On Thursday, October 20, 2005 Mary Rempel passed away peacefully in her sleep at the Chilliwack General surrounded by loved ones.
She was born Jan. 21, 1918 in Tatjanowska, Siberia, to Peter and Anny Penner. In early childhood she lost her hearing due to illness. Her early years were fraught with hardship, with her family moving several times to avoid persecution by authorities during a time of political and social upheaval in Russia.
The family fled to Germany through Poland upon the outbreak of World War II. The Mennonite Central Committee assisted her and her 5 sisters and 1 brother to immigrate to Canada in the spring of 1948. After arriving in her new country she worked in nursing homes in both Ontario and Yarrow.
In 1958 she married Neil Rempel, a widower with 7 children — 5 grown with children of their own, and the 2 youngest still at home in need of a mother’s care. She embraced her large, ready-made family without reservation, raising the 2 youngest as her own and delighting in each new family baby as the years went by.
Whatever challenges life presented to this remarkable lady, she met with determination and resolve, armed with an unshakeable faith in her Savior, Jesus Christ.
She was predeceased by her parents, 4 brothers and a sister in Russia, her husband, Neil, her sister, Annie Goertzen of Clearbrook and a grandson, Larry Rempel.
She will be sadly missed and lovingly remembered by her children, Don Rempel and Marilyn Ford (Gene Cardinal) of Richmond, Kay Elvin and Peter Rempel of Abbotsford, Agnes Franks and Elsie Williams of Chilliwack, and John (Joan) Rempel of Victoria. Also 9 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, 3 great-great-grandchildren, her sisters Margaret (Irvin) Schultz, Katie (Henry) Mothus, Helen Matties and Lydia Koop, her brother Tony Penner and many nephews, nieces and friends.
A Service of Remembrance will be held at Henderson’s Funeral Home, 45901 Victoria Avenue, Chilliwack, on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2005 at 2:00 p.m. Rev. Peter Vincent and Rev. Brian Derksen of the Chilliwack Alliance Church officiating. Prior to the service there will be a viewing at Henderson’s on Monday, Oct. 24, 2005 from 7 to 9 p.m. and on the 25 from 10 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
A special thank you to the 3rd floor medical staff at Chilliwack Hospital and to Gail and David Braun and staff at Crystal Ridge Manor, Chilliwack.