March of 2023, John became very short of breath and was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis, a degenerative lung disease. We extend our deepest thanks to the staff at Boundary Trails Health Centre, Palliative Care and to all of the health professionals that cared for John during this time.
A viewing will be held on Wednesday, July 26th, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. with devotional to follow at 7:30 p.m. at Birchwood Funeral Chapel, Steinbach, Manitoba. To join the family via livestream, please click HERE shortly before the start of the devotional.
The memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 29th, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at the Arnaud Mennonite Church, Arnaud, MB. Interment to follow. To join the family via livestream, click HERE shortly before the start of the service. When prompted, enter passcode 203681.
In memory of John Janzen, donations may be made to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, PO Box 767, Winnipeg MB R3C 2L4, or the Mennonite Collegiate Institute, Box 250, Gretna, MB, R0G 0V0.