Peter Harold PENNER

Peter Harold of Abbotsford, BC, died in his 97th year after a six week illness. Peter was born on May 28, 1913 in Ukraine to Heinrich C. Penner and Katarina (Martens) Penner. He spent his first 11 years in Ukraine but because of political circumstances his family emigrated to Canada in 1924 and settled in Blumenort, SK. He loved farming and horses and at age 15 left school to take up farming with his father. In 1934 he married Helen Toews of Greenfarm, SK. The Depression forced them to seek greener pastures so they moved to Vancouver BC in 1936. His jobs included selling for Fuller Brush, Watkins and delivering milk for Crystal Dairy by horse and wagon. In 1943 he returned to farming in Rosedale, BC and also sold Massey Harris farm machinery. In 1958 his love of selling won out over his love of farming so he became an agent with Mutual Life of Canada until the age of 76. He loved this job because it brought him into contact with many people and he truly felt that each client was a “friend”. Natural curiosity was a dominant feature of his personality; his greatest passion was meeting people and “finding out all about them”. The result was a wonderful circle of friends. After the death of his first wife, Peter married Helen Klassen-Unruh (nee Toews) of Abbotsford.

Vital to his life was his faith in God and his fellowship in the church. He was active in church leadership; having a particular talent for working with youth. He was blessed with excellent health and “tremendous” energy and at age 92 was delighted to be a finisher in the Vancouver Sun Run. A lifetime goal was to reach the age of 100. While not attaining this, he packed more than 100 years of living into 96 years.

Survived by his wife Helen; six children Marlene (Edward) Poole of Victoria, BC, Lois (Ike) Voth, Delores (Allen) Falk, Patti (David) Semczyszyn of Ladner BC, Garry (Dorothy) Penner of Chilliwack BC, and Jackie (Irwin) Olfert of Lethbridge AB; 23 grandchildren; 15 great grandchildren; 1 brother, 1 sister; nephews, nieces, and cousins; Helen’s children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren; and many friends. Predeceased by first wife Helen; son Kenneth Richard; 3 brothers, and 2 sisters.

Visitation was Wednesday, August 5, 2009 from 7 to 9 pm at Woodlawn Funeral Home, 2310 Clearbrook Rd., Abbotsford. Memorial Service was on Thursday, August 6, 2009 at 1:00 pm at Clearbrook MB Church, 2719 Clearbrook Rd., Abbotsford.

His zest for life was an inspiration to many.


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