Katherina Krahn (nee Tschetter) was finally able to leave this world and enter her Heavenly home to begin Eternity with her Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. She left us on September 26, 2004, a sunny, cloudless Sunday morning.
Mom has suffered so much, and for so long, that although we will miss her terribly, we rejoice in the fact that she is free from the restraints of a painful body that slowly became her prison over the past 20 years. She suffered from Rheumatoid Arthritis (which resulted in three hip and one shoulder replacement), and osteoporosis, which caused the excruciating disintegration of six vertebrae.
We remember Mom best for her big, generous heart, her true love of hospitality, her gentle listening spirit, and her many acts of loving service for family, friends, and the Mennonite Central Committee. Mom was also completely non-judgmental in that she welcomed people with wide-open arms, regardless of any baggage they might carry; a wonderful example to us.
Mom was a hard worker, and truly enjoyed her years on the farm, tending to cattle in the barns and flowers and vegetables in her large gardens, baking and cooking delicious Mennonite meals for anyone who happened to be around at dinner time! She learned to work very hard at a very young age. She was the second oldest of 14, and as her parents had to work daily on the collective farms, the responsibility of looking after the younger ones, baking the bread, preparing the meals, and worst of all, darning the socks and clothes of 16, fell on her shoulders. She took the daunting tasks on without complaint, doing the best she could; just as she always would!
Mom was born February 10 in 1925, during those difficult pre-war years. She was born in Neuendorf; in one of the many Mennonite villages along the Dnjeper River in the Ukraine. Being German settlers living in Russia, her family fled the Russian front along with the other tens of thousands; first to Poland, a trip of some 1,500 kilometers by train in cattle cars, then to Germany, and finally, after the war, in 1947, to Argentina.
The refugees traveled to Argentina on the Vollendam Ship. It was on this ship, after so many years of incredible hardships, that mom found love. She and dad began dating, and in that same year, in Buenos Aires, mom married Bernhard Krahn. Their first child, margaret, was born in 1948. The future looked bleak for this little family. Ben’s younger brother Jake was now in Canada, so plans were made to immigrate again. In July of 1953, they flew from Buenos Aires to Vancouver.
Their first home in Canada was a chicken coop behind brother Jake’s house on Storey Ave. in Sardis. Dad was a builder by nature, so that first Spring he began building; first the garage, a big improvement over the chicken coop, and then the house. Pete was born in 1954 and Nettie in 1959. Some of the best and fondest memories were made with their new friends and neighbours on Storey Ave., relationships which are still strong to this day!
In 1964 they left Storey ave. and moved across Vedder Rd. to the eight acre farm on Knight Rd. Here mom had a big house – big enough for the many new-to-Canada folks who desperately needed a home to come to, not just a house. They were always welcomed with open arms, and stayed; not only for a week or two, but usually months; some even years! Two more moved followed; one to Wells Rd. in 1977, and the last one to Pete’s farm on Prairie Central Rd. in 1986. Mom desperately wanted to be able to look after herself in her own home, and was ultimately able to do so. She was a very disciplined and organized person, and each day had its predictable routine; every afternoon when she felt at her best, after her one-hour nap, she would stitch together the pieces of a baby quilt for the MCC Quilters to complete at church on Monday mornings. For years she would sew a minimum of one quilt top daily!
Mom will be missed by many, but especially by her family, her children, Marg and Walt Petker, Pete and Lydia Krahn, and Nettie and Wes Neufeld; her grandchildren, Dean, Jason and Carla Petker; Benjamin, Sarah-Ann, and Rebecca Krahn; Nick, Greg, Kaylene and Braydon neufeld; siblings, Heinrich and Greta Tschetter in Germany, Anges Toews in Argentina, Helen Siemens, Arthur and Mika Braun in Argentina, Paul and Helen Tschetter, Gerhard and Elfriede Braun in Paraguay; sister-in-law Agnes Tschetter, Cornie and Irma Braun, and the many, many nieces, nephews, and dear and wonderful friends.
Mom was predeceased by her husband Ben, exactly 20 years ago, in September of 1984; by her father Hans Tschetter in 1935; her mother Katharina Braun in 1973; and her step-father Johann Braun in 1991; her siblings, Jake Braun, Isaac Braun, Peter Braun, Hans Braun, Hans Tschetter, and Frank Tschetter.
As family, we wish to thank all the wonderful staff at the Chilliwack Emergency Unit, Drs. Son, Smith, and Fitzpatric, and all the lovely caregivers on Nursing Unit 4 for their compassionate care of our mom. We learned to love and appreciate all of you in the past five long weeks.
A funeral service will be held on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2004 at 1:30 at the Eden Mennonite Church on Chilliwack Central Rd.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing to do so may make donations to the Mennonite Central Committee Relief Organization.